Flat Belly

Day 6 – SIX PACK ABS – 30 Days of Yoga

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

What’s up, everyone? Welcome to day six of 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene. I’m Adriene. And today, on day six, cue “Eye of the Tiger.” We are going to do Six Pack Abs! Just kidding. If you know me at all, you know that I don’t really prescribe or subscribe to that whole obsession. But I do want to work my core, and I would like to feel my abs, my abdominals.

It’s going to help me in my yoga practice. It’s going to help my back, and it’s just a little something to spice up our life in this 30-day challenge. So don’t panic. Take a deep breath in, and we’re going to begin. All right, my friends. So we’re going to come flat on our backs today. If you have a block, you might grab it. It might be handy. If you don’t have one, it’s okay. You can totally use your imagination, and we can do just as good of a workout.

So if you have one, grab it now. If not, it’s okay. You’re going to do a little yoga for the imagination. So let’s meet in a flat back position here. Hug the knees into the chest, and take a nice full breath in. I am so grateful, so happy and humble to share this experience with you, to guide you, and to rediscover our bodies, and get back to our finest, truest selves. Some of these moves may feel like, “Is this yoga, Adriene?” And I’m like, “Yeah, everything to me counts as yoga if I’m connecting my mind and body, my spirit and my breath.” So I encourage you to have a little fun. Try not to take it too seriously. If you need to take breaks, take breaks. Okay? Everyone just panicked. Just kidding. Okay. So we’re hugging our knees into the chest here, just finding that sweet rounding of the spine. You might rock a little back and forth, massaging the lower back. You might crawl your shoulder blades down a little bit towards the base of your spine to create a little space between the ears and the shoulders, and also the chin and the chest, lengthening through the back of the neck.

Cool. Then we’re going to interlace the fingertips and bring them behind the head, elbows nice and wide. Keep hugging the knees up towards the chest. And you might even kick your toes up a couple of times. So just find that sweet spine to earth connection, so really pressing the lower back down onto the mat. Elbows are going to come really wide here. I’m going to draw my knees up so they’re stacked over my hip points, or maybe slightly further in to just secure that stamping of the lower back on the mat. So really supportive in the lower back today. Then I’ll hinge at the knees, and the shins can become parallel to the ceiling. Now, if you have a block… Again, if you don’t, it’s no biggie. You can use your imagination, and you can still find the squeezing. But if you have a block, you might bring it this way, or this way works, too, depending on your body type. And just find the little squeeze in the legs. Now, already, I haven’t even really done anything yet, and I’ve engaged that Uddiyana Bandha, drawing the navel in and up towards my heart.

I’m really stepping lower back to the earth. And then my elbows are flying up here because I’m having too much to focus on, but I’m going to embrace the full body experience that is yoga. And find it a little easier, maybe by closing my eyes, rotating my ankles. My thumbs are extended. I’m even using my thumbs to give myself a little gentle massage on the neck. I joked about “Oh, six pack abs” for this video, but really we’re still working on a full body experience, sending breath, energy to any sore-type places and engaging, connecting to my center.

So we’re squeezing the inner thighs together. We’re pressing the navel down towards the spine, scooping the tailbone up, elbows nice and wide. Take a deep breath in. On an exhale, lift your head, your neck, your shoulders up. Resist the urge to crunch here. Keep the elbows nice and wide. Imagine a big, juicy piece of fruit or something between your chin and your chest. In fact, send your gaze up here after you get the hang of it. Send your gaze up and back so you can keep it nice and open. Now, engage to the belly. Make sure that lower back is taken care of. Squeeze the block or imaging squeezing the block. Inhale in. Lift up a little higher. Lift your chin up, your heart up. Send your gaze up and back and exhale out. This time, inhale lower, rest. Nice, everyone. So we’re going to move in and out of that, little yoga lifts really creating a full body experience.

So use that block. Keep the elbows wide. Here we go. Inhale, in. Exhale, lift up. Inhale, lower. Exhale, lift. Inhale, lower. Exhale, lift. Keep it soft and easy. So avoid this, guys. Take a look at the video for a second. Avoid this. Oh! You’re just creating tension. Yes, I’m working my abdominals, but I’m kind of doing the rest of my body a disservice. So let’s keep the integrity of the full body experience going as we get those abs, okay? I can’t believe I just did that. Having a little fun here on day six! Deep breath in, and exhale. Here we go. Lifting up. Inhale. Keep the skin of the face soft. Exhale, lift. Inhale, release. Exhale, lift and squeeze. And keep it going now in your own rhythm. Using the thumbs to cradle the neck. Keep it going. Close your eyes and smile. Keep the elbows wide. Getting some fresh blood, fresh oxygen into the system. Do two more.

Last one and we release. Awesome. Bring the soles of the feet together, knees nice and wide. If you have a block, you can take it up overhead. Use it for a pillow. If not, don’t worry. Now we’ll bring the hands to the belly for a little pat. Relax the weight of legs down, and just notice how you feel. Notice what those deep breaths did, and just observe. Awesome. So now we’re going to take the block and bring it between the ankles. And if you don’t have a block, you’re just going to zip the ankles together. So it might look like this, or it might look like this.

And I’ll do it without, just to be fair. I’m going to take my hands underneath my buttocks, thumbs kind of kissed together here. And I send the legs up nice and tall. So I’m either zipping together, or I’m squeezing my block together here, or even at the thighs, would actually work. I don’t really feel like that feels good for my hips. So either here, my friends, or we’re zipped together. It’s the same thing. We’re going to use our breath. We’re going to inhale in, scoop the tailbone up towards the sky. Exhale. Use the duration of your breath to lower down. Press into your knuckles. Let the heels hover here. Press in your heels, and then use an inhale to draw the navel down and inhale back up. Resist the urge to speed it up.

