Liberal Arts Blog — “Essentrics”
Liberal Arts Blog — Saturday is the Joy of Sports, Dance, Fitness, and All Things Physical Day
Today’s Topic — “Essentrics” — doable yoga that through stretching reverses the shrinkage of aging — really? Professional Canadian hockey players do it. Miranda Esmond-White, a former ballerina with the National Ballet of Canada invented it. Her core audience is women in their 40s and 50s. But her students have included top athletes from many sports (including squash and figure skating). Her first bestseller was Aging Backwards: How to Look Ten Years Younger in 30 Minutes a Day. Sounds compelling. Is it remotely plausible? Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
AN ECLECTIC MIX OF YOGA, PILATES, TAI CHI, PHYSIOTHERAPY
1. Involves constant non-challenging movement. No weight-bearing exercises. No need for close attention to form. The fundamental idea is strengthening via stretching.
2. “Designed to relieve pain, increase athletes’ speed, and lengthen the muscles of the full body.”
3. “Barre work can be done using a chair or countertop. Floor work requires a yoga mat and optionally a resistance band and/or a yoga block.”
CLASSICAL STRETCH — longest-running PBS fitness show (since 1999)
1. “Classical Stretch has been helping people of all ages and fitness levels rebalance their body, increase mobility and flexibility, while keeping all 650 muscles and 360 joints healthy and pain-free.”
2. Are those numbers right? Do we really have 650 muscles and 360 joints?
3. “Based on the intelligent fitness technique Essentrics® — each 30-minute episode of Classical Stretch features a full-body workout centered around the science of eccentric movement and combines dynamic strengthening and stretching exercises suitable for everyone.”
NB: Have you tried it? Do you know anyone who has? is this really science-based?
IS ESSENTRICS THE “ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE” AND “PILATES” OF THE 21ST CENTURY?
1. The physical rehabilitation component of the method reminds me of two of the 20th century’s most popular allegedly life-changing “techniques.”
2. The “Alexander technique,” was a posture-improvement program developed by an Australian singer who lost his voice and traced his problems to poor posture. His methods became a basic component of the physical training of ballet dancers and opera singers around the world.
3. “Pilates,” originally called “controlology” was developed by Joseph Pilates, a sickly child, who was lucky to have a Greek gymnast for a father and who developed his machines while rehabilitating severely injured German prisoners-of-war in an internment camp during World War I. “Pilates took springs from the beds and attached them to the headboards and footboards of the iron bed frames, turning them into equipment that provided a type of resistance exercise for his bedridden patients.” (See last link below)
2 minutes / 3 exercises
4 minute interview
4:53 workout video
Please share the coolest thing you learned this week related to sports, dance, fitness. Or the coolest thing you learned about Sports, Dance, of Fitness in your life — whether on the field, on the dance floor or in the gym, whether from a coach, a parent, a friend, or just your own experimentation.
This is your chance to make someone else’s day. Or even change their life. It’s perhaps a chance to put into words something you have never articulated before. And to cement in your own memory something cool you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart.