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This course is designed to really build up your strength and fitness. We use the Sun Salutations from the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system as well as strengthening and toning exercises for your core muscles. You don't need to have previous experience of Yoga to try it. However, if you have a Yoga practice already you'll find the core strengthening work will really help you in your poses - so it's suitable for everyone!
In the introduction video Esther Ekhart (from www.ekhartyoga.com) introduces the Sun Salutations and gives options if you need to make adjustments. The classes then build up gradually so that by the end of the course you will be able to do five Sun Salutation As and five Sun Salutation Bs. Each video includes deep core exercises and finishes with a relaxation.
Each section includes a video of 30 minutes or less so you can fit it in to your daily schedule. You'll also find bonus material such as a more detailed look at the poses and a wonderful long relaxation for when you have a little more time.
We've also included a free Detox Plan for the 10 days which you can either follow at the same time as the course for an extra cleanse, or use it on its own.
You can complete the course in 10 days but it's also fine to take longer if you want to build up more slowly. Simply repeat videos until they feel more comfortable or rest for a day in between each one.
So let's Get Fit and Healthy!
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|Section 1: Introduction to the 10 day Get Fit program|
Welcome to Get Fit in 10 Days with Ekhart Yoga
During this 10 day challenge we are going to be gradually building up strength and fitness, so you don't have to be strong already to begin it!
Whether you are starting from scratch or wanting to give your fitness levels a boost it's always important to listen to your body. If you are building up your strength you can simply take longer than 10 days. Take your time repeating videos before you move onto the next section. If you are not able to do a video every day just try to do at least one Sun Salutation to keep you moving.
The program is designed around the Sun Salutations (or Surya Namaskara) from the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system. We will be working up to ten Sun Salutations (five of the A type and five of the B type) along with lots of core strengthening work. Take a look at our extra lecture to find out what we mean by the core.
In this introduction video I will take you slowly through Sun Salutations A and B and give you options for how to adjust if you need to, so you can comfortably follow the 10 day Yoga challenge and get fit and healthy :-)
During the the program you might also like to try a simple and healthy detox. Print off our free plan (Lecture 2) to follow alongside the yoga videos.
Day 1 and 2 are all about preparation so you have time to stock up with what you need. No fasting required!
Your Detox Plan
What do we mean by the core?
|Section 2: DAY ONE|
Welcome to Day One of your Get Fit in 10 Days program.
We start with a short centering - this is where we take a moment to bring ourselves to the mat, setting our intention to practice.
Over the 10 days we will be building two habits:
The first is practice - literally getting on your mat each day with the intention of giving your energy to your practice.
The second is non-attachment. Allowing everything to be to exactly as it is. Even though we have a goal we can still allow whatever arises to happen. You can read more about non-attachment in the factsheet.
In today's class we begin with abdominal exercises:
Leg raises. Try to follow the instructions for the breath, exhaling as you lower or lift your leg and hovering on the inhale.
Yogic bicycles. What is "Floint"?! Flointing your feet is a cross between pointing and flexing, as if you are pointing through the ball of your foot with your toes spread and flexed.
Twists (you can keep your feet flat on the floor at first), Gentle bridge pose to loosen stomach muscles and Back rolling.
After core work we start our Sun Salutations 3 As and 1 B. Take a more detailed look at Downward Dog here.
Then we work on a few more strengthening poses
Chair Pose (Utkatasana) this time holding the pose for a few breaths and then bringing in a twist. This is a great exercise for building strength in your legs and your core.
Crescent Pose with twists (bring your back knee down if this is challenging for you), Plank and Boat pose.
We finish with a calming Forward Bend and relax in Savasana.
You can also use the longer relaxation video (Lecture 13) if you have more time to stay in Savasana.
|Section 3: DAY TWO|
In Day Two of your get fit plan we begin again with a short centering.
We start with core work which includes Yogic Bicycles where we gradually lower the legs to floor and Reclined Twists
Then we move on to the Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara)
Today it’s three of the A series and two of the B series. Take a closer look at Cobra Pose in my blog post
If you find that’s a little too much you can always do less or modify the poses for example by bringing your knees to the floor in Downward Facing Dog. Try to keep moving if you can though and repeat the video for a few days before you move on to Day Three.
After the Sun Salutations we do some chest and shoulder opening work with variations on Forward Bends (Standing Yoga Mudra) and Crescent Lunges.
You’ll hear Esther giving the instruction to “Inflate the kidneys” and you might well think “what on Earth does that mean?!”. This is basically about bringing your awareness to your lower back and the back sides of the waist. In backbends there can be a tendency to compress or crunch this area so “inflating” it can help to keep length and space.
Next we revisit Boat Pose (Navasana) before finishing with a calming Seated Forward Bend (Pachimottanasana) and then relaxation in Savasana.
