Are you ready to work on your strength and flexibility today? Today’s workout is a combination of Yoga, Pilates and Fitness based exercises. These movements will help you sculpt your body, while focusing on flexibility, range of motion, and injury prevention.
People who are very flexible at times have difficulty holding positions like plank due to decreased strength in the muscles that support strong posture. As my Anatomy teacher always said in graduate school: more flexibility equals less stability, more stability means less flexibility. People who focus only on strength often do so at the expense of flexibility and lost range of motion. For optimal health it is best to have a combination of both strength and flexibility.
As with any workout, feel free to modify based on your own personal needs. Yoga based flows often recruit muscles you aren’t used to using, because the movement patterns are different than those you use in every day life.
One of the main things to focus on during any yoga flow is being present in your body. What does that mean? Aren’t I always present in my body? What I mean is, don’t use distractions to get you through the exercise. Focus on using both sides of your body during each exercise. Reach, stretch, and let the physical and mental aspects of yourself work together.
Often with exercise, we try to distract ourselves to make it through. We may be getting in a run, but thinking about our to do list, or doing jump squats, but thinking of anything we can to get our minds off of our burning muscles. Science has shown that focusing on the exercises, and the body parts engaged in the exercise actually makes the exercise more beneficial. I’m serious! Just by paying attention to what you are doing you can improve the benefits of your workout.
This will help you to focus in other areas of your life as well. When I find my mind wandering and I need to re-focus I concentrate on my breathing. Breathing in, and breathing out. It usually takes just a few breaths before I can hone in on what needs to be done.
Meditation is a really great way to learn how to be present in your body. If you are a multi-tasker (I am multi-tasking crazy) it can be especially hard to take time away and focus on just existing. It does wonders for your body, stress levels, and mental health. Even a relatively short period of time spent meditating can make a big difference.
Schools and prisons are incorporating meditation to decrease problem behaviors, and the results are amazing. It helps people to self-regulate their own behavior. Instead of reacting to a situation, people are able to choose how to respond.
I hope you enjoy today’s workout. It’s important to challenge your body in different ways. If you are used to doing HIIT, don’t be afraid to incorporate something different!
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