Today I'm rapping about body love and words of wisdom from a toddler...
I think my three year old son Mars is soo cute. Like, I could just eat him up. When I ask him why he's so cute, he responds, "Because I'm perfect!" (!!!!?????!!). Now, I've never told him that he's perfect, but he truly believes that he is. And, as his mom, I really feel like I'm doing something right, which is not always the case. You can imagine my reaction when I heard that for the first time. I mean, how fantastic is that? And, he inspires me – my little boy has not one ounce of negativity in his head. He really loves himself and thinks he's just perfect. We all should have that high level of self-love, right?
Many of us are finishing up our Fall Transformation (myself included), and some of us are just getting back into the studio, post-summer. Recently, there's been a lot of talk about our Stop Bitch moments, body image, what other Lithers do, do too much of, or don't do enough of, and what it means to be healthy and empowered. But behind all of this talk about being Lithe lies the heart of what it means to be healthy: Loving the skin you’re in, treating yourself right, and feeling empowered to question, challenge, and redefine your own self-view of beauty and wellness. Loving the body you have, and working to improve your health and head is so important. In fact, many of you are already super-confident and intuitive. Here are a few emails that I've received over the past few weeks:
Being healthy shouldn’t be about appearance, it should be about health.
I'm all about improving myself and becoming healthy and fit. Almost everyone I know should spend more time working out, and making lifestyle changes. It's everything!
Once I let go of trying to be thin and focused on the idea of loving my body, I became healthier.
This Fall Transformation has taught me so much about myself and my level of commitment. I've never felt so great about myself. I feel like me again. I'm unstoppable!
Here’s what I think about loving your body. As women, we all struggle with self-confidence. There are always those little things we wish we could change about our bodies. Whether it’s wishing we had a six-pack, more defined arms, or thinner thighs. My approach has always been accept it, or act to change it. Because of this, I have always used my "imperfections" as motivation to work harder. Over the years I've learned to love and respect my body for what it is because it has been so good to me. It's gotten me through almost ten injury-free years of Lithe and allows me to burn the candle at both ends and work hard when I need to. It has given me my Mars, it takes me on walks every day, helps me sail a 50-foot catamaran every summer, and feels so strong invincible when I Lithe.
And, in exchange, I treat my body the very best that I can. I live a healthy, balanced lifestyle by staying active and eating well. I let it rest at night, take Epsom baths and stretch to keep it flexible. On the weekends I have fun, give in to my cravings and just let go.
So, this fall, as you're working towards your best you, remember that it does not mean that you're working to fit into a particular mold. Not a certain weight, size, or shape: YOU are perfect. Make that your mantra! You're working towards building that confidence muscle – which is the best possible way to learn to love the skin you’re in.
Image via Lauren & Mars via Jordan
We all know that Lithe is different. Trying to navigate our studio schedules? We can help! Lauren creates workouts and programs the schedule, so that you achieve your best results without overworking muscle groups, or becoming imbalanced and injured.
What is Lithe? Our method is called Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting. CCS utilizes precise cheer-based movement to load muscles, produce a high cardio burn, and reduce fat zones all in a matter of 60 minutes. CCS targets all three zones of the body: the core, the lower body, and the upper body. In each workout, you’ll accelerate your burn (and results) with Lithe’s Higher Power Band System (which adds 12 to 15 lbs. of resistance), light to medium weights (3 to 20 lbs.), and other Lithe-exclusive props.
Every Lithe workout is total body, cardiovascular, and sculpting (think: sweaty). Some workouts produce a higher cardio burn and some are more sculpting (slower and grounded), and everything can be modified and tailored for you.
Image of Lithe Instructor Rachel Dore via Dom
New to Lithe, or having touble holding the blue bands? Watch as Lauren gives tips on proper hand form when using Lithe's blue Higher Power band system.
*Turn up the volume so you can hear me - The fountain is super loud...
Our Fall Transformation Lithers are getting #SexierInSix by adding an additional 20-30 minute Lithe Walk-Star (ankle weights optional) to their schedules up to six days a week for six weeks. They are also receiving videos and tips via email on a daily basis, but we'll be posting them live a week later so that everyone can benefit! Stay tuned for more!
Happy Tuesday! It's cardio day at Lithe, so it’s time to kick up the cardio and sweat it out. Cardio is one of the most important things you can do for your body. Not only does it make a difference on the inside (improving your cardiovascular health), but you will see results on the outside, too (especially if you stick to it 3-5 times a week).
I think that one of the toughest aspects of Lithe is getting your cardiovascular stamina up to par or back up to par after some time off. As a newbie, you may find yourself feeling defeated trying to finish our hour-long classes numerous times a week and devoting some time to learning our Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting choreography. You can do it! Here are some tips for safe, efficient and effective cardio:
1. Be a 6-7AMer! I suggest doing cardio in the morning before your first meal. Your body is most likely to use fat as the energy source because your glycogen stores are depleted.
