De-stressing Workout for the New Year
As the New Year’s resolutions swing into high-gear, life may start to resemble boot camp class—heavy lifting, expletives and all! No wonder so many members of Denver, Colorado’s Pura Vida Fitness & Spa escape to the safe haven of the club’s R&R class, which strengthens the body while also softening furrowed brows. “R&R takes you through a variety of stretching exercises, mobility drills, and twists to wring out toxins and release the spine,” says Debbie Siebers, the program’s co-creator. “The movements are designed to increase strength and endurance while mixing in deep breath work.” Here are three moves you can try at home:
1. For Your Back: Bridge
Lie faceup with arms by sides and knees pointing up, feet flat. Heels should be about eight inches away from hips. Inhale deeply. As you exhale, press feet down and lift hips to a high bridge position. Take three deep breaths through nose then slowly roll down to start position. Pull knees to chest and circle legs, releasing back. That’s one rep. Repeat twice more.
2. For Your Shoulders and Neck: Shoulder Rolls
Sit in a comfortable position. On an inhale, squeeze shoulders up toward ears. On an exhale, slowly roll shoulders back and down. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps then reverse directions, moving back to front.
3. For Your Hips: Hip Twist
Lie faceup with arms open wide and right leg extended toward ceiling. As you inhale, slowly start to sweep right leg directly to left, going as low as you can while keeping shoulders flat on floor. As you exhale, slowly sweep right leg back toward ceiling. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps, then switch sides. —Jessica Cassity
GET CHARGED UP
With these great gizmos, you will never have to worry about running out of power, and will always be ready for a workout, with music and videos at hand.
NomadClip Say bye to the wall outlet: This just-launched, carabiner-style clip-on charger lets you power-up your devices wherever you can connect to a USB port, from the airplane to a hotel room TV. hellonomad.com
Jawbone UP24 This discreet wristband (available in six colors) and app helps you take a holistic approach to wellness by tracking your sleep, movement, moods, meals and more, and connecting you to health and fitness too! jawbone.com
Ematic MediaBeam No more wires needed: This pocket-sized device lets you wirelessly beam your music, workout videos and photos to any HDTV and even turns your TV into another internet terminal. ematic.us —Sandra Ramani
Yoga + Dance = Qoya
If your favorite studio classes are yoga and Nia, you’re going to love Qoya. This new, West Coast-based style of yoga has a few major distinctions from your typical class on the mat: Qoya is more focused on how poses feel than on how aligned they look. Qoya is always done to music. Qoya is women-only. And Qoya goes well beyond traditional yoga poses, incorporating choreography, improvisational dance, partner stretching, expressions of gratitude and motions that celebrate the female body.
This style of movement is guided by three principles: the wisdom of yoga, the wild, creative expression of dance and the freeing feeling of moving sensually. A typical class is designed to give both body and mind the opportunity to create new patterns, letting go of old habits and thought streams, increasing flexibility, possibility and confidence.
“A Qoya class presents each woman the opportunity to reflect inward, and at the same time, the music and the movements are so much fun,” says Susan Anderson, who teaches Qoya at Travaasa Austin. “Each class creates a container to hold for one’s possible emotional release, as well as being a physical workout in disguise.” loveqoya.com —Jessica Cassity