Putting aside heavy cardio training, certain fitness facilities are advocating a new kind of workout: the “doing nothing” workout. Classes, with names such as “Hammock Stretching,” “Candlelit Calm,” and, “Breathe Yourself Fit” are appearing everywhere. According to fitness experts, as we age the mind-body connection becomes even more essential; flexibility and mental agility have become the gold standards in health. “There has been a shift in focus, people are realizing the importance of a holistic and balanced approach to fitness,” shares Michelle Morrey, group fitness manager at London’s Equinox, with the Daily Mail UK, “And I’ve seen far more interest in regenerative classes.”
Equinox Fitness Clubs offer an Rx Series featuring ball therapy (similar to Yamuna Body Rolling). “Don’t expect to achieve results without proper R&R,” it advertises. Designed by Jill Miller, creator of The Yoga Tune Up and The Roll Model, classes explore massage, mobilization, and maximizing performance, using a combination of self-myofascial massage, range-of-motion stretches and breath strategy.
The Breathing Class, led by Dr. Belisa Varnish (author of Breathe) addresses both physical and psychological problems related to oxygenation that is out of balance. Her classes teach people to breathe in an “anatomically congruous way that maximizes balanced inhales and exhales.” According to the good doctor, most people breathe in brief, shallow breaths from their necks and shoulders. “Not only does this not use the back, bottom, and sides of the lungs,” she explains, “but shallow breaths also trigger the release of stress hormones like cortisol.”
Los Angeles’s trendy Studio K Training offers classes in Antigravity Restorative Yoga. According to the facility, led by Master K Trainer, Jennifer Green, “This powerful method focuses the mind through powerful visualizations as it floats the body through a series of gentle gyro-kinetic motions, deeply opening the entire spine, hips, and connective tissues of the body.” The technique features full body inversions, alongside various forms of flowing spinal traction and “is loved by all as a portal into deeper spinal flexibility, and mind/body connection.”