I don’t know about you, but I am jumping for joy. I have been preparing over the past several months to put together online material that is relevant, accessible, high quality, and affordable. It is with great pleasure and excitement that I share with you the launch of my online courses!
The material I’ll be sharing with you over the next several weeks and months will cover a range of topics — everything from getting your first full push-up and pull-up to holistic lifestyle courses and a special online course for women which will be released late 2016/early 2017.
In addition to sharing this online school and course launch with all of you, I’m also going to share with you the official launch of…
…rather than create a downloadable pdf of the blog I shared with you all a while back, I decided to take the material and create a FREE course for you that you can access at any time. If you are looking to develop your upper body pushing strength, want to feel the connection between your core and your arms, or want to begin the process of developing shapely shoulders and triceps, then this is a good place to start.
More exciting news in the days and weeks to come! If you’d like to keep abreast of all that is coming down the pike, be sure to follow me on any of the social media accounts in the sidebar; or subscribe to my newsletter (I’m only going to be emailing once per week unless I have something to share that cannot wait) and receive your FREE copy of “9 Secrets to Living a Vibrant Life.”
We all have different reasons why we feel called to do push-ups. Or, maybe we don’t. Maybe our only reason for doing a push-up is because our trainer says we should. o_0
Before diving into the nitty-gritty on how to go about developing the strength and confidence to rock your first push-up, or to develop the courage to push yourself out of the muck that you may fall face first in, and you will, if you are aware of it —
Yes, that did happen to me once while backpacking in Alaska. I was hiking along a river bed, tripped over a rather small rock, and, since I was wearing a heavy pack, the momentum propelled me forward until…you guessed it…I landed face-first in a pile of silty mud. Life has also landed me in the mud more times than I care to count, and it has always nourished me, even if it didn’t seem nourishing at the time. I digress…
I would invite you to consider your attention to your intention.
Set an intention.
Why do you want to do push-ups? What’s your intention behind wanting to learn this skill? Take a moment now, pull out your journal (or pen and paper if you are journal-less), and write down your why. Allow your imagination to flow. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. The answers you provide, or the questions you ask yourself, are unique to you.
How often do you want to work on developing this skill?
How much time, energy, and/or effort are you wanting and willing to devote towards learning the push-up? There is a fine balance between not training a skill enough and training it too much. This balance is unique to you, your goals, your lifestyle, and your biology.
Who will help keep you on track?
Although as women, we have somewhat fallen into the trap of needing to “be strong, independent,” and do everything on our own (sound familiar?), having a support network is crucial to keeping you on track and helping you keep going when you run face-first into the metaphorical wall. Develop a list of 3 people who are in your corner, who will be here to support you, and have your best interests at heart whilst in this role.
The good news is that push-ups can be practiced anywhere and at nearly any time! It’s a skill that is very simple to incorporate into ones’ day if the attention to intention is there. 😉
Cooking dinner? Take a few moments to do a couple of sets of push-ups using the counter. Watching TV? Do some push-ups during each commercial using the wall, the couch, or the floor for support depending upon your current level of ability.
Now that your intentions are clear, you’ve set up a support network, and are pumped, primed, and ready to go…
Push-Up Progression 1 – The Wall Push-Up
Perhaps you’ve never done a push-up before, or it’s been years since you’ve done one. If you’re getting back into training, this is a good place to start. Continue practicing the wall push-ups until you can do at least 3 sets of 10 reps with ease and good form.
Push-Up Progression Level 2 – the Bench Push-Up
The great thing about the bench push-up is that you can adjust the height to change the difficulty of the movement without needing weight machines, pulleys, or any fancy equipment. Begin by using a bench, or counter top that is roughly waist height. As you develop the ability to do 3 sets of 10 reps with ease, challenge yourself by moving to a bench of a lower height.
It may be challenging to set your ego aside and accept where you are. A lot of people want to go straight for the lower bench without honoring the journey to “get there.” Take your time. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. When we rush through things too quickly we set ourselves up for a metaphorical, or physical, face plant in the mud.
Do you ever find yourself doing that?
One you’ve become confident exploring the bench push-ups at lower and lower heights, it’s time to move on to Progression 3.
Push-Up Progression 3 – The Eccentric/Negative Push-Up
Pause for a moment and give yourself a virtual high five, a pat on the back, and a “heck yeah!”. Although it may seem like everyone can do push-ups, outside of people who regularly train and/or do this for a living, the majority of women have lost the capability to do a push-up.
