Friday, August 28, 2020

Day 4 of 22: Standing "Sundog" One-Legged Push-ups

Today's push-up challenge works the balance a bit more than the upper arms, but you can vary the degree of resistance by controlling rate of descent with your core and engaging the arm muscles as you need. For more intensity, stand further away from the support (a wall is a more difficult option because of the forward bending today), for less, stand closer. 

It's important to remember to bend at the hip joints, not at the back. When we warmed up in class, we practiced some functional forward folding to get ready for this. Note how I'm pivoting at the hip joint, and having my hip flexors do the work of both stabilizing me and supporting the forward bending. The glutes and hamstrings are doing some decent amount of control as well.

I like the lifted leg to be straight, with the heel extended to encourage a long line and balanced effort as the upper body comes down. The energy of the lift of the back leg supports the low back (keeps glutes and hamstrings engaged) and reminds me to not sag in the upper back.

There's no need to drop the chest all the way the to chair; go slow and steady to feel the effort in the arms and notice the weight distribution as you become a bit of a human see-saw!

Eleven on one side, then switch legs and do another eleven, with a wrist stretch after!

To donate to my challenge, click here:

To start your own challenge, click here:

Day 3 of 22: Supported Standing Inclined One-Legged Push-ups

Today we do a #Silversneakers sanctioned one-legged push-up. The lifted leg is either bent (knees aligned) or straight, with the inner thigh, glute, and hamstring engaged to keep that leg strongly in position. Hips, shoulders, and ankles stay in alignment with a hugging in of the inner thigh muscles and abs just as if you were doing a standard horizontal push-up. The upper back/shoulder girdle is engaged so that the space between the shoulder blades doesn't "sag;" this way we are protecting the rotator cuff, the neck, and using the strength of the rhomboids, trapezius, serratus, and subscapularis muscles appropriately to support our bodies.

The hands again are on a wall or chair, and elbows will bend to a halfway point, hugged in toward the ribs like a "chaturanga" pushup to activate the triceps on the upper arm. Finger pads grip the surface to activate the hand muscles and connect the kinetic chain of muscles all the way up the arm. Shoulder are down from the ears, and shoulders are aligned with the hips and back heel in a "straight" line (angle). 

We take a little break after our first set of eleven, switch legs, then complete our second set on the other leg. We finish our challenge with a nice chair downward dog to stretch.

To donate to my challenge, click here:

To start your own challenge, click here:

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Day 2 of 22: Lunging Incline Push-ups

For this challenge, we take a lunge position, front knee over ankle, back heel lifted. Hands are on a chair or a wall, and elbows will bend to a halfway point, hugged in toward the ribs like a "chaturanga" pushup to activate the triceps on the upper arm. Finger pads grip the surface to activate the hand muscles and connect the kinetic chain of muscles all the way up the arm. Shoulder are down from the ears, and shoulders are aligned with the hips and back heel in a "straight" line (angle). 

The bending of the knee releases the body toward the chair and the arms and the leg resist the body weight. The benefit here is that the legs are also supporting the body weight more than a pushup with two straight legs, offering quite a bit more support for an accessible pushup. 

We switch forward legs after one set of eleven, to finish our challenge. 

To donate to my challenge, click here:

To start your own challenge, click here:

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Day 1 of 22 - #22Pushups #ActiveHeroes Support Veterans

I was challenged by the dazzling Melissa Booker ( to take on the 22-pushup challenge to raise awareness and money for programs that help thousands of veterans. Read more about the challenge here:  and BY ALL MEANS contribute to my fundraising efforts here:

I will taking on this challenge with an accessible yoga spin, meaning the variety of pushup in which you'll see me partake will be designed for accessibility, adapted for differently abled bodies, and overall, gentle but effective in terms of alignment and functional movement.

