7.13.16

The mind-body link is a very real thing, and nothing proves it more than the power of a good sweat on a rotten mood. These Pilates moves from L.A. blogger, Lauren Gores Ireland of You  & Lu , offer a perfect solution for overcoming the physical blocks that come with a sticky state of mind. By quickly working our bodies and our breath, this routine gets us healthily distracted and back on our A game. Bust out these easy, do-anywhere moves after a rough afternoon or on any given Monday…

Ever feel like your mind is exhausted? We all have those days. Life is busy, chaotic and beautiful all at once — and our brains feel the weight of it. Even on days I feel exhausted, I push myself to move my body. Exercise creates increased circulation and blood flow, which ultimately wakes up the brain! Win-win, in my book.

This doesn’t mean you have to wake up and run a marathon. Rather, a series of at-home Pilates moves is enough to change your state of mind. I teamed up with the healthy babes behind Mindfuel Wellness to share five moves we can all do everyday. The Chicago-based duo proved to me a little movement can change my state of mind…

 

Pilates for a Better State of Mind
Note: Begin and end with stretches that engage your back, core and arm muscles.

MEDITATIVE REACH

This starting position will awaken your mind! Begin on all fours, with knees hip-distance apart and toes pointed. Reach your arms toward the end of the mat, extending your back and shoulders. Sink your chest into the mat, and roll your shoulders back away from your ears. Remain in this position for 30 seconds.

FULL-FLEXION BALL

This position is ideal for warming up your heels, knees and ankle joints, while stretching your spine. The best way to approach this position is to begin standing and reach for your toes. Bend your knees and lift your heels, bringing your body into a ball. Hold for 30 seconds.

STRAIGHT-LEG PULL

I love an exercise that challenges both my core and hamstring muscles. This position will push you to breathe deeply. Lie on your back and extend both legs to the sky. Engage your core and lift your body into a sit-up-like position, while pulling one leg above the knee. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds before switching sides.

ENLIGHTENING STRETCH

This position will make you feel enlightened, for the way it stretches your mind and body upward. Begin seated on your mat, with your right shin parallel to the front of your mat, and your left shin parallel to the back. Stretch your arms into a T. Lean into your right side, bringing your right arm down to the mat. Stretch your left arm upward, while looking toward the sky. Hold for 30 seconds before switching into the next position.

ROTATION PULL

From the position above, take your left arm and pull it through, under your chest, rotating your upper back. Reach as far as you can, while breathing deeply for about 30 seconds. Switch sides, repeating both this exercise and the one explained above.


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