Tough Mudder New England 2014

This experience was by far the hardest physical endeavor I have ever attempted and accomplished. Last July, my little brother and I rolled up to Mount Snow and seriously questioned our judgement and sanity. We were decked out in our best workout gear and covered in war paint.

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The race began with a pump-up speech on camaraderie, teamwork, and our veterans. Then BANG, it all began. Up and down, and up and down the ski slopes of Mount Snow till we felt as though our legs would collapse beneath us. The obstacles were challenging and truly required help from each other as well as the teams around us. Complete strangers were more than happy to help any and everyone that needed it.

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Water

The entire time I was saying “never again.” Now, I can’t wait to do another!

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Score a Rock-Solid Core

I love variety, especially with a workout regime. Too quickly do I get bored and tired of the same old routine. This is when my workout begins to slacken and I get bored and distracted. In order to keep it fresh, fun, and invigorating, constantly add new things. Try Zumba or crossfit. Bounce around to various gyms. I often go where the deals are. I check Groupon and Living Social regularly for fitness deals and switch it up every few weeks. I also check out articles such as the one below for new workouts to incorporate. 

Here are some awesome core workouts that are super effective and full of variety. They come from yoga, Pilates, barre, crossfit, among others. The following text and images are courtesy of Shape. Sweat on! 

The Best Abs Exercises from Every Type of Workout

Combine these 14 moves for a truly hard-core routine that’ll flatten your belly in a flash.
Score a Rock-Solid Core

Confused whether Pilates, yoga, kickboxing, CrossFit, or something else entirely is the best way to work your core? That’s probably because they all include some amazing abs-toning exercises. Combine the best from every discipline to strengthen and chisel from every angle for a truly hard-core workout.

How it works: Do a 3- to 5 minute dynamic warmup. Complete each pair of exercises back-to-back with little to no rest between, then repeat the pair for a second set. Rest 30 to 60 seconds, and move on to the next pair, again performing two sets. (You can also add any of these exercises to your own routine.)

You’ll need: Yoga mat, kettlebell (5 to 15 pounds, depending on your level)

1A: Bob and Weave

1A: Bob and Weave

Though it’s usually used in kickboxing to maneuver around an opponent’s punch, the bob and weave move is also a killer way to work your obliques and abdominal wall (in addition to your legs and back)—all while keeping your heart rate up for a greater calorie burn.

How to: Stand with feet wider than hips, shift weight into left leg, and lift right heel with arms “on guard” (elbows bent in front of ribs, hands in fists at chest level). Quickly bob and weave from right to left by lowering into a low squat, tracing a letter U with upper body from the left to the right. Immediately repeat to opposite side, keeping abs pulled into spine the entire time. Do 10 quick alternating reps.

1B: Front Kick

1B: Front Kick

When done correctly, a front kick in kickboxing isn’t just a great move to sculpt powerful legs and fend off attackers, it’s also an effective way to synergistically work important core muscles like your abdominals, back, and hips.

How to: From a split stance with left foot forward and arms on guard, shift weight into left leg and bring right leg into a chamber (bending right knee up toward chest). Quickly extend leg, exhaling forcefully through mouth while kicking out from hip and leaning torso back slightly, pushing out through ball of foot. Return leg to chamber, then step right foot back into left split stance (arms remain on guard the entire time). Do 10 quick reps; repeat on the opposite side.

RELATED: 10-Minute Abs and Arms Workout Video

2A: Curl and Cross

2A: Curl and Cross

Great for developing strong, pulled-in, flat abs, the curl and cross combo often found in barre classes will definitely make you feel the burn!

How to: Lie faceup with knees bent and feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Inhale through nose. Keeping chin relaxed on chest and eyes straight ahead, exhale as you slowly curl upper back off the floor, drawing navel deep into spine and holding onto backs of thighs with hands. With shoulder blades lifted off floor and middle back pressed down, bring body up an inch closer to legs. Lower back an inch. That’s one rep. Do 20 quick reps then move into the cross curl by turning shoulders toward left leg and moving both hands to outside of left thigh. Repeat inching movement for 20 reps to the left, then 20 reps to the right.

2B: Pretzel

2B: Pretzel

Another barre exercise, pretzel is a killer core strengthener because it works the glutes, lower back, and obliques together, which forces you to use your abs to balance.

