Tone up and Tune in

By Anne Pyle

Tune, Tone and Release

What’s your fitness goal? What’s important to you when it comes to your physical and emotional well-being? Are you focused on weight loss or stress release? Healing a physical ailment or just getting overall stronger? Are you looking more to energize or wind down? Chances are you need all of this at different times, and yet most of us have a preferred fitness routine… our steady “go-to” workout that helps us get in the zone.

If you’re like me, you’re committed to keeping your body in shape.  I also feel really strongly about having a calm and centred approach to my life.

Keeping in shape and being in control emotionally, are core to how I look after myself.

I try to keep both of them happening, wherever I am, because it keeps me feeling confident and in control of my life and able to face whatever happens with objective clarity.

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To tune in and get centred, I turn to yoga.

Yoga poses or positions, releases endorphins, the feel good hormones, and the process of focusing on the poses in rhythm with the breath always moves me to a calmer space.

But yoga is about more than tuning in and calming down. To hold the yoga poses properly, take strength and balance. Toning occurs through bodyweight poses, such as Warrior 1 and Warrior 2, Cobra, and Sun Salutation, in the beginners yoga. For more advanced yoga, there is Crow and other positions that require strength and focus while tuning into the your core for balance. This entire process of coordinating movement, breath, focus, strength and balance, invokes an inner calm that lasts beyond the session.

Body Toning for a Body in Tune

If you hold a Warrior pose properly, (with thigh parallel to the floor, it works your hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteus muscles, the power trio that heightens mobility and lower body strength.

If you hold yoga poses properly, it’s a great toning workout.

 

 

Still, no matter which is your favorite exercise, it’s good to change it up and do several different kinds of things to keep your body guessing.

So for variation and greater strength building, I have to remind myself to also do weights on a regular basis, especially when—as a Baby Boomer—I’m at an age where muscle is harder to build and easier to lose.

Yoga Keeps me Tone up, Tuned in and Tension Free

Bottom line: yoga keeps me toned up, tuned in and tension free, while weights and resistance training help to energize and workout frustrations is a positive way.When I do it I feel ‘right’ with myself.

After exercise and yoga, I feel positive and incredibly well, and happy with how I look. Conversely, if I miss classes or let my toning slip, I feel irritated with myself and my attitude becomes more defeatist.  Not a good place to run your life from, but what’s amazing to me is how easy it is to get there (into a victim mindset from not exercising my body), and how easy it is to get out, the moment I step back into the yoga class, strength training routine, or power walking in nature.

The exercises in this quick toning circuit from Women’s Health, are perfect for body toning exercises you can do at home, mostly using your bodyweight and gravity for the resistance, similar to yoga. These work the lower body and core, which are Simple but effective, here are four exercises you can do in just 10 minutes to tone up and tune in.

 

Tone Your Yoga Muscles in Ten Minutes

Lunge With A Press

LUNGE WITH A PRESS

Stand with left foot in front of right, dumbbell in your right hand at shoulder height. Keeping your weight in front heel, bend your knees, lowering into lunge. Press up to standing again, extending your right arm and pressing the dumbbell overhead. Do 25 seconds one side, switch sides, repeat 25 seconds other side (or start with a count of 10 Lunge Presses per side).

Dip With A KickDIP WITH A KICK

Sit on edge of a chair, hands on seat. Slide your butt off , bend your elbows, lower your body until your upper arms are nearly parallel to floor. Press up, and extend your left leg as shown. Alternate legs with each rep.

 

Hip Bridge With A Crunch

HIP BRIDGE WITH A CRUNCH

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your heels on the seat of a chair, hands behind your head. Engage your core, squeeze your glutes, lift your hips. Lower your hips to floor. Lift your shoulders off the floor to perform a crunch. That’s one rep.

Intermediate Crunch Extension

INTERMEDIATE CRUNCH EXTENSION

Lie on your back with hands behind your head, knees bent over hips. Lift your shoulders off the floor, extend and lower your legs to a 45-degree angle. Slowly reverse the move. That’s one rep.

 

 

RESOURCES

Tone Your Legs, Arms and Booty With This 10-Minute Workout, Women’sHealth