Wednesday, January 8, 2014

TFC Day 5 - Undulation, the Fountain of Youth

How are you feeling today? Please make note of any activities from yesterday that go on your “good, as-is” list, “good, but need to modify” list or “bad” list.

Assignment #1: When we were kids we didn’t have to exercise to stay in shape. We stayed fit through being present and including a great variety of movement. Today’s assignments hope to revive this youthful spirit within you. The video practice is a compilation of different undulation exercises. If you are new to undulation, you may be surprised at how little effort and movement is needed to mobilize stuck segments in your spine. That’s because small and slow movements engage the smaller, more core muscles; muscles that many traditional exercises neglect. Be cautious with (or skip) the Happy Dog and Hip Hiker undulations if your low back is easily aggravated. Remember that kids have little patience for uncomfortable activities. Also, if you can’t do exercises on your hands and knees, you can do those ones standing with your hands on the wall instead.

Assignment #2: Make breathing fun. Remember how you used to challenge yourself to take a big, deep breath when driving through a tunnel or swimming across the pool? Take 10 very big breaths as big as you can. Make sure you extend your exhale with each one, too.

Assignment #3: Get some cardio exercise at your target heart rate for 15 minutes. Do something fun and safe.

Assignment #4: This isn’t a kid’s exercise; meditation requires a mature brain. The benefits of meditating include increased pain tolerance, lower anxiety, and greater presence. The assignment: Watch your thoughts for 5 minutes. Don’t try to change your thoughts, just notice what you are thinking. Notice when you get caught in the thoughts and stop noticing. Then begin noticing again.

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