Hello lovely iggles! Welcome to your January Fitness Challenge.

This month we are focusing on stretching your whole body and getting you ready for kicking butt and taking names in the new year. We see great things in store for the IGGPPC in 2015, including lots of fun fitness challenges!

These basic stretches are going to be familiar to anyone who has attended a yoga class – once you put them all together, you have a flow that is known as a Sun Salutation, which is often used as a warm up sequence for yoga classes. This is a slightly modified version that is intended to be gentle and accessible for beginners. We start pretty slow and simple, but this challenge progresses pretty quickly.

Don’t let that intimidate you! Even if you’ve never considered setting foot on a yoga mat you can easily do these stretches, and we think you’ll enjoy them and feel nice and limber by the end of January!

You can add some additional challenge for yourself by holding each stretch for a longer period, or doing multiple repetitions of each day’s stretch!

Not sure how to get started? Check the links where each stretch first appears, or feel free to ask us here or on Twitter @igglefitness!

At the end of the month, you should notice a few things: Less low back pain (if you had any to begin with), improved arm and core strength, and increased flexibility. This is a simple routine that can yield several benefits with minimal time commitment and body strain.

Without further ado, your challenge!

Day 1: Mountain + Forward Fold

Day 2: Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold

Hold your Forward Fold for 5 breaths

Day 3: Mountain + Forward Fold +Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog

Day 4: Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog + Plank

Hold your Forward Fold for 5 breaths

Day 5: Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog + Plank + Low Plank

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog + Plank + Low Plank + Cobra

Hold your Forward Fold for 5 breaths, Hold your Low Plank for 3 breaths

Day 8: Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog + Plank + Low Plank + Cobra + Plank

Day 9: Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog + Plank + Low Plank + Cobra + Plank + Downward Dog

Day 10: Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog + Plank + Low Plank + Cobra + Plank + Downward Dog

“Walk” your Downward-Facing Dogs by bending one knee and pushing the opposite heel closer to the floor for a count of 6

Day 11: Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog + Plank + Low Plank + Cobra + Plank + Downward Dog + Forward Fold + Mountain (end cycle 1)

Hold Low Plank for 3 breaths

Cycle 1:

Cycle 1

Day 12: Cycle 1 + Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog + Plank + Low Plank

Day 13: Cycle 1 + Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog + Plank + Low Plank + Locust

Day 14: Rest

Day 15: Cycle 1 + Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog + Plank + Low Plank + Locust

Hold each Plank and Low Plank for 5 breaths

Day 16: Cycle 1 + Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog + Plank + Low Plank + Locust + Plank + Downward-Facing Dog + Forward Fold + Mountain (end cycle 2)

Cycle 2:

Cycle 2

Day 17: Cycle 1 + Cycle 2

Day 18: Cycle 1 + Cycle 2

Hold each Downward-Facing Dog for 5 breaths

Day 19: Cycle 1 + Cycle 2 + Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold

“Walk” your Downward-Facing Dogs by bending one knee and pushing the opposite heel closer to the floor for a count of 6

Day 20: Rest

Day 21: Cycle 1 + Cycle 2 + Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog +Plank

Day 22: Cycle 1 + Cycle 2 + Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog +Plank + Low Plank + Upward-Facing Dog

Day 23: Cycle 1 + Cycle 2 + Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog +Plank + Low Plank + Upward-Facing Dog

Hold each Plank and Low Plank for 5 breaths

Day 24: Cycle 1 + Cycle 2 + Mountain + Forward Fold + Half Forward Fold + Downward-Facing Dog +Plank + Low Plank + Upward-Facing Dog + Plank + Downward-Facing Dog +Forward Fold + Mountain (end cycle 3)

Cycle 3:

Cycle 3

Day 25: Cycle 1 + Cycle 2 + Cycle 3

Repeat all

Day 26: Rest

Day 27: Cycle 1 + Cycle 2 + Cycle 3

Hold each Plank, Low Plank and Downward-Facing Dog for 5 – 10 breaths

Day 28: Cycle 1 + Cycle 2 + Cycle 3

Repeat all

Day 29: Cycle 1 + Cycle 2 + Cycle 3

Hold each Plank, Low Plank and Downward-Facing Dog for 5 – 10 breaths

Day 30: Cycle 1 + Cycle 2 + Cycle 3

Repeat all x 2

Handy-dandy Iggle Sun Salutation Stick Figure Cycles (downloadable/printable): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2L1sTJA0zeOX01zWHlSM2NSVnM/view?usp=sharing

Sun Salutation Video (to give you an idea of how to transition safely and comfortably):