How to: Sit with right leg bent at about a 90-degree angle in front of body and left leg bent at 90 degrees behind you. Reach arms toward the floor in front of right leg, shifting weight slightly forward, lining up chest over right leg, and keeping spine naturally straight and abs engaged. Lift left leg off the floor as high as possible without moving torso, and bring hands to prayer, pressing palms together and shoulders down to hips. Pulse left leg up an inch or two higher, then back down an inch or two without touching the ground 20 times. Repeat on opposite side. (Too challenging? Keep hands on the ground during the movement instead of bringing palms to prayer.)

3A: Crow

3A: Crow

If you’ve ever attempted crow arm balance before, you know how much your abs (especially the lower region) have to work to keep your body up in this yoga posture. If you’ve never tried it, start off with the set-up version and then gradually advance into the full pose.

How to: Lower into a deep squat with knees wider than hips. Lean forward and place hands on the floor about shoulder-width apart, elbows bent. Round back and engage abs by pulling them into spine as inner thighs squeeze sides of torso, shifting weight into arms and lifting up onto balls of feet. Hold pose here if needed, with toes lightly on the floor, or try lifting feet completely, pointing toes, drawing heels close to tailbone, and balancing on arms for up to 1 minute.

RELATED: Step-by-Step Breakdown: Crow Pose

3B: Half Moon

3B: Half Moon

It may not look like your traditional abs exercise, but half moon will have your core muscles working like crazy to help keep you from falling over during this balancing yoga pose.

How to: From standing, fold forward, placing hands on the ground beneath shoulders. Keeping soft knees, transfer weight into right foot, then lift left leg high behind you. Keep right fingertips on the ground, open left hip on top of right, and turn torso to the left. Extend left arm straight up and look up toward left fingers. (If it’s too tough to find your balance at first, try placing a yoga block under the supporting hand to make this pose a little easier to master while building strength and flexibility.) Hold for up to 1 minute; repeat on the opposite side.

4A: Mermaid Side Plank

4A: Mermaid Side Plank

While all of Pilates is centered on the core, the mermaid side plank in particular does an amazing job of working your abs from every angle.

How to: Begin in a side plank position with right hand directly under shoulder, left arm extended to the ceiling over shoulder, left leg crossed over right, and edges of feet pressed into the floor. Engage abs and press away from the floor with right side of body. Inhale and look up to left hand. On exhale, reach left arm under and behind body, bracing abs in tight to spine, lifting hips up (body resembles an upside-down letter V), and pivoting on balls of feet. Return to the starting position. Do 6 reps; repeat on the opposite side.

4B: Teaser

4B: Teaser

The signature Pilates teaser is so much harder than it looks, so be patient. Don’t forget to use your breath to maximize your abdominal strength and control with every rep.

How to: Lie faceup with knees bent at a 90-degree angle over hips, arms extended by ears, abs drawn into spine, and ribcage flat (avoid letting ribs pop open with arms overhead). Inhale and begin to roll up through spine, lifting head and shoulders off the floor, reaching fingertips toward feet as legs extend straight and lower about 10 degrees toward the floor. Exhale and draw abdominals in deeper to spine to continue rolling up, lowering legs a little further, until body is in a full V-sit position, balancing on sitz bones. Hold for 1 count. Reverse movement to lower back to the starting position with control. Do 6 to 8 reps. (Make it more challenging by starting with legs extended straight on the floor and rolling up into the full V-sit from there.)

5A: Que Te Mueve

5A: Que Te Mueve

This oblique-targeting, hip-swiveling Zumba move‘s name means “what moves you.”

How to: Stand with feet together, arms by sides. Take a wide step to the right, pivoting on feet to turn right toes out and lift left heel off the floor as hips swivel left and arms swing to the left of shoulders with elbows bent and hands in fists. Quickly step left foot into right, turning hips back to front and swinging arms to the right. Take two quick steps to the right, then immediately reverse to the left. Repeat for at least 30 seconds.

5B: Merengue Out and In

5B: Merengue Out and In

Keep bumping up your heart rate without any impact on your joints while continuing to work your obliques with this simple and fun merengue out and in Zumba step.

How to: Stand with feet together, arms by sides. Shift weight into left leg as right foot steps out to side slightly wider than hips, pushing left hip back as right hip rotates slightly forward and left arm swings in front of body and right arm back with elbows bent. Immediately step left foot out to repeat the movement. Repeat again with right foot, this time stepping foot in, doing the same with the left until feet are back together. Move quickly to an out-out-in-in rhythm, keeping weight toward balls of feet to make it easier to shift side to side at a fast tempo. Repeat for at least 30 seconds.

