Week 7: Breathe and Reboot

Tanja Djelevic by Tanja Djelevic | April 23rd, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness

Woman doing breathing exercises

When I demand that my clients incorporate rest into their intense workout schedule, I’m always met by googly eyes and a surprised “You want me to do nothing?!” But it’s a matter of fact that no workout plan works to its fullest potential if you don’t rest properly.

As with everything else in life, there are huge benefits to finding the right balance between active exercise and recovery. During the rest and recovery time (which of course includes enough hours of sleep every night), cells heal, your body re-boots and energy stores replenish. That’s why it is extremely important to let the body heal for one or even two days per week so you can reap the benefits of all your hard work. And if you are on a plan that has you working out almost every day of the week, that’s never going to happen!

On a mental level, it can be very challenging for many of us — especially us multi-taskers — to give ourselves permission to take a break. Many of us have to learn how to slow down. In fact, you may even have to plan to do absolutely nothing.

A cornerstone in training and recovery is breathing. Studies say that breath work has the power to influence and even reprogram the nervous system. Breathing can help with everything from increasing energy, lowering blood pressure, improving circulation and beating anxiety disorders without the use of drugs, and those are only a few of the important benefits. It’s common knowledge even in the Western world that the art of yoga, with it’s attendant breath work, has healing powers, but I dare to say that whoever you are and whatever type of exercise you practice, you can incorporate your own style of breath work into your daily life.

Week 7 assignment: Rest, relax and breathe

This week I would like you to challenge yourself with scheduling some time for breathing and relaxing. But you can still move, even during recovery periods! Recovery exercise can include yoga, stretching your muscles, or using the foam roller to do some myofascial release while breathing deeply. Or you can take a walk in the woods. Sit down in nature and inhale the scents of whatever that is which is around you. My rest and relaxation in the big city is taking a bath, doing some deep breathing or — my favorite — doing some Tai Chi just to slooooow down…

Let me know how it goes and Live Life Loud!


Missed a week in our 10-week body/mind makeover program? Get back on track!

Week 1: Get Motivated and Add Exercise

Week 2: Learn to Love Food

Week 3: Make Fitness Fun Again

Week 4: Feel the Love and a Better Body Image

Week 5: Hit the Weights

Week 6: Water, Good for Your Body, Inside and Out

Week 7: Breathe and Reboot

Week 8: Rock Star Intervals

Week 9: The Three T’s!

Week 10: Putting it All Together

Work out with Tanja Djelevic fitness videos on GaiamTV.com!


  1. Hi Tanja,

    I’m 32 now and have been overweight since adolescence. 2 years ago, just after my 30th birthday and approaching 250 lbs., I decided to do something about it for better health (and so I could meet and face my now fiancé who’s 11 years my junior :D ), so I solely began a low-fat diet. Within about 8 months I had lost around 80 lbs! No exercise, no other dietary changes and I’ve kept that off for almost 2 years… but now I wanted to think about some exercise to keep progressing.

    I haven’t exercised at all since high school gym class, so I knew I would have to ease into it. I thought the Balance Ball looked fun and not so stressful on my body, so I purchased my pink Balance Ball & Band in a kit at Target with your DVD in it and started using it 2 months ago. I have been very impressed with myself that I have stuck with this and now it’s become something I need to do as often as I can. I do the Total Body Challenge in it’s entirety 3 times per week and have noticed the toning and strengthening benefits very quickly… things are going back to where they belong after losing the weight! I feel good while I do it and I feel great when I’m done (I did hurt my knee the first time I used it and I figured out eventually that I should be wearing shoes haha, it’s better now).

    I came to this website today to look for other DVDs by you. I was happy to find some more to do with the Ball, and the 8 minute clip here online is going to be great for those days I don’t have an hour to work out. You absolutely rock. I love working out with you because you have a very calm yet energizing personality (not annoying :) ), you explain things well and even in what must be a beginner video for your skill you don’t “show us up”… meaning you step back and go at our pace with us.

    I am getting any other of you DVDs I can get my hands on. THANK YOU so much for doing what you do, you must love it because it sure shows in your work!


    Kimberly | May 27th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  2. KImberly
    I first have to thank you for all the kudos!
    Secondly: how amazing are YOU!!!!????? I would like to have you by my side as a role model when I teach my classes, because the fact is (and you know this girl) with all the help you are getting, it is still YOU making all the changes, and YOU are doing all the work!!! I will hopefully be able to offer some more DVD’s to you soon, so that you can keep making that progress, and remember: take some time and celebrate yourself and the fact that you are loving and respecting yourself so much that you are taking time to Transform to the best that you can be. Yes I truly LOVE what I do, and what you just did with your email is the way I get back…Keep up the amazing work!

    Tanja | June 9th, 2008 | Comment Permalink

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