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Thursday, October 14, 2021

3 YOGA POSES FOR TIGHT HIPS


Today I attempted a sumo deadlift and my hips and hip flexors screamed 

WHATCHU DOING HOMIE

My hips are TIGHT ya'll. I may joke around but having extremely tight hips is no joking matter. Tight hips can cause (and be a result of)  muscle imbalances, lower back problems, poor posture, and much more. This is the best time to use my favorite gif.



While hip pain is quite common for older people, it can affect all ages, including children. Some may think a strenuous activity (like the sumo deadlifts I did earlier)  is the culprit tight hips and/or hip pain. We must remember that everyday activities can result in tight hips: sitting at your desk, driving, watching TV, and even reading. If you suffer from tight hips and subsequently hip pain, you should always consult your physician prior to starting any exercise routine. Your physician can steer you in the direction of a physical therapist, chiropractor, or whatever is best for you. 


Over the past year and a half, I have lost 80% of my mobility. Crazy right?? I would like to add my lack of mobility to the list of things I blame on the pandemic. 


I have become accustomed to living day to day with tight hips- and that is not a good thing especially when it comes to pain and mobility. In order to regain some flexibility, mobility, and rid myself of hip pain due to tight hips, I am sharing my 3 favorite yoga poses. These 3 poses should only be done when your body is super pliable meaning during your yoga practice, post-run, or your cool-down.


HAPPY BABY

Tikima Renee Fitness in Happy Baby Pose


Happy baby pose or ananda balasana in Sanskrit is one of my favorite poses that is offered at the end of vinyasa sequences. The pose is used for relaxation and gently stretch your back and hips.
  • Begin by lying on your back and bend your knees towards your chest.
  • Align your heels over your knees while keeping your sacrum on the floor.
  • Grab the outside of your feet and let your knees open to your side. 
  • Gently bring your knees into your armpit while pushing your feet towards your hands.
  • Take a few breathes while holding this pose. 

You may be unable to clasp your feet without lifting your upper back and pelvis off the floor. If this is the case, try to keep your knees bent.  

HALF FROG POSE



Half frog pose, ardha bhekasana in Sanskrit or also known as the bane of my existence. This pose is usually used to stretch the quadriceps and deep hip flexors. 
  • Lie onto your belly with your forearms on the floor and parallel. Place your elbows under your shoulders 
  • Ground your pelvic bone into your mat and draw your belly in.
  • Bend your right foot towards your glutes. Hold your foot with the right hand, fingers pointing forward and elbow towards the sky. 
  • To deepen the posture, straighten the left arm. 
  • Breathe while holding this pose. 

You can use a strap looped around your foot if you can not reach it with ease. 

DOUBLE PIGEON POSE

Tikima Renee Fitness in double pigeon pose, fire log pose


Double pigeon pose, fire log pose or agnistambhasana in Sanskrit, is a challenging hip opener. 
  • Begin by sitting in a cross-legged position. 
  • Exhale and place one ankle on top of your opposite knee.
  • Inhale and align the other underneath the opposite knee. 
  • Take a few breathes here and repeat on the opposite side.

I am not perfect and my poses need a little work but that is yoga. Yoga is a practice, a journey, and a lifelong experience. Do not hesitate to start your yoga journey due to perfection.  If you are experiencing tight hips,  try all or some of these yoga poses. I would love to hear about your experience. 

Xoxo, 

Tikima

**Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider. 

Thursday, September 30, 2021

YOGA PLAYLIST: T.D.E EDITION BY TIKIMA RENEE FITNESS

T.D.E yoga playlist Thursday Tunes


What's Up Homies!! I am back with another yoga playlist. This time something a little different. I have been struggling to find my voice as a yoga teacher. I have been comparing myself to other instructors because of their "zen" and I slowly began to complain more. 

My voice is not as soothing as theirs, I don't want to always play chanting and waterfalls in my classes, and my energy is too low or too high.


Instead of staying in a discouraged state, this got me thinking. If I do not want to do it, why do it? My practice is what I make of it. I need to stop comparing myself to others, find balance, and loosen up. 


I was in a funk and I knew I needed to do something about it before it festers into something larger. I decided to take time for myself the best way I knew. That involved a dope-ass playlist and hitting the mat.  I felt that if I was going to let loose in this yoga sequencing, music had to reflect. This playlist was inspired by the one the only Kendrick Lamar. Yes, you read properly. Ya' girl loves Kendrick Lamar. 




Accolades such as Grammy's, Pulitzer Prize, and being named one of Time's 100 most influential people in the world have made Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar a household name. His wittiness, soul, funk, and realness of his words have put him in the hearts of many, including me, a Los Angeles native. 


PLAYLIST MOOD

Even though Yoga: T.D.E starts with the sound of crashing waves, it takes you on fifty-five minutes of sampled music greatness. Yes, I could toot my own horn and say greatness. While putting this playlist together I knew I wanted to include Kendrick's labelmates from Top Dawg Ent. such as Jay Rock, Reason and others. 

