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Day 10: Beginner

Core Focus with Rebecca Urban

Core strengthening often gets short shrift in yoga classes. One reason may be that it takes a sharp-eyed teacher and individualized attention to tell if a student is engaging his or her abdominal muscles; scanning a room doesn't cut it. So it's a good idea to revisit this sequence from time to time or incorporate parts of it into a regular home practice. As you become more familiar with the poses, avoid the tendency to switch to autopilot. Always bring your A-game (as in awareness) to the mat.

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Challenge Tip

You know the old adage that you shouldn't go swimming too soon after a meal? The same holds true for practicing yoga—especially when you're focusing on your core. Practicing on a full stomach is uncomfortable at best and can cause cramps, nausea, or vomiting at worst. Many teachers recommend that you not eat for two to three hours before practicing. If you're afraid of running out of fuel, eat a light snack (yogurt and nuts are good choices) about 30 minutes before hitting the mat.

Today's Recipe: Black Bean-Quinoa

Here's a delicious veggie burger you can whip up from scratch. Stash a few in the freezer for busy weeknight meals. Serve with your favorite fixings.

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