The eccentric push-up will help you develop the strength and grease the groove towards doing a full push-up.
Watch for common compensation patterns as you get tired, such as: head dropping towards the floor, elbows splaying far out to the side, chest or bum dropping, bum lifting, and…holding your breath. Remember, breath = life, so breathe.
Push-Up Progression 4 – The Full Movement
Wowza! You’ve made it to the end of the Basic Pull-Up Progression Guide for Women. How cool is that?! You’re now rocking out all of the other push-up progressions and have hit the last phase in the basic push-up progression series. No doubt you’ve learned a lot about yourself along this journey. What have you discovered?
One thing I have noticed in my journey is that life will knock us down at times so that we can learn. There may not be a branch for you to grab onto to pull yourself up. There are times when no one may be there to extend a hand and help lift you up.
There will be times when you are invited to dive deep within yourself and find a way to push yourself up out of the muck. You’ll be invited to explore, experience and integrate an inner strength that perhaps you did not realize you had.
Incorporating holistic movement will help you do that. Training push-ups will help you do that. They’ll also help you develop those sexy, toned arms you desire, develop a strong core, and shapely legs, and they will help develop your pectoral muscles which may help keep your breasts on the perky and lifted side.
I would love to hear about your journey through this guide. Send me an email with your questions, progress photos and/or videos, and/or comment or ask questions directly on the YouTube video that corresponds to where you are at so others may benefit from the learning experience as well.
It’s not often that I feel I can recommend a program or a teacher with 100% confidence. Truth be told, for this picky practitioner, it’s a rarity – I can count on one hand the number of people who fall into this category. Benny Fergusson, aka The Movement Monk, is one.
Benny and I began working together roughly two years ago. I had a few simple, yet complex goals:
- reduce and/or eliminate the niggling pain in my left hip from a yoga injury (you can read about that here and here)
- dive back into a movement program after three years off from rehabbing from my hip injury
- find a way to increase my flexibility again while developing strength so I wouldn’t feel like a rag-doll, susceptible to injury
I had tried various neuro-muscular therapies, physical therapy, chiropractics, different variations of yoga therapeutics, contract-relax stretching, and so on and so forth…Not one of them provided me with a platform that allowed me to safely explore increasing my flexibility whist maintaining and developing strength and stability. No other program, or teacher, at the time provided the space and support for me to explore the “issues in my tissues,” until I began working with Benny and his Embodied Flexibility Program.
Not only has my flexibility increased, but my strength has as well. The niggling pain in my left hip is nearly eliminated, and I have jumped back into a full-on movement program. Check out the video below to see the improvement I experienced in just 30-days’ time.
If you have been on the search for a program that can safely increase your flexibility whilst stabilizing and strengthening your body, I highly recommend checking out the Embodied Flexibility Program. If you have any questions about my experience, ask below or send me an email. You are also welcome, at any time, to reach out and personally connect with Benny and his Movement Monk Team via the Movement Monk website.
Before beginning a movement program, I find it important to ask why my students want to move their bodies. To me, it’s important to uncover the intention behind their motivation, much like peeling back the curtain to take a peek at the Wizard of Oz.
Once you have discovered your Wizard, your intention, your why behind the why, I invite you to take it one step further.
Add a daily intention to your practice. A daily intention invites you to connect, or disconnect, with how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. Admittedly, I’m a huge advocate for using a movement practice as a means to connect.
Wait…isn’t that yoga then? Perhaps. We’ll save that for another post though. 😉
Is there something wrong with choosing movement as a means of disconnecting? There’s nothing wrong with it, but there may be a more integrative approach to disconnecting. Maybe you’ve just had an argument with your girlfriend and want to lift some heavy stuff in order to avoid feeling the hurt and anger you may be experiencing. Perhaps you’re working a job you despise, are feeling stressed out, and want to tune out that emotional stuff that’s right there in front of you. Maybe you find yourself spending your workout flexing in the mirror and showing your physique off as a means of covering up the feeling of feeling not good enough.
Would you be willing to (wo)man up and admit that to yourself? Would you be willing to make a conscious decision to disconnect? What might that look like?
Rather than blindly going in and using movement to disconnect,
- Notice how you feel and acknowledge your emotions.
