You don't live in LA. You can't afford a personal trainer. You are not Jennifer Aniston. Me neither, but tonight I had the chance to work out with her yoga instructor Mandy Ingber... in Chicago... for free. And you can do it too.
I recently discovered the plethora of exercise videos on YouTube, featuring all kinds of trainers from Jillian Michaels to Tracy Anderson (who whipped Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow into shape with multiple repetitions of dance-inspired moves). Maybe I'm behind the times, but having a variety of workouts literally at my fingertips means I don't really have an excuse not to work up a sweat from time to time. With work and school and everything else going on, my gym membership has not seen much action. I'm talking two yoga classes in the last couple months (yikes!). Thank God for good genetics and a fast metabolism, but even that blessing has not prevented me from becoming a little softer in the stomach area and a lot more lethargic.
When I don't work out, I have low energy and healthy eating seems to go out the window as well. But when am I supposed to fit in an hour-long yoga class or a 4-mile walk, when I can barely eat dinner, get my homework done and go to bed before midnight? (Oh, and I am not a morning person, so that ain't gonna happen.) Turning to YouTube videos means I don't have to leave the house, I can wear my pajamas, and I can cut my workout time down to as little as three minutes. Every little bit helps! And they always say once you get started, it's easier to keep going...
Tonight I was really sleepy and needed a boost before heading out to celebrate a girlfriend's birthday. I wanted to wind down from the work day and get my blood moving... and maybe feel a little less chubby before squeezing into skinny jeans. I typed "Mandy Ingber" into the YouTube search bar and chose "Yoga For All - Unwind with Mandy Ingber," a three-minute, 57-second video. Mandy walks through a few relaxing stretches and recommends holding each pose for about one minute. I didn't even get into yoga clothes or tie my hair back or roll out my yoga mat. I just knelt down on the living room rug and did yoga Jennifer-Aniston-style.
(Thanks to Scott for capturing this experience on film and not even batting an eye... his yoga-loving sister taught him right. He did say I looked dead in the last pose, but it's called corpse pose so that's fine by me. I am posting the pictures... please don't laugh too hard.)