At a dinner party the other night, the conversation competitively turned to yoga planking. A new topic for me. And I did a nice job of totally embarrassing myself with it. I misunderstood the primary discussion point. I thought folks were talking about replacing their comfortable rectangular elongated yoga mats with a painful rectangular elongated yoga plank. As in from foam rubber to hard wood. All in the search for achieving true wellness. And I was having trouble finding any yoga workout value in the awkward conversion to a heavy, lengthy piece of wood with a non-cushion surface playing the critical role of a supportive exercise prop. And obviously, the biggest impediment of all to overcome … completely impossible to roll up a plank air tight and carry it with a flirtatious swag under an armpit into your favorite sweaty exercise area:
I finally recovered from my confusing conversation by frantically researching “planking” on Google. So much to digest about planking. I had no idea. But now I’m ready to share my new knowledge with the world, assuming (hoping?) that I’m not the last one on the planet who needs to finally get up to speed on planking.
But fist, let’s congratulate Paul Drinan, 68, world record holder for the abdominal planking position:
May 11, 2011. (source: The Courier-Mail) With his abs of steel twitching, sweat dripping and his face grimacing with pain, Mr. Drinan spent 33 minutes and 40 seconds in an “abdominal plank” position to smash the record set last year by almost 14 minutes. Mr. Drinan was cheered on by fellow gym members as he pushed through the pain barrier to etch his name in the Guinness Book of World Records.
“It’s really, really hard,” he said.
“There’s a lot of back effort, a lot of stomach, a lot of shoulders (and) arms … you have to have them all together. One weak link and you don’t get past five minutes.”
Mr. Drinan works out for three hours a day, six days a week. He attributes his youthful physique to plenty of training and a healthy diet – “plus I don’t drink or smoke any more”.
The ultimate planking experience? Why, planking outdoors on a plank deck, of course. How to do this yoga pose:
- Begin in Downward Facing Dog position. Shift your weight forward so that your shoulders are over your wrists.
- One at a time, lower your forearms to the floor with your palms facing down. Place your elbows where your hands were, and spread your fingers wide. You want your body to be in one straight line, with your heels over your toes.
- It’s very important to engage your abs here, so draw your belly button toward your spine. Keep the muscles in your tush relaxed, draw your shoulders away from your ears, and gaze between your hands.
- Hold like this for five complete breaths. Then come back onto your hands and press back into Downward Facing Dog.
Ummm … draw your belly button toward your spine? Sorry. Most interesting concept. But a bit out of my flexibility league. No way. This amateur Downward Facing Dog has zero control over his belly button. Wish I did. But gravity wins this battle every time. My belly button and spine are very distant cousins. I’ll need to modify those instructions to read, “Keep your belly button from touching the floor.”
Nope. I’ll never ever be able to beat Mr. Drinan. He’s so in control of his belly button. Can’t you just tell?
But there’s still a chance for my fifteen minutes of plank fame. Maybe if I re-strategize and choose to enter the team planking competition, instead. I might be persuaded to train hard every day for a team effort to pursue breaking a plank. Not a piece of wood. Breaking the world three-person team planking record. Any takers?
Each “98.5 laps” blog entry also features
wellness success stories and key resources
located throughout Waukesha County and southeast Wisconsin:
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“The body is a beautiful thing, express it, love it, connect with it.”
Our wellness studio offers a variety of classes. Diverse selection of styles and practices is meant to help one to discover what works best for him/her. Listening to yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, some days you may feel like an easy hatha yoga class, other days a challenging power yoga or Pilates class. Maybe you are recovering from a back injury and Pilates, intro to yoga, tai chi or Nia may be a perfect. All of our classes here are meant to help one to express him or her self in a nurturing and self-fulfilling way; from Yoga to Tae Kwon Do and all of our dedicated instructors are here to help and move you back to health and peace with yourself. In yoga we talk about re-grounding yourself with the earth again taking off your shoes and feeling the earth beneath your feet; when you reconnect you begin that quest of enjoying all the waves of life and the ability to handle what ever flows your way.
All of your instructors are have a growing heartfelt knowledge in the practice they not only teach but live and believe in too. The wonderful thing about Copper Tree Wellness Studio is that all of its very diverse instructors can come together under on roof and promote the same thing, wellness, helping people back to health, happiness and to find the joy in life again. Every style and practice offered here is adaptable for all ages, sizes, and abilities. Practices like the ones offered at Copper Tree, aren’t just for those who are “physically fit” we encourage the physically fit to continue down the road of wellness but to not forget that wellness is three-fold, body, mind and spirit and when you acknowledge that any activity or practice becomes more than just a physical exercise. You will find that all of your instructors will help you to feel safe and at the same time help you to go beyond what you ever thought your being was capable of.
All of our yoga instructors are registered and certified through the Yoga Alliance
and continue to teach following the quality standards promoted by the Yoga Alliance. From these standards of quality Copper Tree Wellness Studio has created a foundation for all of it’s instructors to teach by, in order to continue to offer quality, safe and effective classes to the community and surrounding areas.
Copper Tree Information
||Studio Phone: 262-670-6688
Studio E-Mail: Click to E-Mail the Studio
Studio Address: 1364 E. Sumner Street, Hartford, WI 53027
(Copper Tree Wellness Studio is conveniently located directly off Hwy 60, next to Walgreens, in the building behind Wireless Concepts and Elite Nail & Spa)
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The next blog post will return on Saturday 1/7/12