April Adjusts: Fix Your Plank to Chaturunga

Next up in APRIL ADJUSTS with myself and @sophia.bc : PLANK to CHATURANGA

So, 2nd up in our #AprilAdjusts campaign is Plank to “Chaturanga” (half plank). It’s a staple transition in vinyasa classes, and otherwise, are poses in their own right. When students, or any yogi, gets tired and lacks the strength or awareness of how to do these properly, or what an ‘easier’ variation is, you end up putting a lot of stress through the delicate front parts of the shoulder joint (ligaments, tendons, rotator cuff). Shoulder pain is such a common yoga injury – and it really shouldn’t be!
.
Main points to consider:
PLANK
💫Hands under shoulders, with hands spread.
💫Push up and away from floor, so rounding upper back between shoulder blades.
💫Curl tailbone under you, so deep core engages.
💫Legs are super strong and engaged (bum, hamstrings, quads, calves).
💫If you can’t keep tailbone curled, then drop to knees without moving position of toes or hands – push hips forward, lift chest, pull shoulders down, then curl tailbone, so straight line of energy from knees to crown of head.

HALF PLANK
Maybe you can hold full plank, but not half plank, and that’s when shoulder injuries happen. So maybe now, drop to your knees and then lower to half plank.
💫Literally keep the same shape in the body as full plank – legs strong, tailbone curled, so lower back stays in a neutral position.
💫Bend elbows no more than 90º and draw them into side ribs (or take this pose all the way to the floor).
💫Actively pull your shoulder blades down your back body, feeling side body muscles engage, and muscles between shoulder blades.
💫If you collapse your hips on the way down, do this pose on your knees! Chest and hips must stay the same level as you lower, with the collar bones spreading apart, so the shoulders don’t roll in.
.
These are tough poses, so take the time to build strength and awareness of which muscles are engaging to keep the shoulders and lower back safe, by doing them on your knees for a while. It halves the weight your upper body and core need to deal with! If you have any questions, or need other options for these postures, just let us know!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim & Sophia x

||APRIL ADJUSTS with @kimhartwell @sophia.bc ⭐️PLANK to CHATURANGA⭐️|| So, 2nd up in our #AprilAdjusts campaign is Plank to “Chaturanga” (half plank). It’s a staple transition in vinyasa classes, and otherwise, are poses in their own right. When students, or any yogi, gets tired and lacks the strength or awareness of how to do these properly, or what an ‘easier’ variation is, you end up putting a lot of stress through the delicate front parts of the shoulder joint (ligaments, tendons, rotator cuff). Shoulder pain is such a common yoga injury – and it really shouldn’t be! . Main points to consider: PLANK 💫Hands under shoulders, with hands spread. 💫Push up and away from floor, so rounding upper back between shoulder blades. 💫Curl tailbone under you, so deep core engages. 💫Legs are super strong and engaged (bum, hamstrings, quads, calves). 💫If you can’t keep tailbone curled, then drop to knees without moving position of toes or hands – push hips forward, lift chest, pull shoulders down, then curl tailbone, so straight line of energy from knees to crown of head. HALF PLANK Maybe you can hold full plank, but not half plank, and that’s when shoulder injuries happen. So maybe now, drop to your knees and then lower to half plank. 💫Literally keep the same shape in the body as full plank – legs strong, tailbone curled, so lower back stays in a neutral position. 💫Bend elbows no more than 90º and draw them into side ribs (or take this pose all the way to the floor). 💫Actively pull your shoulder blades down your back body, feeling side body muscles engage, and muscles between shoulder blades. 💫If you collapse your hips on the way down, do this pose on your knees! Chest and hips must stay the same level as you lower, with the collar bones spreading apart, so the shoulders don’t roll in. . These are tough poses, so take the time to build strength and awareness of which muscles are engaging to keep the shoulders and lower back safe, by doing them on your knees for a while. It halves the weight your upper body and core need to deal with! If you have any questions, or need other options for these postures, just let us know 🙏🏼 #AprilAdjusts #Yoga #Alignment

A post shared by Tone What You Own ™ ✌🏼💛 (@kimhartwell) on

Follow:

