Three playful moves take care of brain and body.
Seeking a summer of love this year? Skip it. Instead dedicate yourself to a summer of self-love, and by that we mean daily self-care. These moves from celebrity fitness and self-care expert Jill Miller will start a revolution in your body. Combine them with a daily movement practice, a healthy diet and regular rest and recovery and you will glow from the inside out.
To get started, you’ll need one Coregeous Ball.
Equipment: Coregeous Ball
So many abdominal exercises are concentrated on one area at a time—think plank, side plank, revolving plank—and all of them are executed within very defined limits. This exercise deliberately asks you to create some chaos in your core while simultaneously asking your core to reconcile the playfulness. It’s great for improving dynamic stabilization of your torso: By training the muscles that support the 70 joints of your spine to be more facile and fluid, you’ll build your endurance for the whirlwind of motion the world around you requires.
- Lie on your back. Place the Coregeous Ball under your sacrum.
- Activate your abdominal muscles, lift your feet off the ground and start your kicking legs around—but don’t let yourself fall off the ball.
- Your abdomen and torso will rally to keep you on top of the ball, and if you feel you’re entering the danger zone, all you have to do is place a foot on the ground to stabilize yourself.
Hand Dance Meditation
This meditation is play, in slow motion. It’s a complete dance for your hands, but even more, it’s a chance to watch the field of play in your mind. I learned this while studying a form of Japanese modern dance called Butoh.
- Set a timer for 5 minutes.
- Let your breath come in and out as you close your eyes and make a fist with one hand. Leave the other hand open.
- For the next five minutes, slowly transition your hand positions, moving in miniscule increments to open your closed hand and close your open one.
Lateral Abdominal Churning (Nauli Kriya)
I learned this move over a decade ago, and in many ways, it has become my signature. It’s a bizarre move because you do it without any air in your body and you ask your abdominal muscles to collaborate on a movement that seems utterly exotic and alien. Your adult mind might be puzzled, but show this move to a kid, and he or she will figure it out in a week.
- Take a massive breath in and then exhale, getting rid of all the air in your lungs and spread your ribs.
- Lock your hands on your thighs and activate your obliques, attempting to rotate your torso without actually rotating your torso.
- Your ribs, pelvis and spine will stay relatively stationary as your obliques activate. Then isolate both sides of your obliques at once to thrust your rectus abdominus forward. Give your guts a chance to play and benefit from the internal massage.
Photo credit: Todd Cribari, inspirostudio.com
Hair and make-up: Mariah Nicole, mariahnicole.com