YOGA: T.D.E  does contain TV-Mature words so you have been warned. Who doesn't love curse words coupled with yoga? I'll wait. 

Speaking of curse words and yoga, I believe this flow and playlist relieved some of the pressure I was placing on myself of being the "perfect yoga teacher". It allowed me to unwind and let go for 60 minutes. I wish that this flow and playlist was the answer to my perfectionism and comparisons but it is not. There is more I have to unpack but I had a break and that matters to me. 


PLAYLIST DESCRIPTION


Time to levitate, let your hair down, and stop the show with this 60-minute power yoga flow. Inhale, fill up... Exhale, release... NAMASTE HOMIE. 



MEET YOUR MAKER 


Tikima Renee is a fitness professional who loves music. After years of making playlists for a variety of fitness formats, she decided to share her playlist with her homies. 




Being in a funk lead me to curate this g-funk, T.D.E-inspired playlist. I hope you enjoy it. Want to hear more? Follow me on Spotify. I would love to know if you are interested in the yoga flow that accompanied this playlist. 

XOXO, 

Tikima Renee

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

30-DAY BARRE CHALLENGE: WEEK 1



Happy Hump Day Homies!!!!


It has been seven days since I started my #30DayBarreChallenge and it has been great! I have taken a few classes, met some amazing people, and got the glute pump of my wildest dreams.  This week has been an expected doozy. I planned a camping trip for a few days with my friends meaning I would not be able to take classes. Bummer right? I planned to "double-up" on barre classes for a few days in preparation for my trip. I was semi-successful. Continue reading to know more about my week. 


CLASS #1


I took an outside class with the Barre3 instructor Alexis. I arrived right on time even though it is urged to arrive 10-minutes before class. Want to know why I was late? Tikima did not read the email disclosing the address. 


Reading is fundamental homies. 


The class has a great turnout and the energy was awesome. I met some amazing people, hung out with some cool cicadas, and worked a few muscles that were on a 1-year sabbatical. 


Not only the energy was amazing it was also very supportive. I didn't feel judged for almost falling over several times. I shared my #30DaysOfBarre challenge with a few classmates and they gave me that I will keep you accountable with your attendance look.  I am cool with that because Lord knows I need it. I met a homie, I'll call her L, who rescued me from a cicada. Not one but twice. The cicada wanted to attend class so bad. The homie L does not know it as of yet but we are going to be friends. 


Lastly, Alexis worked my ENTIRE abdomen. I do not remember what exactly we did for core work, all I know is I could not belly laugh for a few minutes after class. It was great!!! 

VIEW FROM MY YOGA MAT 


MY FAVORITE PART 


I have three: being outside, core work, and Alexis's fire playlist. Alexis brought the heat to class with her workout and the playlist. I felt like I was at a club for people over 30 with sensory processing sensitivities but still want to be out in these streets with the homies. 


I know that the last sentence made no sense to some but it was perfect to me. 


CLASS #2 


Since we were approaching a long weekend, a few of my clients canceled to enjoy their holiday weekend. Therefore, I have nothing but time on my hands. Time to take 2 classes today, WOOT WOOT! I started the day with a 6:00 am live stream with Sam. 


I have taken a fair amount of live stream classes during the last year and this one was by the most organized. Once I logged on, I noticed a moderator controlling the music and chat for any questions. I really appreciate that as a fellow instructor and student. It allowed Sam to do what she came to do, KICK OUR ASSES. 


You guys, she was not playing with us on a Friday morning and it was awesome.


MY FAVORITE PART 


I definitely enjoyed the banded glute work. I have trouble activating my glutes during workouts and this glute segment had my muscles shaking. I think I heard my gluteus medius asking Alexa to play Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys... ON REPEAT. At the end of each segment, the instructor does a stretch or shake out to give some relief to the muscle worked. I am not confirming or denying that I was looking forward to the stretch/shakeout after engaging my glutes so much. 


One of the reasons I chose to attend Barre3 was their way of incorporating mindful and meditation into the workout. This class was no exception, we ended the class with a quick mindful meditation and I. FELL. ASLEEP! I was tired, worked, and needed that nap. 

AFTER MY ACCIDENTAL NAP

CLASS #3


I was my second class of the day and I was determined not to fall asleep. Some will say falling asleep during an outdoor class is impossible but I'll say, you don't know my life. Sleep can happen anywhere. 


My third class was at a local park with the instructor Helga. I will not lie, I was intimidated walking towards the park because I realized this would be my first time using props (band, and 2 sets of weights) during an in-person class. Helga reminded me that it is perfectly fine to complete the entire class without props but athe props adds an extra challenge and I am a glutton for punishment. Helga put us through a beautiful lower body segment that added to Sam's leg work. The two combined gave me the booty pump of my wildest dreams. 


I caught a glimpse of my legs while walking past a storefront and said Aw Shucks out loud. If that is not a reason to continue this challenge, I don't know what is. 

