Many times, I enter a yoga class or fitness class, and students have the same questions:
How many calories will I burn? How heavy should my weights be? Will I lose tons of weight? Will I get skinny? Can this give me abs?
As a fitness enthusiast of many years and many trends, I have learned that, yes, some of these questions matter, but it’s more important to focus away from the purely physical and realize the long-term benefits of the class. When we approach movement as only fitness, purely for the purpose of the external, it makes it harder to stay engaged and really find results.
Instead, if we were to notice how our energy levels improve and start to bring more awareness to the mind-body connection, we begin to enjoy our “workouts” and create lasting change. My favorite way to do this is to combine the mind-body approaches of yoga and Pilates with more traditional dance and aerobics, to move energy and provide a conscious, fun workout that I call “Energy Flow.”
Here is a sample routine for you to try - all you need is 5-10 minutes for a simple, energizing boost.
1. Start with a basic plie – standing in a wide stance with toes turned out to the side. Place your hands on your hips, draw the belly button up and in, and center the shoulders over the hips. Bend the knees over the toes plie-ing up and down for a count of 16.
2. Travel your plie to the right and left. Start by finding your center plie, then as you come up step to the right and bring your heels together. Step back out to your wide plie and step the heels together to the left. Continue for four full rounds and then hold with the heels together on the right.
3. From here, reach your arms out to the side in a “T”. Remember to keep the shoulders sliding down the back, away from the ears. Engage the core to stabilize. Flex your left foot and then kick it forward and up (across your midline) for a count of eight. Next cross it back and up (across the midline behind you) for a count of eight. Bring your heels together to finish.
4. Step back out to a center plie, hands to the hips, and repeat steps 2-3 on the opposite side.
Notice your energy levels improve without feeling depleted. It’s stretch, strength, and cardio all at once, with a little concentration work for the mind. When you work out with the intention to create energy and deepen your mind-body connection, it becomes fun and your benefits increase tremendously.
Enjoy and stay energized!
Jessi Andricks is a yoga and mind-body fitness teacher in Charleston, SC. She teaches a blend of vinyasa, as well as mind-body fitness classes. Jessi is a certified Green Living Expert and is receiving training in Holistic Health Coaching. She hopes to help people learn to live vibrant, healthy lives through holistic lifestyle habits.
Website: House of Healthy
Facebook: House of Healthy