6A: Windmill

6A: Windmill

The very nature of kettlebell training typically engages your abs with almost every move, and the windmill is killer for your obliques, cinching in your waist.

How to: Stand with feet slightly wider than hips, left toes slight turned out and right toes turned to the right, knees slightly bent. Holding a kettlebell in left hand with bell behind hand, extend left arm to the ceiling, keeping wrist straight. Engage abs and reach right hand to inside of right thigh, looking up to kettlebell, shifting weight into left leg. Hinge at hips, lowering torso as right arm slides down to inside of right calf or ankle, extending left arm in line over shoulder. Press back up through left side of torso to return to the starting position. Do 6 to 8 reps; repeat on opposite side.

6B: Turkish Get-Up

6B: Turkish Get-Up

A functional kettlebell move, the turkish get-up is a popular one because of how effective it is, engaging your entire body while working your core during every second of the move.

How to: Lie faceup with legs extended and hold a kettlebell above chest with a straight right arm. Extend left arm out to side and bend right leg so foot is flat on the floor. Engage abs and use left hand to sit up while keeping right arm extended overhead. Push hips off the ground using right leg and left arm, and quickly swing left leg under body to end in a kneeling position with right foot forward and left knee on the ground. Still holding right arm overhead, stand up, quickly stepping left foot about hip width from right. Stand tall while holding weight in extended arm. Reverse the move and return to the starting position. Do 3 reps; repeat on opposite side.

RELATED: The Best Yoga Poses for OM-My-Gosh Abs!

7A: Hollow Rock

7A: Hollow Rock

The hollow rock may sound innocent enough, but don’t be fooled—it’s a dynamic core CrossFit exercise that will have your abdominal wall working overtime.

How to: Lie faceup with arms extended overhead by sides of ears and legs pressed together and extended out straight at about a 45-degree angle from hips. Engage abs and lift head and shoulders off the floor, bringing body into a slight C curve. Gently rock forward, maintaining curve, lowering legs closer to (but not touching) the ground, then rock back toward shoulders, keeping head slightly off the floor (arms remain extended by ears and legs extended the entire time). Do 8 to 10 reps.

7B: Burpee

7B: Burpee

We know you love to hate burpees (we do too), but they are not only super effective for sculpting your abs, these CrossFit staples burn a lot of calories to help blast off fat faster so you can see the results of your hard work sooner.

How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by sides. Squat and place hands on the ground under shoulders. Keeping abs tight to spine, jump feet back into plank position and immediately lower into a pushup. Extend arms back to plank and jump feet back into hands, landing in squat position. Quickly jump straight up, reaching arms to the ceiling. Do 5 to 10 reps as quickly as possible with good form.

Workout Like an Olympian

Want to work out like an Olympian? Thanks Huffington Post for this great article of signature workout moves from the best of the best. Enjoy! 
The following text is courtesy of Huffington Post. 

Work Out Like an Olympian

This February, the world will look on as the opening ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics commence. As top notch athletes give it their all and compete for the chance of a lifetime, it’s practically impossible not to be motivated as we cheer them on. So, channel that feeling, and go for the gold with these Olympian-inspired workout moves that will sculpt your legs, abs, arms and shoulders.

Drop Lunges:

Ask any pro skier about a drop lunge and they’ll know what you’re talking about. To prepare for steep and unwieldy terrain, every athlete needs to have good balance and flexibility. By integrating drop lunges into your exercise regimen, you will improve your balance and flexibility through increased hip mobility and also reduce the chance of injury to your knees and lower back. It’s a movement that is performed in nearly every sport so is very functional and core to any training!

To perform a drop lunge, stand with feet at shoulder width. Step with the right leg behind the left leg and drop into a squat position. You will only lunge as far across with your right leg as your legs and hip mobility will allow. The heels will be off the ground and will force you to come up onto the balls of your feet. Keep your torso tall and your abs engaged while performing the movement. Return to start and repeat on the other side.

Lateral Ski Jumps:

Just like the name sounds, lateral ski jumps are a great way to get you one step closer to the gold. Lateral ski jumps blend heart pumping cardio with a functional leg workout that will get you ready for any terrain or athletic pursuit. By combining explosive movements with leg strengthening activities, this is one move you should not miss!

To perform lateral ski jumps, stand with feet shoulder width apart and have toes facing forward. Bend your arms slightly at the elbow and then hold your elbows near the sides of your body. Have top of head aligned with your spine and focus on a point directly in front of you. Bend your knees and lower yourself into a squat, hinging forward slightly from the hips while maintaining a straight spine. Engage your core and push off from both feet equally. Jump laterally to the right, landing on both feet with knees bent. Push off again immediately and jump to your left. Pump your arms upward with every lift off and lower them as you land. Continue to repeat for three to five minutes.

