total body bang for your buck

It’s one of those days where you go “where did the time go??” and your workout or gym plans just won’t happen! That’s the kind of day I had anyways. Here’s a workout that will target your entire body and core, and you can feel good about that Friday night glass of wine (or chocolate mmm)! Try doing a few reps of as many as you can do. Just a few minutes of this and you’ll be feeling like you did hit the gym.  

yoga flow for chest opening

Feel like you’ve been hunched forward all day?  Are your shoulders scrunched up, neck tense, and you just feel slouchy in general?  Here is a short yoga flow that can help stretch and release those tight front muscles of the chest/shoulders/neck, which can help improve your posture and possibly any tension and pain.  This is a great one to try at the office after you’ve been working for a long time at a computer, or if there isn’t enough space, do it as soon as you get home from work!  Make sure you squeeze the shoulder blades together and down (away from the ears) and work the back side of your body (between the shoulder blades, muscles of the back) to improve strength to encourage good postural alignment. Repeat it twice to get a little deeper in to the poses. Remember to move with your breath always.

hippy new year!

I’m sure you can’t believe it either! Holidays are over, it’s a new year, and likely, you are already back at work! And chances are, you’re sitting for the greater part of your day.  Here is a short and sweet yoga flow that helps to stretch the muscles around the hips that may be tight from long periods of sitting (that long car ride home, long hours at a desk, etc!).  It is also a good one to do post runs, to get into the hip flexors and release any tension in the deeper glutes and hamstrings.  Repeat it twice to really get deeper into the poses.

I hope your hips have a hippy new year!

gentle core yoga flow

Want to start working on your abs but not sure where to start? This is a very short and gentle abdominal challenge that will leave you wanting more – it is perfect if you’re just getting back to working out post-baby or if it’s been awhile since you’ve been back at it! It becomes quite challenging if you repeat it a few times – those core muscles will start brewing and firing up. Be sure that you really squeeze the knee up to the elbow and into your chest (feel your tummy muscles work as you move into these positions) – it’s as if you are doing a sit up but in the air! And when you do the opposite limb lifts (aka bird dog), make sure you keep hips and shoulders level with a flat table top back. Enjoy!

core warm up yoga flow

core warm up yoga flow

Wow it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a workout! I promise now that I have a new phone I will be able to post more frequently (it used to be quite a process). Here is a gentle/moderate yoga flow that is appropriate as a pre-work out warm up, a quick abdominal challenge if you have 10 minutes to spare, or you can repeat it 3 times to get a little sweat on.  Usually when I teach my mommy baby yoga class or hatha class we warm up with some variation of this. You don’t need any equipment, although a mat would make it less slippery. Enjoy!

 

gentle / beginner core exercises

A few mommy friends of mine have asked me how to begin re-training their abdominals (aka core) postpartum.  Going through pregnancy and labour (and multiple times!) can be very hard on your body, and all those core muscles go through a long period of stretch and lengthening to accommodate baby.  It is really important to re-train these muscles to prevent or help issues such as back pain, incontinence, abdominal muscle separation (i.e. diastasis recti), sacroiliac joint/hip pain, poor posture, and more.  The following exercises are gentle and suitable for beginners, those that are postpartum at least 6 weeks, if you are having a rest day from working out, or if you want to work on form and tone up your tummy.

Please note: if you have serious pain, diastasis recti, or incontinence, you should consult your health care professional (e.g. physiotherapist, physician).

The first video is instructional and demos how to do the exercises. If you are very new to exercise or this type of abdominal workout, follow along to make sure you understand the movement and remember that quality is better than quantity! It is much more important to hold the pose / do the movement correctly than to do many repetitions of poor movement.  Also, never hold your breath, and always take breaks when you need it. You want to push yourself to discomfort but never pain.

This second video is a modified tabata style version of the above exercises.  Because this method is timed, you want to do as many reps as possible in the 20 seconds but again making sure the poses/movements are correctly executed. You can follow along when you feel confident that you have the poses down pat, or alternatively you could choose to perform the poses at your own pace and do 3 sets of 5-10 reps, depending on your level. For the bird-dog pose, you can hold 3 sets of 10-30 seconds.