For those of you who skipped your quinoa, kale, and warm water with lemon and instead ventured down the treacherous road of eating an entire sleeve of processed Girl Scout cookies (‘tis the season!), this is for you. And don’t worry - if anyone comes up behind you while you’re reading this, I’ll totally back you up and swear you’re just reading it for a friend.
Feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly out. Drop your tailbone towards the floor. Press elbows into the meat of your leg where the knee and thigh crease and relax the hips. Pressing the palms together, sink the hands into prayer. Tuck the chin slightly, lengthen through the crown of the head, and imagine a magnet drawing the tailbone downward. Breathe deeply for 8-10 breaths.
Sit upright with the legs outstretched so the body makes an “L.” Cross the right leg over the other so the knee is pointed towards the sky and the foot is firmly planted on the ground. Inhale and lengthen through the crown, exhale and twist the belly button towards the inner thigh. Use your right hand as a second spine, and place it within a few inches of the small of the back. Hug the knee in closely. Here, you should feel the work through your core: imagine wringing out your abdominal muscles to get the twist. Don’t focus on twisting the bones in your spinal column, but focus on engaging through the midline and extending upwards. The twist will happen naturally. Breath deeply for 8-10 breaths and repeat on the opposite side.
Light Abdominal Work
Bicycles: Lie flat on your back with knees bent at ninety-degrees stacked over the hips. Clasp hands behind your head. Extend the left leg to forty-five degrees and lift the chest straight up towards the sky. Exhale, and twist the belly button towards the inner thigh. Inhale and come back to neutral. Repeat other side for 8-10 reps on each side.
Classic Crunches: Lie flat on your back with knees bent at ninety-degrees stacked over the hips. Clasp hands behind your head. Move the shoulders and hips towards your midline at the same time. Squeeze into the middle! Move slowly and with control, exhaling on the way up, inhaling on the way down. Repeat 8-10 times.
On your hands and knees, bring your feet together and knees apart. Drop the hips back towards the heels and either walk the hands away from you to stretch the shoulders, or reach the arms behind you and drape them around the heels. Close the eyes, breathe 8-10 breaths.
Erin Motz is a carniverous traveling yoga and pilates instructor with a beautiful, bouncing children's book on the way! She teaches vinyasa flow and hot power pilates classes in Tampa, FL, but for daily adventures in the world and the kitchen, check out www.erinmotz.com or find her on Twitter @erinmotz.