- Be honest with yourself and your decision to choose to disconnect. For example, “I feel really pissed off right now and I am choosing to go lift some heavy sh&t because I don’t want to feel what I am feeling.”
- Take action and go disconnect. Give yourself permission to numb out. Notice how numbing out can feel darned good sometimes.
- Invite yourself to reconnect and do it. This is the step many don’t take. Oftentimes, people go through Steps 1-3, then go about the day because they feel better never having really given themselves permission to feel or express their emotions. Sooner or later, that choice often comes back to bite people in the arse.
Have you ever experienced a cavity? Ignore it long enough and it becomes quite sore. You see the dentist who happily gives you some novocaine and you’re feeling much better all numbed out. But, the novocaine wears off, you go home, and two days later you’re experiencing even more pain, a fever, and an abscessed tooth because the dentist didn’t address the underlying problem – he merely numbed it for you – and it got infected.
By consciously choosing to disconnect, we are giving ourselves permission to see the work that our inner dentist is or isn’t doing with us. Is your inner dentist asleep on the job? Is he/she consciously choosing to only partially do his/her job? Would you be willing to invite your inner dentist to roll up his/her sleeves and explore what fully doing his/her job – choosing to move with connection – feels like?
If you would like to begin the process of learning how to consciously disconnect or connect through movement, reach out to me in the comments below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you wake in the morning feeling like a bear? Do you feel sore, stiff, slow, and stagnant? In this blog, I share with you three simple tips to help decrease pain, stiffness, and stagnation that you may experience upon waking. Our animal friends do them without thinking, yet we as human beings, with our creature comforts, have largely disconnected from our animalistic nature. Yes, at the base level we are animals.
What are the three things nearly every animal does upon waking that we can also do to increase our mobility, flow, and wake up feeling better?
- Move your spine. What’s the first thing a cat or dog does upon waking? They stretch and move their spine. Follow along in this video to experience five simple movements that will help you free your spine upon waking.
- Eliminate and squat while doing so. Oftentimes, the second thing animals do (at least my dog does), is go to the bathroom and empty their bladder and/or bowels. As human being-animals, it’s necessary for the health of our system to regularly expel our excrement. Yes, we need to pee and poo. Urine, when we’re well hydrated, should be clear. We should be eliminating ~12 in. of feces per day. Now, there’s a lot about what our poop can tell us about our health, but I’ll save that for another day.
Why squat? For one, it’s a primal position that we, in our Western culture with our chairs and creature comforts, have largely moved away from. When we sit upon the loo, vs squat, the colon is placed into a less than ideal position for the elimination of feces. In addition, being in a squat position naturally helps with the motility of the excrement through our digestive system.
- Hydrate. After going numerous hours without water, animals will drink and drink and drink when they have arrived to a water source. What about us humans? I daresay, there are probably people out there whose first drink of the day is a cup of coffee or tea. Why is that a challenge? They both serve as diuretics, which make us pee more, and can lead to further dehydration when we’re already dehydrated upon waking.
Begin the day by drinking and eating nothing else until you have integrated 32 oz of pure, living, spring water with a little Himalayan or Celtic sea salt into your being. Hydrating with pure, living, spring water will help plump your intervertebral discs, hydrate your tissues, help reduce wrinkles and puffiness under the eyes, as well as provide hydraulic support to the entire system facilitating ease of movement (including defecation) and well-being.
I invite you to give this practice a try for the next week. I’d love to hear how you feel after you’ve begun the process of integrating these simple animal-inspired tips into your day.
From CrossFit to kitchen mops and broomsticks, the kind of movement you do largely depends upon you. In this video, I share with you some tips to uncover what kind of movement you should do. [Am I projecting? I may very well be.] The kind of movement you should do may not be what you are thinking.
What kind of movement do you do? And, what does movement mean to you? Are you experiencing challenges deciding what to do? If so, comment below.
Where do we start when we don’t know where to start? Oftentimes, we know where we want to be, know what we’d like to do, where we want to go, but lack the clarity to know where and how to start. In this video, I share some tips to help you take that first step on your journey.
You know what I mean, single folks, divorcees, widowers, in-a-non-relationship-relationship women…
The primary day where our existence and our rating on the love meter is determined by some external influence. The day when if we’re not in a loving, giving, accepting, compassionate, understanding, yada yada yada relationship, we tend to stick our heads in the ground, bury our face in the blankets, put on a sappy chick flick and cry our eyes out over the box of chocolates we bought for ourselves – the one day out of the year when we tend to feel the most lonely, worthless, and unlovable.