MY FAVORITE PART

I love a great modification. I am an injury-prone woman and I know my limits. Have you attended a class and felt like you shouldn't take the modification even though your body is begging for it? If you responded no, lucky you. There are times we push ourselves to that unsafe space, the environment does not welcome modifications or your instructor does not offer any. Whatever the case is TAKE DAT MODIFICATION HOMIE.

I appreciate Helga offering a ton of modifications throughout the class and creating a space where we feel safe to take the modification when needed. 

After a weekend of camping and hiking, I signed up for a Monday evening class with Sam. Can you guess what happened next? Yep. You are right, I slept through it. Before you ask, no I do not have a sleeping disorder. I am just a mom who does all of the things. I felt horrible but tomorrow is a new day.

CLASS #4



I was super stoked for this class because it was my first time in Barre3 Bethesda's studio. It was such a vibe. Very much,  I watched every episode of Golden Girls and dreamt to recreate a modern version of Blanche Devereaux's bedroom when I got older but never grew up because I am a Toys"R"Us kid vibes. If you know, you know. 


The studio was extremely clean and I felt comfortable attending class. 


I took class #4 with Helga again and she did not disappoint. I was sweaty HEAVILY. You would have thought I went for a run prior to taking this class. 


I enjoyed every minute of my first week of #30DaysOfBarre. It was great taking classes from different instructors and experiencing their styles of teaching. My goal was to take 7 classes this week but I was only able to take 4. I will not beat myself up to much about it because life happens. I hope I am able to take a few extra classes next week. 

Hope you enjoyed my week 1 recap of #30DaysOfBarre. I would love to hear of any new challenges you are setting for yours. 

XOXO, 

Tikima Renee

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

30-DAY BARRE3 CHALLENGE

30 Day Barre3 Challenge, Tikima in low lunge

In summer 2020, I got certified in teaching barre. To be honest, I have not done much with the certification. To reignite my love for torturing every tiny muscle in my arms, core, butt, and legs I set out yet another goal for myself. I would like to challenge myself into taking as many barre classes as I possibly can in 30 days. Why? My answer is simple, who does not like a challenge? 


WHY BARRE?


There are three main reasons why I chose Barre for this challenge: 


  • I am certified in the format and want to start teaching Barre soon and would like to get some practice in. 

  • After interviewing Dr. Tammia Guest, a chiropractor in Dallas TX about Correcting Your Posture, on The Fit Black Queens Podcast. I wanted to add a fitness format that emphasizes posture. 

  • I am training for a secret project that I have been dying to do for 10+ years. In order to maintain strength and become a well-balanced athlete, I am using Barre as a form of cross-training.  

WHAT IS BARRE?

Barre is a ballet-based workout with pilates and yoga elements. The class is normally broken into sections that focus on the core, legs, arms, and glutes. After the muscle is fatigued by completing a high number of repetitions, small targeted movements like pulsing, and light weight resistance each section is paired with stretching of the worked muscle. In the first barre class I attended, I was instructed to get a ball, two sets of weights, and a resistance band. I chose the heavier weights and regretted it. Pulsing tricep kickbacks with 5-pound weights does not sound like a bad idea at the beginning but I recommend working your way to that point. Do not underestimate the power of a two-pound weight, my muscles were burning. 


WHO IS BARRE3?




I have tried a few Barre classes here in the Washington, DC area and I have always been amazed by how my body aches in a glorious way. I will not lie to you, I normally think when is this over about 2-4 times during the class. I recently had the honor of taking an outdoor Barre3 class and I loved every second of it. Was it difficult? Ummm yeah, but I was so caught up in the moment I didn't have time to think about time. 




Barre3 is a full-body workout like other Barre classes. What attracts me to Barre3 and sets them apart from other Barre studios, is that it combines strength, cardio, and mindfulness. Barre3 had me at cardio. If I can add cardio to something I am interested in, I am down. Throughout the workout, the instructor gently reminds you of your breathing and I truly appreciate that. This is extremely helpful for people like me who "forget" to breathe during workouts. At the end of each workout, the instructor guides the class through a meditation exercise. I stated that Barre3 had me at cardio but I stayed because of the workout and meditation.


PREDICTIONS


I am starting this challenge Wednesday, May 26, 2021, because I woke up and said out loud I really need a change. I know if I don't start now, I will continue to put the challenge off till Monday. (We all are familiar with the I'll wait till Monday meme).  




After the 30-day challenge,  I really would like to have logged 32 Barre3 workouts. Too ambitious? Not really since my body is accustomed to doing multiple workouts a day. The issue is that I will am going camping on Memorial Day Weekend, meaning I will have three days that I am unable to take a Barre3 workout. That means a few days, I will need to tap into my inner superhero and attend two workouts a day. 

I am super stoked for this 30-day challenge, so wish me luck. Have you had that SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE moment and set out a crazy challenge for yourself? I would love to hear about your challenge. Want to check out my progress? Follow me on IG and click the photo below for my weekly updates. 


XOXO, 

Tikima 



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