Standing Splits:

Whether you have dreams of pirouetting on the ice or getting big air, you need to have incredible balance. One of our favorite ways to train like an Olympian is to incorporate balance poses like the standing splits into your routine. Standing splits will not only challenge your balance but also help lengthen and tone your legs and help activate your core muscles. To perform standing splits, inhale and bend forward at your hips. Place your hands on the floor just in front you. Keep your knees slightly bent. Shift your weight into your left leg and hold your left calf with your left hand. Keep your right palm on the floor just in front of you. Inhale and lift your right leg up as high as you can on the wall. Keep your leg as straight and active as possible. Hold and repeat on the other side.

Russian Twist:

Every Olympic sport requires strong abs. For a great twist on getting those abs of steel, try a Russian twist. It not only targets your abdominals but also your obliques and back for an all over core workout. To perform the Russian twist, sit on the ground with your knees bent and heels about a foot from your butt. Lean slightly back without rounding your spine at all. Whatever you do, don’t let your back curve! Place your arms straight out in front of you with your hands one on top of the other. Hands should be level with bottom of rib cage. Pull your navel to your spine and twist slowly to the left. The movement should not be large and mainly comes from the ribs rotations, not your arms swinging. Inhale through center and rotate to the right. Repeat.

Side Plank with Crunch:

Side planks with crunches not only target your abdominals and obliques but also tone your shoulders and back. Plus they help you get ready for your best performance by increasing your balance. To perform a side plank with crunch, lie on your left side with your left hand on the floor beneath your left shoulder; let the inside of your right foot rest on the floor in front of your left foot. Engage your core and then push into your left hand to lift your body so it forms a diagonal line from head to heels. Crunch forward and down, bringing right elbow to left elbow and then return to starting position. Repeat at least 10 times; switch sides and repeat.

Dumbbell Alternating Shoulder Press & Twist:

If you want strong, lean and powerful arms, try dumbbell alternating shoulder press and twist. This movement is great because it provides core strengthening and toning in one! To perform dumbbell alternating shoulder press & twist, stand holding a pair of dumbbells just outside your shoulders, with your elbows bent and palms facing each other. Rotate your torso to the right as you press the dumbbell up in your left hand above your shoulder. Reverse the movement back to the starting position, rotate to your left and then press the dumbbell in your right hand upward. Repeat.

Incline Push-Up:

Incline push-ups will strengthen the chest, triceps and shoulders for longer, leaner and meaner arms. This move is great for sculpting arms, working on core strength and increasing stamina. To perform an incline push-up, place your hands on a box, bench, step — or anything else sturdy and steady above the floor to give yourself a natural lift. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the bench. Pause at the bottom and then push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as possible. Repeat at least 10 times. For extra challenge, you can add in a hop after you come back to start each time (like a modified burpee).

Follow Jamie Walker on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jamiewalker19

Goshen Racetrack

Last weekend I was able to experience the beauty and power of the Standardbred trotters at the Goshen Racetrack. What an opportunity! These horses are incredible! Despite the 20 degree weather, Vanessa and I bundled up and hooked up a pretty mare and did a two mile jog around the track. Quite the experience!

The stallion, Scottie, trying very hard to bite Vanessa’s fingers.

Gearing up!

Secrets Of The Extremely Fit

Take a look at this for some pretty helpful ideas on bettering your lifestyle and improving your health! Some of these seem obvious, but are you actually incorporating them into your lifestyle? This is written for men in mind, but this applies to you as well ladies! Enjoy! 

The following text and pictures are courtesy of Huffpost Healthy Living. See the article in its entirety here

Secrets Of The Extremely Fit

fitness secrets
By Andrew Heffernan, C.S.C.S. for Men’s Health

There’s no way around it: To gain muscle and lose flab, you have to pay the iron price. And sweat buckets. And rethink your grocery list. But the ultimate cost (in time, especially) depends on what you know. In our never-ending quest to help you get in the best shape of your life, we tapped the country’s top fitness minds and combed through cutting-edge research to find the 25 most effective ways to reveal the stronger, leaner person inside you. In short, we’re about to fast-track your fitness.