It’s time for that to change.
Your rating on the love meter has nothing to do with some external influence. It is not defined by how many roses you get, how many boxes of chocolates you receive, or whether or not you’re taken out to some fancy restaurant where you wine and dine on champagne and duck.
It’s time to toss that perception right in the ol’ recycling bin.
Your rating on the love meter has to do with how you love yourself. It’s time to drop the bullshit stories you keep telling yourself as to why you’re not lovable, why you’re not good enough, why you’re not pretty, desirable, etc., etc., and act like you are! Why? Because you are lovable. You are good enough. You are beautiful. You are desirable. You are worthy.
True love begins and ends with you, not someone else.
Wild-hearted one, I invite you to dust off your clothes, dry your eyes, lift your chin and go spoil yourself. Show yourself how much you love YOU this Valentine’s Day. Treat yourself to a massage. Buy yourself that heavenly box of artisan dark chocolates and enjoy them, under candlelight, with an amazing glass of organic red wine (or Guinness if you prefer beer). Get dressed up, and take yourself out on a date to the restaurant of your dreams. Order that champagne and duck and treat yourself like the goddess that you are.
Why? I believe in you. I believe you are worth it and I believe you are worth learning how to love every inch and aspect of your wonderful self.
“Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.” ~Courtney A. Walsh
How are you treating yourself this Valentine’s Day? I’d love to hear in your comments below, how you are embracing #fiercelove2016 for yourself this year.
Why do we do anything that we do? Why do we move our bodies? Why take care of our health? Why work? Why experience financial abundance? Why enter relationships?
Oftentimes, it boils down to a few things — we want to feel connected, we want to know that we matter, we want to experience freedom, support, and love in all that we do.
“We think sometimes that poverty is only being naked, hungry and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” ~Mother Teresa
I understand what it feels like…
…to have nothing. To choose to leave a relationship with no sense of security. To wonder where the next meal is going to come from.
…to feel so overwhelmed with emotional pain that you contemplate hurting yourself. Or, beg for physical pain so you can be distracted from feeling what is inside you.
…to numb yourself from feeling anything. To choose to bury the pain you are feeling so that you can go about your day and do what you must in order to survive.
…to put yourself last. To give until there is nothing left to give. To feel so exhausted and drained and broken that you cry because you no longer have the strength or the energy to open that jar of pickles.
…to experience physical pain. To not be able to roll over. To not be able to do what you love. To be told time and time again that this is something you are going to have to live with.
…to feel incredibly alone. Worthless. Undesirable. Not good enough.
I understand how it feels because I’ve been there.
That woman who left a marriage with two young boys and no means of support, was me. That woman who wondered where the next meal was going to come from, was me.
The woman who contemplated physical harm was me. And, I was the same woman who buried her emotions, who sustained two devastating injuries, and who stands here before you now having made the conscious decision to change —
To live a life of freedom, of infinite support, of love.
A life by design, created and fueled by my passions.
It’s a bit of a secret, and I am going to share it with you.
Learning to love yourself as much as you want to be loved by others.
Stay tuned for the launch of the #fiercelove2016 campaign. I’m so excited to share this with you, and look forward to a select number of people joining me, as I walk beside you on your personal journey towards fierce love.
When you begin to live your life by design, listen to and follow your organic timeline, and build your life, & your business around your passions, you may notice & experience the following:
- People leaving or entering your life. Or both.
- Conscious decisions to let go of what isn’t serving you.
- A tremendous amount of freedom in being.
- Excitement. Pure unbridled excitement.
- The beautiful and painful process of bursting forth from your shell, into the nourishing, dark mud.
- Unbound joy as you burst forth into the light of what is.
- Immense focus, clarity, and creativity.
- An unwavering commitment to yourself, your passion, your mission. Psst – it’s ok to take care of yourself and to do so beyond what you thought was possible.
- Profound awareness of your innate biological rhythm and what your essence needs in each moment.
- A zest for life that draws people in and welcomes them to ask and be curious about you…sparking the life force within others by shining your own light.
What are you most passionate about? What would you choose to do if time and money were of no issue? Are you doing that now? If not, why not?