I was thinking last week about when I first started teaching fitness classes, back in my early twenties. I taught a Body Conditioning class at an all women's health club on Long Island and I can remember it like it was yesterday. Every Tuesday morning, barely awake, I’d drag my feet through the door with my black Nike swoosh baseball hat brim pulled all the way down to guard my eyes from the brightly lit room. As I would walk over to the stereo to set up for class, I’d hear all the peppy voices around me. The class was mostly filled with moms, moms eager to get moving and do something for themselves for the day before their schedules were hijacked by grocery shopping, laundry and after school activities.
I’d quickly realize in those moments I’d better give them everything I have because I had heard it’s not easy getting to class on time or sometimes at all for that matter.
Boom! The music would come on and I would be a whole new person. Ready for action and ready to whip those ladies into shape.
What I hadn’t realized then is they were the ones whipping me into shape.Shaping and molding me to be the instructor I am today. The moment I saw their minds wander off to “Gosh, I hope Lucy is warm enough at recess” or “Oh geez, I totally forgot to reschedule that dentist appointment for Mattie “, I’d reel them back in. Even if it was only for that moment, I wanted them to know they matter, they are strong and they really should get to know themselves better because I thought they were spectacular.
The best way I knew how to get their attention back on themselves was to be very specific with my exercise cueing. Instead of saying “ok, lay down on your side and lift your leg up & down”, I’d get nit picky. I’d use more words like “super straight leg with your toe pointed sharply” and “draw a line with that toe down & up with control”. FOCUS. BREATHE.
They would be in the moment and so was I. Together we became a greater version of ourselves be simply paying attention to exactly what we were doing and who we were in that very moment.
We were now all fully awake.
Have you ever experienced an awaken like this, share it below in the comment section. I'd love to hear about it.
If you are going to exercise, be in it! I mean really in it! Get to know every little nook and cranny in your body and I promise you will see results faster, be excited to come back for more and appreciate everything you are made of.
Concentrate. Listen to who you are. Move with grace.
To get us moving in the right direction I want you to try the move (pictured below) after an exercise session you do this week.
How-to: Wide-Legged Forward Fold with a Chest Opener
- Take your feet nice and wide with your toes pointed forward.
Inhale and lengthen your torso, reaching the crown of your head up toward the ceiling.
Exhaling, fold forward at the hips and look through your legs.
Bring your hands to rest on the floor. If your hands do not come to the floor, rest them on your thighs or a chair. As you keep your left hand in place, bring your right hand to your right hip. Keep your spine and the front of your torso long.
With an exhalation, straighten your right arm and reach toward the ceiling. Your arm should be vertical and your fingertips should point to the ceiling. Keep your hips as level as possible, twisting through your torso instead of the hips.
Turn your head to gaze up at your right thumb.
To release, slowly unwind and return both hands to the floor. Then, bring your right hand to the center and repeat the twist to the left for the same amount of time. Return to center.
If your shoulders feel constricted when you reach for the ceiling, place your top hand on your hip.
If your neck hurts when you turn your head, keep your gaze downward.
Do not lock your knees.
Aim for aligning your ankles, knees, and hips. It’s common to lean back, placing too much weight on the heels.
Never force the twist! Only turn as far as it feels healthy and comfortable; then, gently deepen the pose from there.
The benefits of this pose:
Stretched hamstrings, calves, hips, low back, and spine
Stretched and strengthened upper back and shoulders
A calmer mind
Relief from stress, anxiety, and mild depression
- Relief from neck and shoulder tension
After you have tried this move, meet us on the JBird Fitness Facebook page and let us know how it made you feel HERE and feel free to forward this message to anyone you know who would benefit from moving and connecting to their body.
This week's JBird Fitness workout video release is:
"Barre Express: Arms"
Grab a pair of light weights, have a chair nearby and get ready to work your upper body & more in this new barre style arm workout!
Not a JBird Fitness Member yet? Click HERE for a FREE 3-day trial.
See you at the next workout!