More From Men’s Health:
The Men’s Health Workout Center
The Fitness Rules Winners Follow
20 Ways to Stick to Your Workout

1. Rethink Your Nutrient Intake
The traditional food pyramid — which the White House unveiled as a plate-shaped pie chart in 2011 — is heavy on refined carbs and light on protein and fats. So it doesn’t meet the nutritional needs of active men who want to build muscle and burn fat, saysMen’s Health nutrition advisor Alan Aragon, M.S. That’s why he created the “food tower” — it provides the ideal balance of muscle-building foods and flab-defying nutrients. Use it as the basis for your daily diet.

2. Load Up On Green Energy
green vegetables“When athletes start eating more vegetables, they don’t fatigue as easily,” says Tony Gentilcore, C.S.C.S., cofounder of Cressey Performance in Massachusetts. “It’s common to see them setting personal records in the weight room within a few weeks.” His favorite trick: Throw a handful of spinach into a blender and combine with 2 cups almond milk, some frozen berries, rolled oats, chia seeds or flaxseeds, and a scoop of protein powder. You won’t even taste the greens.

3. Get More Vitamin D
A dearth of D can lead to impaired athletic performance, according to a recent review published in the journal Nutrients. Other research shows that men with higher levels of vitamin D tend to have stronger muscles than those with low levels. Odds are that you fall into the latter group; in fact, no less than 77 percent of people in the United States are deficient in vitamin D, according to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Your goal: 600 IU a day.

4. Spread Out Your Protein
This much is obvious from the food tower: To build muscle, you need more protein. But men who divide their daily protein among six smaller meals instead of three larger ones build muscle faster, say scientists at Skidmore College. “Try to eat 100 grams [more than half of your recommended intake] by lunch,” says Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., owner of Results Fitness in California. Three eggs for breakfast, a midmorning shake, and grilled chicken and Greek yogurt for lunch will do the trick.

5. Find Your Whey 
whey protein shakeDifferent types of protein work better at different times. In the morning, go with whey, which can help control cravings all day, report scientists in the Journal of Nutrition. “Whey is also best pre-workout because it digests quickly,” says Nick Tumminello, C.P.T., owner of Performance University. Postworkout, use casein, which burns slowly to provide a steady stream of protein. Forty grams before bed can also boost overnight muscle growth by 23 percent, say Dutch researchers.

6. Work Your Entire Body, Every Time
When it comes to building strength, how often you work a muscle is just as important as how hard you work it, according to research in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. “You need about 10 to 15 sets per muscle group per week to see results,” Tumminello says. Shoot for three total-body workouts a week; during each one, complete 3 to 5 sets per muscle group.

7. Lift Something Weird
Most of the objects you lift in everyday life — shopping bags, overstuffed suitcases, toddlers — aren’t as conveniently sized as dumbbells and barbells. To build strength that translates beyond the gym, incorporate sandbags, kettlebells, fat-grip barbells, and other odd-shaped training tools into your workouts, says Anthony DiLuglio, founder of artofstrength.com. Can’t find such oddities in your gym? Wrap towels around a chinup bar to make it tougher to grip.

8. Master The Pullup
pullup“The pullup targets more muscles than any other upper-body exercise,” says MMA strength coach Chad Waterbury, M.S. And because it’s typically done with body weight, it’s also an indicator of relative strength (how strong you are for your height and weight). “The benchmark is 15 in a row,” Waterbury says. If you can’t do that many, work your way up. “Do 1 set of max pullups each morning and evening for three days; take the fourth day off,” he says. “Repeat the sequence until you hit 15 reps.”

9. Move More Weight (Right Now)

  • Bend the Bar: When you bench-press, try to bend the ends of the bar away from you as you press it up. “You’ll fire more muscles in your upper back, creating a more stable platform on the bench,” says Wil Fleming, C.S.C.S., owner of Force Fitness and Performance.
  • Spread the Floor: As you squat, press outward against the floor with your feet (but don’t actually move them). “You’ll feel your glutes activate, which will boost your power,” says Fleming.

10. Train Your Core The Right Way
Ditch crunches and situps. “Moves like those create motion around your spine — precisely what your core is designed to resist,” says Waterbury To build a chiseled,functional six-pack, do anti-rotation exercises like the single-arm wall push. Assume a pushup position facing a wall with your hands 2 feet from the baseboard. Place your right hand on the wall and push for a slow 3-count. Repeat with your left hand. Do 10 reps per side. Too easy? Do a pushup between reps.

Head over to Men’s Health for the full list.

