Exercise

Moving your body is the ultimate way to open up your creativity and get some energy. I’ve always liked yoga and dancing, and there was a time I really enjoyed tennis and racquetball (too hard on the joints now).

I don’t really get into exercise for its own sake, but as a creative pursuit….YES. Lately it’s been helping liven things up as I’ve worked from home most of this year. My current faves are listed below.

Yoga. Still one of the best, it’s always challenging and soothing at the same time. I love the music and breathwork. The teachers are always really chill. The outfits are cool and comfy and you get to be barefoot. My favorite teacher is Parker, who taught at the Tualatin Hills Parks & Rec system – the Nature Center, with its beautiful tall windows looking out at the woods. I sure hope the fitness centers open up again soon. My favorite online instructor is Rodney Yee, a powerhouse with the maturity to know the best way to do everything.

Essentrics. This is a new one for me, but I took the Essentrics 30-day challenge at the urging of my stepmom, who is way more agile than me, so I thought, why not? And what do you know, it cures my back pain all day when I do it first thing in the morning. It’s like a combo between Ballet, Pilates, and Tai Chi and was created by Miranda Esmonde-White, a former ballerina. Miranda teaches that this method is so good for posture and pain relief because it acts upon the fascia, those sheets of connective tissue between the muscles.

MELT. Okay, this is not really exercise, it’s more like purposeful stretching. My hand doctor, RuthAnn Marquis, taught it to me before she retired. MELT was created by Sue Hitzman, and it’s great at teaching me to assess my own “masses and spaces” to see where I may have “stuck stress”. Then I can use a combination of balls and rollers on my hands, feet, and body to ease and rehydrate the fascia.

BollyX / Bhangra / Bollywood Dance Workouts. Whoa. So much fun packed into a half hour or hour of time, with the best music inspired by India. BollyX‘s style is more tribal than traditional, resembling hip hop with some Asian style mixed in. I smile and laugh when I do it, but I had to stop for a while because the skipping was hurting my back. I’ll return.

Walking. This is my staple, my go-to for every day. I’ve been walking every day since my beloved dog Sophy died, to have something to do instead of moping. I lost 30 pounds. I bought a Fitbit and started counting calories. I joined Weight Watchers and counted Points. There’s an awesome Amazon Video series from fitness instructor Paul Eugene focused on marching, walking, and dancing. He’s this adorable 63-year old guy who has contagious enthusiasm. When I walk outside, I like to listen to audiobooks.