April Adjusts: Fix Your Downward Dog

So as promised, 1st up in our #AprilAdjustscampaign is 🐶 “Downward Facing Dog” (Adho mukha śvānāsana), probably the most common asana in your practice. Also the one we tend to see some alignment issues with which can be easily adjusted.
.
Main points to remember:
✨Start in a plank position, this will give you a good idea of distance for your dog shape.
✨Tailbone lifts up and back.
✨As the toes turn slightly in and feet hip width, bend the knees at first to keep length in the spine.
✨Hands spread widely but comfortably with a suction-cup feeling in the palms (not straining).
✨Fingertips and knuckles of the palms grounding (hasta bandha), especially between 1st finger and thumb.
✨Bicep wrapped and facing forward, to spread shoulder blades actively away from the spine. ✨Ribs pull in.
✨Send energy out the tailbone, softening heels down, but not necessarily getting them to the ground – this has a lot do with ankle dorsiflexion (the majority of people can’t get the heels to the ground initially).
✨Eventually work towards straightening the legs but keeping a gentle anterior tilt of the pelvis, so the back is lengthening, not rounding.
✨If you find your shoulders want to go over your hands (which strains the wrists), bend the knees to lift tailbone up and back – moving the arms back and away from the wrists, this a great place to start with your Down Dog alignment.
.
Let us know any questions and do let us know how you get on with it. This is great to work on, especially if you’re new to yoga. Remember yoga is for EVERYONE!
Everyones body is different so we each look a little different in each posture and that’s totally fine! #AprilAdjusts #yoga#alignment

 

Sending health & happiness,

Kim & @sophia.bc x

||APRIL ADJUSTS – DOWNWARD FACING DOG⭐️|| So as promised, 1st up in our #AprilAdjusts campaign is 🐶 "Downward Facing Dog” (Adho mukha śvānāsana), probably the most common asana in your practice. Also the one we tend to see some alignment issues with which can be easily adjusted. . Main points to remember: ✨Start in a plank position, this will give you a good idea of distance for your dog shape. ✨Tailbone lifts up and back. ✨As the toes turn slightly in and feet hip width, bend the knees at first to keep length in the spine. ✨Hands spread widely but comfortably with a suction-cup feeling in the palms (not straining). ✨Fingertips and knuckles of the palms grounding (hasta bandha), especially between 1st finger and thumb. ✨Bicep wrapped and facing forward, to spread shoulder blades actively away from the spine. ✨Ribs pull in. ✨Send energy out the tailbone, softening heels down, but not necessarily getting them to the ground – this has a lot do with ankle dorsiflexion (the majority of people can’t get the heels to the ground initially). ✨Eventually work towards straightening the legs but keeping a gentle anterior tilt of the pelvis, so the back is lengthening, not rounding. ✨If you find your shoulders want to go over your hands (which strains the wrists), bend the knees to lift tailbone up and back – moving the arms back and away from the wrists, this a great place to start with your Down Dog alignment. . Let us know any questions and do let us know how you get on with it. This is great to work on, especially if you’re new to yoga. Remember yoga is for EVERYONE 🧘🏼‍♀️Everyones body is different so we each look a little different in each posture and that’s totally fine! #AprilAdjusts #yoga #alignment @sophia.bc

A post shared by Tone What You Own ™ ✌🏼💛 (@kimhartwell) on

Follow:

The North Face #SheMovesMountains Launch

Last night my fellow adventurer and all round awesome explorer buddy Sophie Everard (of Mad to Live blog and retreats) and I attended The North Face #SheMovesMountains launch party.

So What’s the Campaign All About?

The campaign #SheMovesMountains itself is targeted at raising the voices of women who are pushing boundaries in all areas of exploration. This is their very first all women campaign, with the likes of awe inspiring pin up adventure women like Margo Hayes, Hilaree Oneill, Ashima Shiraishi and Fernanda Maciel. Covering no small feat, these adventurers are most certainly in line with the North Face’s campaign of breaking boundaries: 

