Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bottling Exercise

When my family and I set sail on a Christmas cruise this past December, Yoga and Pilates were the two classes I signed up for at sea. Back on land, I'm excited to have a found a place near my home where I can do both: Pilates one day, yoga the next -- and then throw some Zumba in there, too, and I've got quite a exercise program going on, I'd say.

Today, I am simply "bottling" the great feeling of exercise. I took a Pilates class yesterday morning and a Zumba class last night. At the end of the hour-long Pilates workout, the instructor said to me, "You make it look easy." That was sweet of her, but I still want/need to get my core strengthened far more. But, if I did "make it look easy," I'm sure the yoga teacher training program I'm doing is certainly helping with that. Talking about yoga, that's Kate Potter (yellow shirt), creator of the Namaste Yoga TV show, pictured with me (green pants) about three or so years ago.

I ended up at Zumba last night because I felt an urge to go cardio-crazy, so to speak. The class had two instructors -- lovely and lively French gals -- and we partied away, Zumba-style! (By the way, Didier, my Yoga Teacher Training teacher is also French.) The Zumba fitness room had lots of space for moving around -- and the atmosphere just made me feel like I was dancing in my own living room. After class, I joined my husband and son at their basketball practice. Initially, I was going to go with them but decided that rather than just watch my husband coach and watch my son get all of his exercise in, I might as well get some of my own in! So, it was my "date" with Zumba until I met up with my family, and so I got the best of both exercise "worlds".

Today, after Chapel at my son's school, it was off to Victoria's yoga class at the gym -- where I got to do headstands and backbends (wheel). Thanks, Victoria! Victoria received her yoga teacher's certification from the same school where I'm getting mine, so her classes feel as if they're an extension of my training program. Perhaps that's why throughout her class today, I heard Didier's voice in my head reminding me that: "Yoga is about energy," and then I could feel myself giving more energy to the postures while feeling stronger and more alive in the process. For instance, here's a little exercise where you, too, might be able to experience this difference I speak of:

~ With your arms about shoulder width apart, extend them straight up above your head and look up.

~ Bring them back down by your sides.

~ Now, with your arms hanging down by your sides, stretch your fingers open wide and begin the motion of raising your arms (shoulder width apart) above your head. Raise them with purpose and intention. Raise them as if you have the head of a tiny infant resting on your wide-opened finger tips of one hand and the infant's feet resting on the finger tips of the opposite hand. Feel the strength it takes to lift the precious "infant" up towards the sky as you look up with shoulders relaxed and away from the ears. With that stretch, remember to spread your fingers apart like five-pointed stars....because you are a star! ;-)

Did you feel the difference between the two variations of the stretch? Did you feel more electrified by the second one? I did. :-)

Exercising with Energy,


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