Core tip - During exercises where you lie on your back scoop the lower belly in drawing it back towards the spine but try to keep a little space between your back and the floor. If you find your back arches a lot you can start by pressing the back to the floor until you build your strength up. You can also try placing a small folded towel under your arch to press into.
If you have any lower back problems stick to the first variation of the exercises and stop if you feel any pain.
|Section 4: DAY THREE|
Welcome to Day Three of your Get Fit Plan.
Today we are going to make the core work a little more intense and bring in some twists which are brilliant for detoxing. If you are also following the Detox Plan now is the time to start bringing in the changes to your meals. Remember that when your body starts to get rid of toxins you may feel a bit tired or experience other detox symptoms, this is very normal for a couple of days, make sure you drink plenty of water.
In this video we use a block for some of the core work exercises. Don’t worry if you don’t have a block - you can use something like a small cushion or a folded up towel instead - just make it small enough to grip between your thighs.
After centering we go straight on to core work which includes Pelvic Lifts, Leg Raises with a block and Twisting Yogic Bicycles. We stretch it all out with a Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana).
Then we move on to the Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara). Today it’s four of the A series and two of the B series.
Remember just do what you can and repeat today’s class for a few days if you need to.
After the Sun Salutations we’ll do some standing and seated twists and of course Boat Pose (Navasana)!
Boat Pose can be tough for most people but stick with it and you’ll really notice a difference in your core strength which will help you in all the other exercises. Read more about Boat Pose here
We finish with another Bridge Pose before Savasana
|Section 5: DAY FOUR|
Welcome to Day Four of your Get Fit Plan.
Today we are going to start with a couple of Yin Yoga poses - Butterfly and Shoelace Pose. Yin Yoga is a very different style where we hold poses for 3 - 5 minutes. It can be challenging to stay with the sensations, try keeping your focus on the breath. You can read more about Yin Yoga and other styles of yoga on the Ekhart Yoga website.
These particular poses stimulate the liver meridians helping the detox process and the kidney meridian which gives energy.
We follow the Yin poses with Leg Raises. Hopefully these will be getting a little easier now but check that you are keeping your lower belly in as you lower and raise your legs. If it’s popping out a little keep your legs bent.
Then we move on to the Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara). Today we are going to do four of the A series and three of the B series. Take a look at some more tips for Chaturanga Dandasana.
Followed by some relaxing twists.
|Section 6: DAY FIVE|
Welcome to Day Five of your Get Fit Plan.
In this class we introduce some extra poses to work on both arm and core strength. We also bring in some exercises to increase flexibility in the hips.
Core work includes Pelvic Lifts, Leg Raises and everyone’s favourite - Boat Pose
Next we work on both the core and arm and shoulder strength with Dolphin pose, Forearm Plank and Side Plank. Take a look at a more detailed talk through Plank here.
If you are building up your strength you can bring your knees down in Dolphin and Plank. If you want to create more stability in Side Plank separate your feet so you are balancing on them both.
Then we move on to the Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara). We’ve now built up to five As and three Bs. Congratulations on getting this far!
After the Sun Salutations we do a balancing Tree Pose (Vrksasana) and Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Raj Kapotasana) which is great for opening the hips. It is said that the hips are where we store emotion so these two poses can help release whatever emotions the cleanse may have brought up!
As always finish with a Savasana to allow your body to absorb all the benefits of your work.
|Section 7: DAY SIX|
Welcome to Day Six of your Get Fit Plan.
Congratulations you are past the halfway mark! Your core will be getting stronger now...so let’s test it!
Today we are going to be doing Pelvic Lifts, Twisting Yogic Bicycles, Leg Raises and some Forearm Plank and Dolphin Poses. Remember that it’s fine to repeat a day before you move on to the next video. If you feel you need to take a rest day that’s fine too. It’s good to move a little though so you could try something like one Sun Salutation, that way you can keep up the habit of a daily practice.
Then we move on to the Sun Salutations. Today it’s four of the A series and four of the B series.
Remember just do what you can and repeat today’s class for a few days if you need to.
After the Sun Salutations we’ll revisit some of the poses we did in Day Two with a Standing Forward Bend variation (Standing Yoga Mudra) and some Lunges.
Then we take it to the floor stretching out the hamstrings before coming into Splits (Hanumanasana). Don’t worry if you are nowhere near the full pose. Treat your hamstrings with care and awareness, it’s not about the end pose but about the stretch you feel getting there.
You can try a longer Splits sequence on our You Tube channel.
|Section 8: DAY SEVEN|
Welcome back to Day Seven!
