Instead of running on Saturday I headed over to Evolve Movement (North Raleigh) where I paid the drop in fee to attend Tina’s (one of my favorite teachers of all time) class.
Before savasana and after our flow (complete with what felt like a hundred or so chaturangas), Tina challenged the class to a bit of core work that I had never tried. In the background she cued up Eminem as the audible motivator for the upcoming task (my kind of girl).
With thinly folded blankets placed under flattened feet (off the mat and on the slippery floor) she demonstrated for the class. Beginning in straight armed plank the goal was to muster as much core strength as possible to keep hands planted in place while pulling straight legs into downward dog. From dog, by sliding the blanket back along the floor, we were supposed to end with straight legs in plank, core engagement creating the steady smooth movements. Back and forth (slowly, as it is difficult) Tina made little grunting noises (more for our benefit than hers I think) and told us to pray to whomever we needed to pray to for strength during what would turn out to be an incredibly intense ab workout disguised in a sneakily fun package.
I could barely get the blanket to cooperate. As I tried to pull my legs into dog my knees buckled and bent to the floor. The blanket slid everywhere but where I needed it to go and as I maneuvered back to plank, slipped too far off course and again ended on my knees. Back up I went to try try again, sweat dripping down my face, determined to get the blanket and my body to cooperate. When I was too tired to continue, smiling and exasperated by the degree of hidden toughness, I sat to watch the attempts of the others who to my relief were also fighting to control the blankets underfoot.
Two days later on this Monday morning I can still feel the effects of the class from deep within my belly. My side abdominals pulled and engaged when I reached up to get out of my bed and I can feel the deepest part of my core, my support, alive and engaged.
Ab work ranks below arm work on my list of favorite things to do, but after a summer of little running and lots of S’mores, they are at the top of my goal list (at least until marathon training kicks into full gear at which time I will try to maintain balance by continuing the practice).
“Blanket Sliding” is being added to the arsenal of healthy activities to make me strong and centered as I enter back into the land of personal health and well-being.
Try it! And let me know what you think!