2. Protect your feet, but not with sneakers (unless you have a foot injury). We barefoot train at Lithe. Why? It makes you stronger from head to toe and simply builds a better, stronger, leaner body. If you have a foot injury you should wear a studio sneaker and avoid stilletto. You want to work correctly, stay on a mat and NEVER over-bounce on the balls of your feet. Our feet work instinctively, but to prevent stress fractures, shin splints and plantar issues, stay on your mat, use your quads to launch a jump, keep a gentle point to your ankle, and then roll through the forefoot and heel. Your goal is to "sponge" and not bounce. That "up" energy should be an illusion. Your entire body is active, but you're working down into the ground. Work harder by getting low and grounded, rather than bouncing high and beating up your feet.
3. Keep your shoulders open, depressed, and lift your chest. This instantly engages and elongates your abs.
4. Activate your arms. Think about how you punch out those perfect sharp high V's and low V's ... Do this with every movement and feel your heart rate climb!
5. Don't stop as soon as your heart rate starts to really climb. So many people get nervous once their heart rate gets in the zone. Breath, stretch, and shake.
6. If you're DIY, Make a killer cardio playlist on your iPod to get you through the workout. Pick out your favorite songs that you love listening to so you forget about the time.
My favorite Lithe cardio workouts are Rock Steady, Higher Power, Freestyle and Spirit. What are yours?
Image of Lithe Instructor Liz Galbally wearing Lululemon via Dom
Last week, I shared 5 of my tips for getting the most out of my classes and staying motivated through the Earned in Winter challenge. This week, a few more.
1. Front and Center: Yesterday, I fought the rain and a mangled umbrella to walk into class late, right as the stretching started. There were no mats left, except for in the very front of the room, right in front of the instructor and everyone else. I grumbled to myself. I usually like to stay off to the side, not too far away, but far enough from the spotlight so I was loath to take my position. But, it was SUCH a boost to my motivation. I didn't feel like I could slack with so many people behind me. It gave me a little kick in the pants to get my knees up, my butt down and to take less breaks. (Don't be scared to try this. The reality is that no one is really paying attention, unless they are looking for a leader. I rarely see the girl at the front, since there are so many people between her and me and I'm concentrating on myself.) Even still though, you feel the pressure anyway, and it helps.
2. Schedule Smart: If you're like me, you already spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what classes you're going to take--which instructors, on which days, in which studios. (Can I get an amen??) But, somehow, despite this, I often don't take my whole scheduling picture--social life and habits--into consideration when I get on MindBody. I tend to focus more on getting on the schedule at all, rather than scheduling smart. This leads me to forget about a meeting or dinner plans, which has me realizing--way too late--that I should have scheduled a morning class that day, instead of an afternoon one. So, I've begun keeping my smart phone calendar out in front of me when scheduling so I can't forget about the commitments I can't move. Taking it a step further, I'm also trying to gauge patterns in my energy. When am I up-beat? When am I dragging? If I know that Monday afternoons are a low-energy time for me, I don't schedule myself for a high cardio class for that slot. Instead, I pre-plan for a low-impact, sculpting class that day so I'll be more likely to follow through with it.
3. You're So Vain: On last week's post, someone shared their tip of looking in the mirror, and it's a really good one. Getting yourself in a place where you can get a clear look at yourself in the mirror is a good habit. I know most of us feel uncomfortable gazing at ourselves for 60 minutes. (I personally find it challenging not to focus on the parts of my body that I'm unhappy with, or the rogue hairs sprouting all over my face), but it's actually proven good practice for me in multiple ways. Not least of which is to encourage myself to look beyond my insecurities to my form. When I can SEE what I'm doing, then I can make adjustments. When an instructor yells FLAT BACK, I can check and see if I'm flat and adjust. When she asks me to make sure my knee isn't going over my ankle during lunges, I can double check from the side reflection. Keeping tabs on form through the mirror has helped me vastly improve.
4. Stretch Armstrong: I hate stretching. I'm using the word HATE about stretching. I know how crucial it is, but still I hate it. It hurts. I'm inflexible and I suck at it. It's one of the reasons I hate being in class early, because I feel forced to stretch on my own--like others around me--and I just don't wanna. BUT, I do commit to the stretching IN class. I know it's not much, but that makes it all the more important. Before and AFTER the class. We've all been there, when we are lithing at lunch and need to hurry back to work, or we have a ride waiting on us downstairs, so we skip the stretching at the end, step over some people, and get a towel and rush back to our mats and out of class before everyone else. I certainly have. But, there are some folks that make this the rule rather than the exception just to beat the locker room rush, and I can't help but feel like I'm getting cheated out of my much needed stretch when girls are stepping over me or spraying me with mat cleaner while I'm down in a straddle. We all need a stretch, even if it's just a few moves, and let's be honest, hitting the elevators two minutes before everyone else isn't worth skipping out on it. A few stretches a few times a week, really does add up to increased flexibility. So stay to the end of class (if you actually have the time), I and your neighbors, and your body, will thank you for it.
See you in class!
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