  • Fernanda Maciel is an ultra-distance runner and The North Face athlete, who has broken the record for the fastest female time up and down Mount Kilimanjaro. Fernanda ran the Tanzanian route from Umbwe Gate to the summit and then down to the Mweka Gate, in just 10 hours and 6 minutes, breaking the previous record of 12 hours and 58 minutes held by Anne-Marie Flammersfeld by nearly three hours.
  • Bonita Norris has climbed the world’s highest mountains, including being the youngest climber to climb Mt Everest. In 2016 she made an attempt on K2 in Pakistan and in 2017 published her first book The Girl Who Climbed Everest.
  • Ashima Shiraishi At the age of thirteen-year-old, Ashima Shiraishi is already one of the strongest climbers in the world. The New York Times has called her a “Bouldering Phenom” while Outside Magazine coined the “Young Crusher.” And rightfully so: no climber, male or female, has ever bouldered at such high level at such a young age.
  • Margo Hayes – Since she began climbing in 2008, she has quickly become a consistent podium finisher in sport and bouldering competitions around the world, first in the youth categories and now in the open age category. But not only is she the reigning national champion in women’s sport climbing, she is quickly proving she can keep up with the best in outdoor climbing as well. In February 2016, she entered the ranks of the world’s most elite climbers by sending La Rambla and 5.15a route in Siurana, Spain.

Absolutely stellar line up if you ask me! Be sure to check it out at www.northface.com where you can see the incredible campaign championing women who break boundaries and the push towards even more incredible female adventures and explorers worldwide.

 

The Campaign Launch Event

At last nights event I can honestly say I’ve never felt so empowered and more ready and raring to take on bigger and better challenges in my field. As an avid rock climber but fairly new to the field, I was completely starstruck to be within the presence of such mountaineering, trail running and climbing greatness as mega athletes Fernanda Maciel and Bonita Norris.

The event was pumped full of all the inspiration any pro adventure (and adventure newbie) could ask for. We heard the tales of great summits achieved by extraordinary women in adventure. Then we were lucky enough to have an hour long Q&A session with Fernanda Maciel, Bonita Norris, Farrah Storr (Editor of Cosmopoliton), Lou Boyd (Editor of Cooler magazine) and Carly Wilford (DJ, presenter and all round good time girl!).

 

Key take home points?

  • Once we see women in mountaineering and adventuring, you know you can do it. By seeing female role models in the field like in campaigns such as the North Face, women will be more likely to follow suit. Many current adventurers role models are male. This campaign is amazing for highlighting the women role models out there in the sport.
  • By showing representaion of women in the sport, the expectation of women will be allowed to be higher. By spreading the campaigns message and support for women in adventure, we can begin to believe and live by the fact that she absolutely does move mountains! 
  • The future is about moving mountains, going that extra mile, not just following the beaten track. The women on the Q&A panel each described the challenges they faced and the importance of those challenges for where they have got to today.
  • When asked about facing challenges Fernando Maciel simply put it that you have to “understand what fear is – it’s there to teach you and is usually temporary. See it as a positive and not negative. You’ll always be stronger from it. It doesn’t mean run away, it means face it head on. It teaches you something about yourself. Move through it, there’s always something great on the other side.”
  • Farrah Storr elaborated on this point further….”Feel the fear, do it anyway and learn from it”. She spoke about the importance of knowing where you want to go. Trying to make those 5,10,15 year plans. Once you know where you’re going, you’ll be less likely to veer off course, taking the path around a tricky obstacle. “If you know what is on the other side you will go through it. It’s all about not moving horizontally.”
  • When we spoke about obstacles in the way, Carly Wilford explained, what we go through is a transformation. It might feel irrelevant at the time but it’s actually part of the journey. Wilford’s infectious personality and down to earth manner is enough to motivate even the strongest pessimist. Put wonderfully bluntly she says it’s about being brave enough to say: “Fuck it I’m going my own way. Creating my own path. I’m going to do things differently. Connecting with myself. I’m here to do something different. That’s why I don’t fit in.” 
  • Lou Boyd echoes this saying you’re…“Doing something right if your legs are dangling off the edge a bit”
  • What if it fails? Again, solid advice from mega journalist mogul Storr: “never walk past a mistake, examine what went wrong and learn from it”.

Real World Implementation

Not only is the campaign incredible for women in the sport, The North Face also practice what they preach. Not only are they pushing this phemonemal campaign but they have also teamed up with The Outward Bound Trust (who do a number of incredible initiatives to introduce an entire generation of girls to the benefits of the outdoor exploration. With the support of The North Face’s NeverStop Community, together they lead over 1600 young women in the wild – from venturing out to a crag to learn the rock climbing basics, hiking on foot deep into the mountains, to kayaking amongst seals.