Scarlett Johansson’s Superhero Bod

I’m not one to believe in one hit wonders, especially when it comes to a workout plan, but this move does make a big difference. Doing it alone won’t be very effective, but adding it to your workout will show some incredible results. The following article and pictures are courtesy of Self. 

Get Scarlett Johansson’s Superhero Bod in One Move

ScarJo Superhero

Scarlett Johansson rocks that magic combo of curves, confidence and fitness that somehow inspires a we-can’t-help-it obsession in us all. I mean, girl is gorgeous. As femme fatale Black Widow in The Avengers — which is in the running for an MTV Movie Award this weekend! — she looks so damn comfortable in that skintight body suit (not to mention this to-die-for burgundy gown), she got us jonesing get a bodacious superhero body, too.

To the rescue: L.A.-based trainers Bobby and Alicia Strom, who worked with Johansson while she was prepping for the role. “She really puts 100% into getting ready for whatever role she needs to play,” says Bobby. “When she was going to be in The Avengers, she wanted to be more athletic and toned.”

So, what’s the first thing you learn in Action Star 101? You need to get a core hovering in that “rock solid” zone. “She was being shot around in a harness, doing kicks and jumps,” says Bobby. “She [needed] to be strong enough not to get hurt doing stunts.”

The trainer had Johansson strengthening her core with a tough super move that combines the Inchworm with knee tucks. Check out this totally homemade but insanely awesome how-to video featuring Alicia Strom (who’s sporting super-chic Victoria’s Secret VSX Sport Line, btw). Once we nail this move like Scarlett did — watch out world, cat suit here we come!

Inchworm with Knee Tuck

See video here.

Standing straight up, bend to touch your toes, keeping knees straight. Crawling out with your hands, keeping your knees stiff, so that you’re stretching glutes and hamstrings. Walk your hands out to a plank position. Do a knee tuck by crossing your right knee toward your left shoulder. Do one knee tuck with each leg, then walk your hands back slowly, stand up and stretch toward the sky. Do the entire move 10 times for some fat-blasting results!

Yoga for Better Sleep

Spending a few minutes stretching before bed helps to ease the body and mind making a sound sleep come swift and easy. I recently saw this article from Fitness on yoga moves for relaxation and sleep. Enjoy!

8-Minute Workout: Yoga for Better Sleep

Try this 5-move yoga routine to relax your body and mind before sleep. The best part? Each pose can be done in bed!

By Jennifer Matarazzo; Photos by Nick Cardillicchio

Upside-Down Relaxation

Upside-Down Relaxation

Forget counting sheep. Ease your way into dreamland with this five-move yoga routine from Edward Vilga, creator of the DVD Yoga in Bed: 20 Asanas to Do in Pajamas (yogainbeddvd.com, $19.95). The moves will relax your body and mind, but the best part is that you can do them all in bed!

Minutes:0:00-2:00

  • Sit facing a wall (or your headboard) with your butt about 6 inches away from it.
  • Lie back and extend your legs up the wall.
  • If this is too intense a stretch for your hamstrings, slide your butt farther away from the wall.
  • If it’s not enough, scoot closer.
  • Let your arms rest by your sides, palms facing up, and breathe gently, feeling the stretch in the backs of your legs.

Winding Down Twist

Winding Down Twist

Minutes: 2:00-3:00

  • Sit cross-legged on the bed and exhale as you place your right hand on your left knee and left hand on the bed behind your tailbone.
  • Gently twist your torso to the left.
  • Allow your gaze to follow, looking over your left shoulder. Breathe deeply, then return to center and repeat on opposite side.

Nighttime Goddess Stretch

Nighttime Goddess Stretch

Minutes: 3:00-5:00

  • Lie on your back with knees bent.
  • Place the soles of your feet together, then let your knees fall open, forming a diamond shape with your legs.
  • Rest your arms on the bed.
  • If you feel any strain, elevate your legs by placing a pillow underneath each knee.

Child’s Pose

Child's Pose

Minutes: 5:00-7:00

  • Sit up comfortably on your heels.
  • Roll your torso forward, bringing your forehead to rest on the bed in front of you.
  • Lower your chest as close to your knees as you comfortably can, extending your arms in front of you.
  • Hold the pose and breathe.

Rock-a-Bye Roll

Rock-a-Bye Roll

Minutes: 7:00-8:00

  • Lying on your back, hug knees in to chest.
  • Cross your ankles and wrap both arms around your shins with clasped hands.
  • Inhale and rock your body up to sit; exhale as you roll back.
  • Continue for 1 minute, then roll back, extend arms and legs, and drift off to sleep.