Day 1: Gentle incline pushups using a chair (or wall), broken into two sets of eleven:

Video recorded August 25, 2020. More to come!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Guest Article: How to Sleep Your Way to Better Mental Wellness

submitted by Cheryl Conklin of Wellness Central

Poor quality sleep results in a whole host of negative mental effects, from daytime stress and mental fatigue to disorders like anxiety and depression. If you want to boost your mental well-being, improving your sleep should be your number one priority! Sleeping better will help you feel energized, emotionally stable, and cognitively sharp all day long. Consider making some of the following changes to your lifestyle habits and daily routine to get more high-quality sleep every night.

Optimize Your Bedroom

Your bedroom environment can make or break your sleep. Make some adjustments to transform your sleeping space into a relaxing sanctuary!

Cut the clutter. You’ll find it much easier to relax without piles of stuff around you.

Find ways to keep your bedroom cool, even if you don’t have an air conditioner.

Make your bedroom darker with blackout shades — or wear an eye mask!

Consider incorporating stress reducers into other rooms in your home as well.

Adopt a Bedtime Routine

A bedtime routine can help you close out the day and make sleep come a little more easily.

Turn to BYOM Yoga videos for a relaxing practice before bed.

Listen to music that can help you relax or accompany your meditation.

Take a warm bath before bed to encourage your core body temperature to drop.

Instead of scrolling on your phone before bed, pick up a good book!

Try Natural Sleep Aids

Certain natural supplements, teas, and essential oils can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy better quality sleep during the night.

CBD oil has been found to relieve insomnia and promote more ⦁ restful sleep. 

Melatonin supplements may help you cope with occasional insomnia.

The scent of lavender has been shown to promote relaxation.

Sipping passionflower tea before bed may help induce sleepiness.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

From exercising to avoiding junk food, boosting overall health can enhance your sleep quality.

Learn healthy habits for better sleep hygiene.

Remember that some exercise is better than no exercise at all!

Understand how a healthy diet can help you wake up feeling more refreshed.

Before bed, avoid sleep-disturbing food and drink like alcohol, spicy foods, and fatty snacks.

Your ticket to better mental well-being may be as simple as improving your sleep! Of course, this is often easier said than done. If you have trouble falling asleep at night—or you have a habit of staying up too late—start making some simple lifestyle changes to improve your sleep habits today! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

I'm Coming Back to the YMCA

Starting Tuesday August 25 I'll be venturing back to the Copley-Price YMCA in San Diego for in-person Vinyasa Yoga classes from 9-9:55AM weekly. Classes will be held outside, and each student has to go through a quick evaluation for a temperature check and a few basic questions ("Have you recently had a fever?" "Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19?" for example) before being allowed (or not) to attend class. Every student must bring their own yoga equipment (mat, blocks, straps, towels), and there will be demarcations on the ground for mat placement to ensure proper social distancing. 

In all likelihood if I am going to walk around the class for instructions, I will be wearing a mask. Anyone walking through the building also must be wearing a face covering as well.

I highly recommend bringing good hydration as late August/early September here in San Diego is our hottest time of year. I hope that our place on the YMCA campus will have adequate shade, and that our meeting time offers us some cool morning breezes versus the heat of the day later on. 

My previous Sunday "Vinyasa" classes were less traditional flow yoga and more an exploration of yoga movement and philosophy, sometimes set to music. We didn't do a continuous flow as one might expect, but often repeated some sequences at different paces, and held postures to examine how we might change our energy and balance with our breath. 

This will not be a "power" class; it will be accessible for even beginners. But, as a mat yoga class, it will require being on the "floor" and being comfortable getting up and down from floor level and/or on the knees (no chairs are provided). I apologize for being limited this way, but for now, this is what is being provided due to COVID-19 restrictions.

For those that are unable to attend this class, or this class does not meet your yoga needs, PLEASE consider attending one of my free online classes: Chair Yoga Monday through Friday at 11am PST; Accessible Yoga for Physical Disabilities Mondays and Thursdays at 10am PST; Accessible Yoga for Special Needs Mondays and Fridays at 1pm PST; and Kids Yoga Wednesdays at 10am PST. Email me at for a waiver and the ZOOM link.

You can also see prerecorded videos at (just click the link up top),

Stay well, friends.