Now I don’t know about you but I’m ready to go on an absolutely move mountains. The force is absolutely female. Lets get adventuring and conquering the incredible feats of both men and women before us.

Find out more about the North Face campaign and the Outward Bound Trust here. 

Stay tuned on the blog for my introduction to rock climbing as well as exciting events in the pipeline. Can’t wait that long? Check out my interview with UK bouldering legend Shauna Coxsey here. Happy climbing team!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x

Follow:

April Adjusts Campaign – Make Your Asana More Effective

So excited to team up with my girl Sophia Butler-Cowdry to bring you our #AprilAdjusts campaign this month. Throughout the month of April we will be taking you through alignment cues for asanas (postures) that frequently come up in yoga classes. As yoga teachers we see a lot of small adjustments that can be made from our students which will instantly allow you to flow more efficiently and effectively through your yoga practice.

We really hope these videos will help clarify some alignment questions that you might have. We’d love to see how you get on with the postures, so let us know how you get on and if you have any questions fire away! 1st #AprilAdjusts dropping this week – the infamous Downward Dog (Adho much śvānāsana), stay tuned!

||APRIL ADJUSTS✨|| So excited to team up with my girl @sophia.bc to bring you our #AprilAdjusts campaign this month. . Throughout the month of April we will be taking you through alignment cues for asanas (postures) that frequently come up in yoga classes 🧘🏼‍♀️ As yoga teachers we see a lot of small adjustments that can be made from our students which will instantly allow you to flow more efficiently and effectively through your yoga practice 😊 . We really hope these videos will help clarify some alignment questions that you might have. We’d love to see how you get on with the postures, tag us and let us know how you get on. Any questions fire away! 1st #AprilAdjusts dropping this week – the infamous Downward Dog (Adho much śvānāsana), stay tuned! #Yoga #AlignmentTips #AprilAdjusts

A post shared by Tone What You Own ™ ✌🏼💛 (@kimhartwell) on

Follow:

Fit & Flow Retreats – Kefalonia 2-7th Oct 2018

Fit & Flow Retreats in Kefalonia

Tuesday 2nd – Sunday 7th October 2018 Kefalonia, Greece

 

 

So excited to announce my partnership with F Zeen Retreat Hotel as part of my retreat collaborations with Katie Gray (personal trainer and pilates instructor). Our brand of Fit & Flow Retreats encompass luxury health and fitness retreats set in the most tranquil settings around the world. Created by myself (a Personal Trainer & Yoga Teacher) and Katie Gray (a Personal Trainer & Pilates Instructor) our signature package allows you to leave the daily stresses of home life behind and escape to a world of wellbeing.

Nourishing the mind, body and soul through a combination of fitness, nutrition and ultimate relaxation. You can be sure you will leave feeling rested, rejuvenated and restored.

The Location

Fit & Flow Retreats have partnered with F Zeen Retreat Hotel to bring you the perfect wellness getaway. Set on the idyllic Greek island of Kefalonia, F Zeen Retreat is a boutique adults-only hotel, encompassing panoramic views of the Ionian Sea, set in luxurious surroundings, alongside the warmth and friendliness of the local culture.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What you can expect from your Fit & Flow Retreat stay in Kefalonia:

  • 5 nights stay in the incredible F Zeen Retreat Hotel
  • 2 workouts a day in the glorious surroundings including our yoga hut and the infamous Lourdas Beach
  • Training tailored to your preference including HIIT, Pilates, sunrise/set yoga & meditation 📿 from renown London fitness trainers Katie Gray & Kim Hartwell
  • Locally sourced nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • ‘Pick-me-up’ smoothies, freshly made nourishing juices and infused herbal tea and coffee
  • 1 x 60 minute spa treatment at the hotel’s Idor Wellness Spa.
  • A wonderful scenic hike of the island.
  • Plenty of time to relax and unwind
  • Hands on instruction and wellness mentoring and advice.
  • 
(+ plenty of exciting add ons including SUP. Jeep safaris Kayaking, 1-2-1 Yoga, Pilates and Personal Training & Greek cooking lessons).
Prices start at just £220/night. For more information & to book click here. We can’t wait to help you to feel wonderfully rested, rejuvenated and restored.
Sending health and happiness,
Kim & Katie x
Fit & Flow Retreats 
Follow: