Get on the LIST for post exercise BLISS
Remember the bumper sticker that says “NO PAIN, NO GAIN” … this saying definitely came out of the 80’s or 90’s and much like other pieces in our past, it has no place in the present - especially when it comes to life-long fitness and aging gracefully. It’s great to elevate your heart rate to burn fat and keep your heart strong and healthy, however, there are so many options to elevate your heart rate beyond the kind that make it difficult to walk the next day.
In Chinese philosophy, the best way to exercise is to invigorate the body, but never to the point of pain. Rather, the intention is to move chi or energy in the body to feel energized, to remove toxins from our tissues/muscles and to keep our bodies, minds and spirits vital.
As the bumper sticker indicates, we do not really feel we are getting anything out of our workout unless we are in pain, feeling like we dropped the preverbal hammer on our weight in the gym, added more miles running, biking or hit multiple yoga and exercise classes in one day. (I am also guilty of this mindset and practice.) When you look beyond the competitive athlete world, you find the refreshing concept that a certain amount of stress on the body in the form of exercise is great, however, when you reach pain, that is an indication and message from your body to stop what you’re doing and do something different to prevent harm.
If you have a goal in mind - such as increasing aerobic capacity - there is a fine line between challenging ourselves and then going beyond that self-respecting threshold to beat ourselves back into the shape we had in college or high school. Most likely you are not sporting the same clothes from high school or college, and how you move your body needs to be updated too! By learning one of these practices you will gain inspiration to get to the post-exercise bliss, achieve your goals, and move energy in your body to bring you vitality, strength and support your life deserves!
READY! Yoga, QOYA, Tai Chi, Zumba and Qi Gong are all ways to breath, stretch, dance and move with intention that honors your body and where you are today!
YOGA is a system of human development; its root in sanskrit is “yuj” - to yoke, to unite a person’s individual consciousness with universal consciousness. This is done through various yogic practices including physical and mental training (hatha and raja yoga), intellectual study (jnana yoga), selfless service to others (karma yoga), and through loving devotion (bhakti yoga). Yoga is a time-tested practice that enhances one’s well-being on all levels - mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and energetic. In Ellicottville, NY, yoga classes are offered through two different teachers: Jane Gram who specializes in Iyengar alignment-based yoga, and Laura Solly who teaches hatha yoga to stretch and relax. All you need is a mat, open mind and comfy clothes. Seach out Laura Solly Yoga on Facebook or email Jane.email@example.com for more information.
QOYA is a new movement form; a fusion of dance, yoga and sensual movement for women. QOYA is about getting your mind and body in alignment with the sacred and focusing more on how you feel, and less on how you look. Remembering everything is within you and honoring the dance of life is to embrace ourselves and embody the feminine. Find out more at www.wisewildfree.com; local classes can be found at www.rachelnorthrup.com .
TAI CHI is about learning to manage your own energy and developing the discipline to learn movements and connect those to your breathe. Literally it means “supreme ultimate fist.” It is the classic Chinese system of gentle flowing movements that has been practiced as a health exercise since ancient times. This practice teaches relaxation, boosts energy and erases tension in the body and mind. Log onto www.behealthyinstitute.com for a list of local classes.
QI GONG (pronounced “chee-gung”) literally means “life energy cultivation” and is a practice of aligning breath, movement and awareness for exercise, healing and meditation. Log onto www.behealthyinstitute.com for a list of local classes.
ZUMBA has its roots in Latin America and will free you to elevate your exercise from an obligation to a party ... and with the latest music to keep you inspired! Instructors in Ellicottville include Lilian Dirito, Kim Moore Watt, Mark Johnson and Jennifer Addotta. Find classes at Facebook group ZUMBA EVL/GV/Allegany.
If you are interested in taking part in any of the above activities but are not in the Ellicottville area, check with your local fitness center or library to see if classes are offered.
Be bold, be brave and try something new; something that makes you feel good and change your story about how your body gets fit. Remove the pain and insert some BLISS BABY! Nobody else is attached to your story except you, so if you are ready to drop the extra pounds, start with those outdated stories about needing to pound yourself into the ground in order to get a good workout. Decide to enjoy your fitness - not as an obligation, but rather as a PRIVILEGE for your mind and body. Honor yourself where you are now in present time because none of us are getting any younger.
The time to be fit and healthy for yourself is NOW. Take a page from James Brown and “get up off of that thing and dance til you feel better.”
Rachel E. Northrup, founder of VA VA Voom Co., is an Entrepreneur, Personal Trainer, QOYA Instructor, Certified Feng Shui Consultant and ambassador of healthy conscious living, moving, dreaming and eating. Visit her website to learn more at www.rachelnorthrup.com .