How many times a day are you asked, “how are you?” Likely, it’s more times than you’d care to count (add +10 if you live on the west coast). And how many times do you answer the question honestly? It has become as common as a hello, and while it’s well-intended, it’s just not genuine.
As a pilates instructor, I was taught to ask every person, HOW DOES YOUR BODY FEEL TODAY. It’s an incredibly important question for me teaching you, but it’s also a question we should ask ourselves everyday.
Our bodies can tell us so much – tightness can equate to stress while a lack of feeling anything can be our body’s ultimate defense mechanism. Have you ever felt a wave of sleepiness suddenly rush over you during an uncomfortable situation? It literally feels like someone has just powered you off? Hello, defenses.
Days are busy and those computers-in-our-pockets sure can take up a lot of time, but can you spare 3 minutes? I try to do this short 3 minute check-in while I’m riding the bus a few times per week. Try it out.
3 Minute Check-in
- If there are a lot of distractions where you happen to be, plug in your head phones and turn on some music.
- Take 15 slow breaths.
- While you breathe in and out fully, do you notice places in your body that seem to block the air? If so, try to focus on those areas.
- Take another 15 slow breaths.
- This time, try to focus on anything you felt from the first breaths you took. If there was tension, ask yourself why. If there was fear, let your self feel it. If there was sadness, be kind to yourself. If you don’t feel anything unusual, think about what you’re grateful for.
- Slowly open your eyes…and smile.
You get the idea, it’s not rocket science, but please, take of yourself a little bit too – even if it’s just for three minutes.
So, how does your body feel today?
I’m often asked what my workout routine is each week. I benefit from a calming effect post-workout which makes me very motivated to move most days. I’m hoping you can benefit from some of the ideas below.
Two editorial notes. 1. I don’t belong to a gym at the moment – my schedule is too hectic to predict and I’ve been loving trying out new workouts; 2. I avoid running and jumping in order to protect the knees I ruined after 25 years of soccer. It’s a hard truth.
Here are my go-to workouts:
- Pilates – First and foremost I do pilates at least three times per week. Needless to say, I’m totally a pilates nerd and will happily tell you why in a future post. If you can’t afford privates or even group classes, Pilates Anytime and Pilatesology offer online classes for less than $20 per month. However, I strongly suggest beginning with 3-4 private sessions with an instructor that was certified in a 600 hour apprentice program.
- Nike Training Club – a free app that lets you choose 15/30/45 minute strength training sorted by beginner, intermediate or advanced. You can also filter by “Get Lean, Get Toned, Get Strong, Get Focused.” And if you’re a trophy kid, the more workouts you finish the more workouts Nike will add to your app.
- Yoga – I try to do yoga once a week although I have to be super careful to hold my core together when back-bending, but I’m a sucker for handstands. San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral offers a free yoga class on Tuesday evening if you’re around.
- Videos, leotard not mandatory – I have a few go-to videos in order to mix it up. I’m currently rotating between The Brazilian Butt Lift and the Dailey Method dvds.
- Rock Climbing – I try to climb at least once a week, although I’d love to make it twice. You cannot climb without your core, enough said.
- Spin/Barre/TRX – I usually switch off between one of these each week or so. I pay per class which may not be the most economical, but I need a little group motivation at least once a week.
What are your go-to workouts? #motivateme
I am so excited to launch my new blog, Sweat Laugh Love.
This small slice of the world is dedicated to fitness, health and happiness. I am a sharer by nature making this a prime blogging adventure.
Before you commit to following, let me tell you a bit more about myself.
- I love to move, like really love (verb chosen carefully). I climb, bike, ski, hike, kayak, SUP and swim. I’m always exploring new exercise classes for HIT, pilates, yoga, bar and TRX.
- I fight a daily battle to eliminate grains and sugar (note: does not include alcohol).
- In 2011, I decided I wanted to work in the fitness industry so I began my two-year apprenticeship in New York studying classical pilates. I finished my certification in 2013 and have been teaching in the Bay Area ever since.
- My perfect weekend would include great food, friends, camping and dancing. Let me know if you want to join me.
Enough about me, I’d love to hear about you. Please comment or send me a note (pilates love at icloud dot com) to introduce yourself and let me know what you’d like to see, hear and click on from this space.