It's the first of the month!
Wake up, wake up, wake up, it's the first of the month! (So cash your checks and come up!) This just happens to be one of my favorite Bone Thugs-N-Harmony songs; it's also a great reminder that today is a new day, a new month, and a clean fresh start! The first of the month is like hitting a big reset button. Whatever happened last month is done now, and we have to let it go. We have a brand new month before us with new goals, expectations, challenges. It's really a good thing. It donned on me this morning that we get exactly 12 "reset" days per year, 12 chances to start over, learn, make changes. We really should make the most of them, right? Instead of just having a regular old Wednesday, let's kick it up a notch and kick off the first of the month by setting an intention, working hard, and appreciating our awesome selves!
This morning in class, my amazing yoga teacher read a passage about being thankful for your life at all times.
"Every night before you lay down to sleep, take time to be thankful. Even if your day is terrible, be thankful for it. When you rise each morning, be thankful for all that you have and for this day because it will best day of your life. Through this unwavering gratitude, you will create the life you want. "
The idea of gratitude not just when things are good, but also appreciating the moments that are not as good is very powerful. Even when something isn't successful we can still take something away from our experience and use it later. That is something to be thankful for indeed.
Setting an intention is just like gratitude: it's something to which we can return. We can check in with our thoughts and make sure they align with our intention. My intention for this month is to appreciate something different each day. It's easy to get distracted when something disrupts the flow of our lives, but returning to our intention can help us refocus and live in the present. I often get bogged down by previous events and I struggle to move forward. Could be something I missed, forgot, or didn't turn out like I wanted; whatever it is stays with me for hours, days, even weeks sometimes. When I worry about the past, I'm not living in the present. I'm missing out on all sorts of amazing things that are happening RIGHT NOW! Reminding myself to be thankful for something each day will help bring me back. No one's life is perfect, but it's ever-changing, beautiful, and important. Let your intention for the month reflect something positive and hopeful, this is the filter through which all thoughts will flow.
Now that we can set our focus for the month, let's work hard and put that intention to good use! It's June and tank top / maxi dress / short shorts / flowy skirt/ socks and sandals season is on our doorstep! Some people say that last weekend was the unofficial start of summer, I say we still have 19 more days to go. I mean, you are ALREADY READY for summer because you look amazing and beautiful right now in this moment! All you really need to do is put on your sun hat and go catch some rays. BUT if you enjoy breaking a sweat as I have come to, check out this awesome 10-minute total body workout that's sure to boost your confidence.
Boom-here ya go! I've included some guidelines for modifying and intensifying below.
0:00 – 1:00
5:00 – 6:00
1:00 – 2:00
Squat Jump (25reps)
6:00 – 7:00
Toe Rise to Squat
2:00 – 3:00
7:00 – 8:00
3:00 – 4:00
Oblique crunches right (20)
8:00 – 9:00
Static Plank Pose
4:00 – 5:00
Oblique crunches left (20)
9:00 – 10:00
Cardio - These cardio minutes should increase your heart rate. Easy, Med, and Hard refer to your level of effort so pick an activity where you can vary the intensity. The impact can be high or low, as long as it gives your heart pumping; jumping rope, jumping jacks or running in place. Playing outside? You could do short track sprints. If you want something low impact, try air squats, or marching with high knees.
Squat Jump - start with legs about shoulder width apart and toes turned out slightly. Bend the knees, keeping your chest up, and drop your booty as low as you can without lifting the heels, on the way back up squeeze your glutes and push through the toes to give a little jump. Doesn't need to be a giant leap, just shoot to get your feet off the floor. You can also work the same muscles without the jump, by squeezing the glutes and lifting your heels off the floor.
Oblique Crunches - Lie down on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms overhead. Using your breath, exhale and curl your torso upward while reaching hands to one side of your knees. Repeat for 1 minute before switching sides.The key is keeping your knees squeezed together and not moving throughout the exercise. If the full crunch isn't happening, try going halfway or pulse it out while keeping your shoulders on the floor. If this is super easy, try to complete this exercise while hovering your heels off the ground.
Toe Rise to Squat- Start on the tips of your toes with legs together. Jump feet out wider than hips and sink your booty down low. Once you reach the lowest point, push through your the floor and return to a standing position on your toes. Make sure to keep your chest up the whole time. If the jump is too much, step out to the squat and back in to standing. If this is not challenging for you, intensify this move by adding another squat at the bottom. Still not enough? Jump from your wide squat onto one leg-just make sure you alternate legs :)
Let's make this first day of June one to remember as we clean the slate and welcome the summer with a purpose. You have an awesome new workout to challenge your body, and a thoughtful intention to challenge your mind. When things start to get out of whack, worry not! You can always recenter, refocus, and get back to your intention. You my friend, are an ADORABLE BAD ASS, and you totally got this!