Helps stretch and lengthen the sides of the body, opening up the muscles around the solar plexus. Stand with feet 2 to 3 feet apart, toes turned slightly out and knees bent. Extend arms to your sides. Keep your shoulders down. Inhale, and then exhale as you reach right with your arm and rib cage. Inhale as you come to center, and then reach left as you exhale. Repeat 16 times (eight on each side).
Works the upper portion of the abdominal muscles, building heat and strength in the solar plexus. Start on your back. Lift your legs straight up. Breathe in. Lift your shoulder blades and reach your right arm up and across toward your left foot as you exhale (your other arm should be relaxed, but not resting on the floor). Inhale as you come back down to start, with shoulder blades still raised.
Exhale as you reach your left arm toward your right foot. Keep your hips still. Alternate arms for 20 counts.
Quiet Your Mind: Solar Plexus Meditation
Quiets your mind and hones your focus so you are fully present in this workout. Because the solar plexus is associated with the third chakra, you focus on the color yellow, which is linked to this energy center of the body and believed to inspire confidence, will, and personal power. Lie back in Corpse pose, palms facing up. Picture a yellow flower, its petals fully open, at your solar plexus. With eyes closed, imagine it floating up with each inhalation and down with each exhalation, riding a slow, gentle wave. Focus on your breath and the flower for two to five minutes.
Releases and opens the solar plexus; also opens the body and facilitates breathing. This pose gives you the invigorating experience of a back bend without an actual back bend. By countering the ab contraction from the prior exercise, this pose helps to open and stretch the core muscles while relieving tension. Start by lying on a mat. Sit up on your elbows, bringing hands underneath your buttocks, palms down. Slowly arch your back, pressing your weight into your elbows and buttocks (not your head), until the crown of your head touches the ground. Breathe through your nose, with eyes open, for 30 to 60 seconds.
Aligns the body and helps with posture; strengthens and stretches the back muscles, also pivotal to core strength. With your feet 3 to 4 feet apart and slightly turned out, extend arms to the sides at shoulder level. Take a breath; on the exhalation twist your torso to the left, and then reach down and across to your left foot. Inhale as you return to center and repeat on the other side, being careful not to round your back. Alternate right and left. Repeat sequence 10 times (five on each side).
Using a Hula-Hoop may seem like child's play, but it requires coordination, drawing on all the dynamic muscles of your core, particularly ones you don't regularly use. Stand with your feet firmly on the ground and the Hula-Hoop around your waist. With the hoop up against your back and your hands holding on to the sides, throw the hoop to the right and catch it with your hips, rotating your hips to keep the hoop circling high around your waist. Aim to keep the hoop going for about three minutes. And have fun!
“It’s one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you’ll find outside the gym,” says Jenna Speicher, a personal trainer at the Grand Del Mar resort, in San Diego. “Plus, every playground has one.” Most of us probably run or walk by a dozen benches every day without even thinking about it.
“Look for a bench that’s stable and not too high,”Speicher says.“Most park benches are ideal.” Rainy day? A sturdy living room ottoman makes a fine backup. Speicher designed this bench-based routine, which takes advantage of body weight to both elevate heart rate and provide a total-body workout. Try the 20-minute series of exercises a few times a week to get your body into starting shape.
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
8 cipollini onions, peeled, trimmed, and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rings
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 medium butternut squash or sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 cups)
4 cups watercress
1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss apples with onions, 3/4 teaspoon oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; spread onto a rimmed baking sheet. Toss squash with 3/4 teaspoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; spread onto a separate rimmed baking sheet. Roast apple-onion mixture, tossing halfway through, until apples are tender and lightly browned and onions are just starting to crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, roast squash, tossing halfway through, until tender and browned, 40 to 45 minutes.
Toss watercress with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and the vinegar; season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Transfer salad to a serving platter, and top with apple-onion mixture, squash, and walnuts.
One place that I would like to visit is Seattle. It is definetly a change from Texas. The thought of getting away to an unknown place sounds even better when I think of going with someone special. I like the idea of being in a new city where I can wonder the streets and hang out at local coffee-shops. Someday I will get to Seattle.
Flying Fish Company (pictured). Once just a roaming truck, now a seafood shack adjoining a produce market as well, Flying Fish has existed in some form since 1979. Today, Lyf (pronounced “leaf”) Gildersleeve runs his own branch of his father’s Idaho company with a commitment to good sources. Fish like Oregon albacore tuna and halibut cheeks are fresh right off the boat, never frozen. Our pick: Live Oregon razor clams, along with Gildersleeve’s tips on how to prepare them. 2310 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.; flyingfishcompany.com
Taylor Shellfish at Melrose Market. No one knows oysters like Taylor, Washington’s premier producer. At the Seattle storefront, which doubles as an oyster bar, shopping is often more show-and-taste than pick-and-pay. They also carry live mussels, scallops, clams, and crabs. Our pick: A few dozen small, jewel-like Kumamotos. That gorgeous frilly edge makes them the perfect appetizer. 1521 Melrose Ave.; taylormelrose.com
Do you ever wish you could give up your day job and just do something totally different. There are times that the day seems to throw things into the mix and gets my footing off kilter. Well today is one of those days. I wish I could leave the office politics behind and enjoy a the aroma of sweet pastries in the oven. My hope would be to find tranquility and happiness, with a mix of creativity to brighten my day.
Platine Bakery. The cookies stacked in this tiny bakery span the spectrum. There are classics (chocolate chip, Mexican wedding), but take a chance on pastry chef/owner Jamie Cantor’s flights of whimsy (kalamata olive–dark chocolate chip). At just a dollar apiece, you can bring home a dozen or two for a dinner-party dessert tasting. Our pick: The platino, a fluffy sandwich cookie oozing rich vanilla cream filling. It’ll ruin you for run-of-the-mill Oreos forever. 10850 Washington Blvd.; platinecookies.com
Proof Bakery (pictured). This place feels likes the heart of the Atwater Village neighborhood. The morning rush comes for black sesame financiers; in the afternoon, it’s the flourless chocolate torte topped with cocoa nibs. Our pick: A buttery croque monsieur tartine on fresh-baked brioche. 3156 Glendale Blvd.; proofbakeryla.com
Sugar & Scribe Bakery. In a hipster-meets-surfer neighborhood, Maeve Schulz’s bakery is a charmingly Old World surprise. You’ll be greeted at the door by her pug before entering a haven of cupcakes and quiche, scones, and soda bread—served on delicate Irish dishes. Our pick: Schulz’s dense, buttery Guinness Porter Cake, spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and packed with raisins and cherries. 1420 Garnet Ave.; sugarandscribe.com
La Monarca Bakery. For real-deal Mexican sweet pan dulce, grab a metal tray and tongs and serve yourself the traditional way. Everything in the bakery—from dulce de leche–filled croissants to vegetarian chorizo molletes (open-face sandwiches)—is made with all-natural ingredi-ents, including dairy and eggs from California, and guava, agave nectar, and organic coffee from Mexico. Our pick: A light and creamy caramel flan. 1300 Wilshire Blvd. (also in Commerce and Huntington Park); lamonarcabakery.com
Welcome to Apron Senorita. I'm Yoli K. from Texas Hill Country. I am living my dream and the future has more in store. I have 2 amazing children who are driven to excel in college, exceed high expectations, and embrace the blessings that God has in store for those who work hard. Every day I strive for excellent health and true happiness.