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Creamy Broccoli-White Bean Soup Recipe

Posted Aug 08 2012 12:00am

Updated with pictures of THE Grandma Lil planking her heart out!

For many years I had a strong dislike, albeit misplaced dislike, for yoga. I told all my friends and I quote, "I don't like yoga because I don't like to be quiet and I hate stretching." I had never stepped foot into a yoga studio but I was confident it wasn't for me. Go ahead, judge me for my closed mindedness. I approve of your disapproval.

It took my Grandma Lil to convince me otherwise. One day she asked if I would come to her yoga class. Of course I said yes, who says no to grandma?! So I went and so I changed.
Grandma Lil showing us how it's done!

I changed so much that the following year I became a Certified Yoga Instructor. But Grandma Lil kept at it and sure enough she holds plank now for TWO WHOLE MINUTES (Butt down too!).

Moral of the Story? "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you." ~Fred Devito
Get out and try something active; something you've never tried before. If you kind of like it; try it again. And again. Be disciplined. Easier said than done... find a partner. Use your Yoga Instructor, Fitness Trainer, friend, etc. to keep you accountable. Find a person that won't let you quit. And you won't. 

How to Plank Like Grandma:
Forearms too! (Apparently the weird dog statue is supervising.)
Grandma Lil is no joke; her trainer told her she should work on holding plank for three minutes. Now, I'm still scratching my head as to why a woman of my grandma's age (protecting the innocent here) should ever hold plank this long. But whatever, it seemed to work because Grams practically planks in her sleep now. 

Plank works the entire body; legs, booty, back, abdominals, shoulders, and arms. Not to mention it improves circulation, helps relieve minor fatigue, and builds core strength all while energizing your body (Check out the fabulous book,  Hatha Yoga Illustrated , for more on Plank!). 

Now that you know what you'll be working... it's time to start planking. 

First, don't make fun of me... I have a self timer that gives me all of three seconds to get into place before it snaps the picture. I just did 57 planks for you to view these two semi-aligned planks. I'm exhausted; you're welcome.

Allow me to point out some tips on correct planking form. Feet are hip width apart, legs straight, booty in line with your spine (tailbone tucked, if that makes sense), navel is being sucked up toward your spine to engage abs, shoulders over wrists, and neck long (look at the floor). Lastly, don't make my plank face; it's not pretty.

If this ain't happenin' today... modify your plank by bringing your knees to the floor. Start here and work your way to lifted knees, straight legs.

If the above plank is a piece of cake (for starters, you are not normal) allow me to introduce plank on your forearms. Welcome to Hell.

At first it seems alright. Let me stress, at first. Notice the similar alignment as the previous picture only now shoulders are over elbows. Stay here for two minutes and then try to tell me my Grandma Lil isn't a rockstar!! Peace out, Plankers!
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