How are you feeling? Maybe you’re noticing having more strength in your body now. Or perhaps you could be feeling tired today. Both are normal experiences but it’s good to check in with yourself. These exercises can help to boost your energy but remember it’s also ok to go back to a previous video or to just do a couple of Sun Salutations if that feels right for you today.
If you are following the Detox Plan you may have noticed a change in your skin, your eyes and your energy levels. If you are still experiencing detox symptoms such as headaches remember to keep your water intake up. It can take a little while to adjust to a different diet but you can also follow the guidelines for adding protein if you feel you need to.
We start with Leg Raises followed by Boat Pose and some Half Boat to Boat Lifts for really strengthening the core and the back.
Next we move on to the Sun Salutations. Today it’s five of the As and four of the Bs. Nearly there!
After the Sun Salutations we take a stretch through Triangle Pose (Uttitha Trikonasana) followed by some gentle backbends with variations on Locust Pose (Shalabasana).
|Section 9: DAY EIGHT|
Welcome to Day Eight of your Get Fit Plan.
This time we start with another Yin style Sphinx Pose to warm up and strengthen the back. Again with Yin Poses we hold these for up to five minutes so be gentle with yourself, find your edge but don't strain. Often it is our mind resisting the pose more than the body so try to relax in it, observe the thoughts that come without getting too attached to them.
If you find Sphinx uncomfortable take a look at some variations you can try here.
We follow Sphinx Pose with more core work rolling on the back, Leg Raises and Boat Pose.
Then we move on to the Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara). Today it’s four of the A series and five of the B series.
Next we move on to heart and shoulder opening poses Chair to Forward Bend with the hands clasped and a variation of Locust (Shalabhasana).
|Section 10: DAY NINE|
Welcome to Day Nine of your Get Fit Plan.
At the end of this video we use a bolster to support the back in a restorative pose. Firm pillows can work fine too if you don’t have a bolster. Or you can try a combination of folded blankets and pillows. Have a few things handy and experiment to see what works best for you.
We start with more core work Leg Lifts, Boat and Swaying Boat finishing it off with Standing Side Stretches.
Today we are going to try five Sun Salutation As and five Sun Salutation Bs so congratulations on getting this far! You will be noticing the extra strength you have built up now. Don't worry if you are still finding it difficult, it's a challenging practice both mentally and physically.
We follow the Sun Salutations with a Squat, Crow Pose (Bakasana) and Locust (Shalabhasana).
Often people find Bakasana difficult because they are scared of falling on their faces - and because it takes arm and core strength of course! It can help to put a cushion in front of you when you are practicing to take away some of the apprehension.
Take a look at our website for a more detailed look at Bakasana including a video tutorial.
|Section 11: DAY TEN|
Congratulations you've reached Day Ten!
So we start off where we left off yesterday in Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana) - except without the bolsters this time sorry! We make this an active core-work pose by raising the feet and head.
The core work continues with Leg lifts, Happy Baby and Frog Splits lying on the back.
We stretch out the front of the body in Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) before our final visit to Boat Pose (Navasana) - going through Half-Boat and Swaying Boat.
Then we move on to Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara) Five As and Five Bs.
Now the hamstrings are nice and warmed up we take a strong forward bend - Hand under Foot Pose (Padahastasana).
Then we take a couple of balancing poses Eagle (Garudasana) and Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana). These poses are great for building strength in the legs and core as well as improving mental focus. Take at look at this sequence for more poses that build strength and improve balance.
Next we open the hips more with a squat in preparation for Crow Pose (Bakasana) again.
We stretch it out with a Twisted Down Dog before a very well deserved Savasana.
Now you have finished the Ten Days how can you keep up the good work?
If you want to maintain your strength practice one of the last two videos regularly. Or if you have your own yoga practice already you can integrate some of the core work exercises into your practice.
If you followed the Detox Plan you can reintroduce the foods you normally eat gradually back into your diet but for the first few days at least avoid sugar or processed foods.
|Section 12: RELAXATION TIME!|
This is a lovely long 12 minute Savasana for you to use after any of the videos when you have more time.
Let your breathing be normal and allow your body to sink into the floor.
It's nice to have a blanket over you as you will cool down during the Savasana. You can also try using a rolled up blanket or bolster cushion under the backs of your knees.
Esther Ekhart founded EkhartYoga.com to spread the love of yoga and to share Esther’s knowledge on yoga with the world. Esther has been the best viewed yoga teacher on YouTube for many years, and through her yoga videos she’s the inspiration for many yogis around the world to start practicing yoga.
Through EkhartYoga.com, Esther is now offering high quality online yoga classes so that yogis can now enjoy streaming yoga videos at home or on the road. Ekhart Yoga offers yoga programs for beginners as well as for more advanced yoga practitioners. Full yoga classes and workouts are brought to you by some of the finest yoga teachers in Europe.