Fifteen years ago, I was not acting my age. Since I would recoil from any form of exercise, as well as any green foods, I was overweight, inflexible and debilitated by lower back pain. The 40 extra pounds on my frame — plus tight, shortened back muscles and weak abs — left me moving like an 80-year-old version of myself.
I suffered daily from sciatica, back spasms, limited mobility, weakness, you name it. When I got stuck in my car one day, unable to swing my legs out because of my sciatic pain — at age 23 — I realized, “Something’s gotta change.”
I started reading up and realized a shocking number of people suffer with chronic back pain, partly from hours spent sitting in a way that flattens the lower back curve. (BTW, Gaiam’s Balance Ball Chair, the very one I’m sitting on as I write this, is a great tool to help build core strength and re-align your spine.)
Then, I found yoga. Over time, using some of the same poses I’m showing you here, I built a lean and pain-free body.
A yoga teacher’s suggestion to invert has the power to illicit a range of emotions from students: bewilderment, fear, anxiety, aversion, rejection, excitement, butterflies — you fill in the blank.
Purposely turning ourselves upside-down is contrary to our physical nature, and yet the benefits of upending ourselves are many. Just as yoga gently encourages us to move away from any unconscious habitual patterns, the invitation to invert is simply another way to shake things up, step out of a rut.
We’re well into the new year, and the expectations of a better year — and a better you — are still high! We all keep in our mind’s eye what kind of shape we would like to be in, but it needn’t stop there. You can make it happen!
Before the holidays is a great time to detox. It can stave off weight gain and put you in a healthy mindset to help you resist temptation. And detoxing after the holiday “re-tox” — no matter how much carnage was left on that Thanksgiving dinner table, or how much stress crept into your weekend — is as easy as unrolling your mat. No matter when or on what level you could use a little realigning, this sequence is for you.
Summertime is here and it’s time to be comfortable in your own body. It’s that time of year when the sun is out (hopefully) and so are the swimsuits. Don’t miss out on fun in the sun because you’re worried about those last 10-20 pounds or the belly fat — do something about it! Here are a few dieting and exercise tips that will help you feel good and look good for summer.
With all the demands in your busy life, no doubt you feel a huge sense of accomplishment if you simply get in a walk on any given day. And you should! But one form of exercise isn’t enough. So instead of trying to fit ANY form physical activity into your schedule, focus on getting FOUR kinds of exercise — including core training as well as cardio, strength training and flexibility moves. You don’t necessarily have to add MORE workouts into your week; first just make sure that you’re alternating between these four types of movement in your routine, or combining them into any given workout.