Group Fitness: Pilates!
With so many group fitness classes, intramural sports, active clubs, and beautiful scenery, it’s pretty difficult to not get in some form of exercise at my school. Amazingly, though, there is a large portion of the population who doesn’t take advantage of all these great opportunities, and they are truly missing out. Fitness is proven to be beneficial in academic areas too because it improves mood, memory and brain function. Just do it!
One of my friends Chelsea is an instructor for a fitness class here on campus– Pilates! Monday night I grabbed a friend to come with me and headed over after dinner. I honestly have never taken a Pilates class. I’ve done yoga, zumba, spin, boot camp, body works, step, and kickboxing class but never pilates. One more thing I can cross off the list!
These classes are fun because there’s always other newbies and beginners there. You shouldn’t feel self-conscious about your athletic ability because everyone is there to have fun and enjoy their workout!
(I only got the giggles once!)
This was a mellow-style pilates with lots of breathing and stretching, and some Jack Johnson music playing in the background. I liked it, and I plan on making it a weekly thing! I felt like I stretched my whole body while working out individual muscles in the feet, legs, and core.
Since this class is only once a week, I tried to remember some of the things that I could do on my own a few more days a week:
- Hip Bridges
- Hip Bridge with alternating leg lifts
- Superman (back hyper-extensions)
- One-leg circles (lay on your back, one knee bent; draw large circles rightward and leftward with your straightened leg)
- SLOW bicycles with inhale/exhales
If you’re on a college campus, I bet they offer these same classes. Honestly, you won’t regret finding one hour of your time to try a new workout class :)
Meditation and Starbucks <3
A couple of weeks ago, I shared my excitement for my “Stretch & Relaxation” class. My love for it continues to grow! Every Tuesday and Thursday, we leave our shoes at the door and enjoy 50 minutes of stretching in the dark with peaceful music. We’ve done new leg and back stretches, given ourselves foot massages, even given each other back massages (with tennis balls…which is a lot less weird than a semi-stranger giving you a shoulder rub!). It’s easily one of my favorite times of the day and almost always ends too soon!
Yesterday, though, we lined the walls of the fitness room to do a Meditation exercise. Meditation is not something I’ve ever tried before, mainly because I get the giggles any time I’m required to be serious and silent. Sitting in lotus pose and chanting a mantra just makes me feel so silly and ridiculous, that I can’t focus on the actual exercise! But yesterday, I actually tried. Our teacher read us a mantra: “I am a peaceful soul. I wish peace to others.”
I confess: I kept peeking out of the corner of my eye at the clock. Normally this class flies by, but meditation seemed to slow things down. If I thought repeating a mantra was a little odd, the next exercise was totally outlandish. We had to picture all of our family members and friends, and “say” to them “I wish you peace.” This just felt like some hippy shenanigans…
Next we wished peace upon our enemies, and then the ENTIRE WORLD. I understand that meditation is a mental practice, and a lot of people have found it to help them relieve stress and gain clarity. But the only thing I could think about while sitting against the wall with my palms open on my knees was going on a nice long run…
Running is my meditation. To each his own!
I treated myself to a post-meditation caffeine fix with a Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte – Lady Starbucks knows how to meditate too!
Enjoy your weekend!