In fact, keep it nice and slow. Synchronize the breath to the movement and the movement to the breath. And that’s our yoga. Deep breath in, exhale. So you can close your eyes. Keep your neck in a nice straight alignment here, and move at your own pace. Smile. No clinching in the eyebrows, in the jaw. The heels might not go down as far as mine.

You might just come here before your lower back begins to come up, and that’s fine, too. It might look like this for you. And then in time, we’ll be able to lower down more. Stick with it. Take breaks when you need to. All right, my friends, we’re going to do two more. Inhale. Exhale. Last one. Let me hear your breath. Oh, a bunch of birds just flew by. Perfect timing. And then I rise back up and release. Release the arms, take the block away, and we hug the knees into the chest. Find what feels good here, rocking gently side to side, or maybe coming to peel the nose up towards the knees. We did it! Dit it! Cool. Release the soles of the feet to the mat. Interlace the fingertips behind the head once again. If you want to do a little yoga for the brain, reverse the cross, opposite thumb on top, and we send them back once again behind the head.

Elbows nice and wide. Take a second to just windshield-wiper the legs one way, breathing into the front body. Super nice here, so good. Right knee really driving down and then taking it through center. A little booty massage as we come through center, and take it to the right. Good, yes. Driving down through that left knee. Feeling this awesome stretch through this all this and the abdominals. Yes. Elbows pressing down. And then back up to center we go. All right! Here we go, my yogi friends, yogi bicycles. Inhale in. Exhale. Lift the knees up once again. Find that sweet kiss of the lower back to the earth. And then we’ll inhale in again, exhale. Let the head, the neck, the shoulders lift up. Inhale. Exhale. Right elbow to left knee. Extend the right leg out long. Keep the chest open, the heart open here. So we’re not really crunching but keeping this beautiful piece of fruit between our chin and chest. Inhale in. Exhale. Back to center. Inhale in again. And exhale, twist. Left elbow to right knee, and we extend.

Find that sit bone to heel connection. Inhale to center. And now we move more swiftly. Exhale, twist. Inhale center. Exhale, twist. Inhale, center. Navel draws down. Exhale, twist. Inhale, center. Exhale, twist. Now we’re going to move to double time. Smile. Imagine your favorite song. Stay soft through the fingertips. You can even release them here. We move, move, move. Find your breath. Let’s do ten more seconds here. And we release. Cross the right ankle over the left. Grab the outer edges of the feet. Begin to rock a little front to back. Fun! Back and forth, massaging the spine. And then we’ll rock all the way up to a nice cross-legged position, where we’ll sit up nice and tall, and observe the breath.

I love working these muscles, for obvious reasons, but also for my yoga practice. I get to explore more. The more strength I build, especially from my core and my center, the more I begin to fly in arm balances, the better my back feels on a daily basis. Open your mind when it comes to these muscles. Stay positive. It’s easy to get really down and feel like, “Ah, there’s no hope for me!” or to get really obsessed.

And so just stay present. Palms come to the knees. We’re going to inhale. Smooth the heart forward. Exhale around the spine, chin to chest. Inhale, moving in a circle. Exhale, chin to chest. Inhale, heart comes forward. And exhale, reverse your circles. Really targeting the belly here. Imagine one of those old-fashioned coffee grinders moving from your center. And then we’ll come back up to center. Bring the soles of the feet out into the earth. Fingertips forward. We do this kind of zombie move or this “Thriller” move as we slowly engage the abdominals. Why not have a little fun? Let’s do “Thriller.” Some other people… Never mind. Slowly roll it down. Oh, yeah. Okay, last move and then we’re done! And you can add on to the practice and continue, or you can settle in shavasana, one I do. But we’re going to take that block, if we have it. If you don’t have the block, no worries. We’re going to bring the knees back up over the hips. And this time, I’m going to send the right leg out long. I’m going to bring the block underneath the left. And then I’m going to switch, like we’re bobbing a basketball in between.

To up the ante, I’m going to inhale, exhale, lift my head, neck and shoulders. Passing through. You have variation one, variation two. Keep it going. Variation three is to come into more navasana, lifting up through the spine and working here. Now, if you’re like, “What the heck, Adriene? I said I didn’t have a block!” you can do this with anything. Not your cell phone. Let’s keep our cell phones out of it. But you can do this with anything or you can just work on the scissors. If you don’t have a block, you can work on scissors. So we’re, again, imagining that block going through. We’re going to work here for about 10 breaths in your variation choice. So maybe you’re just scissoring the legs. Palms underneath the buttocks. Maybe you have your block, and you’re passing it through at level one. A little yoga for the brain. Sorry, this is level one. At level two, or a third variation, this navasana variation. Woo hoo hoo hoo hoo! That’ll light a fire in your belly, all right! Ooh, mama! Let’s take five more breaths, wherever you are, block or no block. Take breaks when you need to.

Four more breaths. And then I don’t count or do 10 seconds, 30 seconds that often, but sometimes it’s nice to just have an ending point. Let’s do one more breath. And halleloo! Put the block aside. Everyone release your arms. Give yourself a big hug. You did an awesome job today. After this, you might head into shavasana right now, or you might flip over and practice a crow pose now that you’ve engaged the abdominals, or a side arm balance, or something like that for fun. So have a great day, everyone. Namaste. .