What I personally love most about Essentrics is the way it invites us to be fully present in our bodies. The expansive, flowing movements make us feel powerful. The workouts invite us to move musically, to quiet our minds, and just enjoy the incredible honor it is for our self to be housed in such a spectacular, ingenious form as the human body.
New to ESSENTRICS®?? Fear not!
Today. Right here. Right now... is a wonderful place to start your journey with this incredible, movement-based wellness system.
What is ESSENTRICS®?
ESSENTRICS® is a fluid and dynamic movement practice based around fundamental Pilates principles of developing strong posture, functional core strength, and conditionng the entire body through eccentric strengthening techniques. (More below about eccentric training.) ESSENTRICS® builds on the benefits of Pilates by combining it with tenants of the ancient practices Tai Chi and Yoga, resulting in a full body workout made up of functional, body-intuitive movements that profoundly strengthen the muscles, while improving balance, flexibility, and range of motion.
Essentrics also incorporates modern kinesiological practices, such as use of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) and consciously working the body with a focus on fascial health and in such a was as to optimize neurological benefit.
Every ESSENTRICS® class provides a low impact, full body workout that builds functional strength, agility, and coordination, while simultaneously developing balance, flexibility in the muscles, and greater range of motion at the joints.
The movements in ESSENTRICS® are straightforward and intuitive for the body. That is not to say they are "easy" to perform. Definitely not!! Rather, it means they utilize natural muscle systems and teach us to use our bodies optimally in the way they are designed, whether for the physical demands of daily life, or as the foundation of technical athletic performance.
Who would benefit from an ESSENTRICS® workout?
Regardless of present physical condition or particular fitness goals, ESSENTRICS®
will help you feel and be your best.
ESSENTRICS® offers a remarkably vast array of benefits, not only because of the intrinsic value of this carefully designed healthful movement, but also because it is adaptable to advance virtually any fitness or health goal.
ESSENTRICS® can be fully customized to challenge the most athletic and physically active, or to safely wake up and strengthen a body that is otherwise sedentary, or to meet the needs of every level of physical strength and mobility in between.
Whether you aspire to:
-Cross-train higher impact activities or traditional concentric based movement exercise
-Treat your office- or classroom-weary body to some revitalizing movement
-Develop core strength, posture, and balance for general health and injury prevention in daily life or in sports
-Balance your muscle strength or rehabilitate from injury or age-related muscle atrophy
-Improve flexibility and range of motion for athletic performance or simply better quality of life by increasing your muscular comfort, ease of movement
-Relieve stress by taking part in a flowing, musically engaged workout that invigorates the body, lifts the spirit, and clears the mind.
What is eccentric conditioning?
When we eccentrically contract our muscles, we contract them as we lengthen them. Most forms of exercise emphasize concentric muscle conditioning, which is based around contracting muscles as we shorten them. The benefits of training the muscles eccentrically are vast and well documented. (I encourage you to do a quick PubMed search.)
But for fundamental health and performance purposes, by focusing on working muscles in their lengthened state, ESSENTRICS® promotes muscular strength and flexibility, which gives it several advantages over more traditional concentric training methods, that make the muscles less flexible, and therefore arguably more prone to injury, among other potential disadvantages.
Logistics: more about the ESSENTRICS® workout experience
A typical ESSENTRICS® class is roughly 85% dynamic standing movements (no static poses), and 15% floor work, though these ratios can be adjusted.
The workout is performed to music.
No special equipment or props are needed. We will use yoga mats for floor work, and feel free to use anything that may make you more comfortable, such as resistance bands for stretching, if you would like.
The workout is best performed barefoot, but you may wear socks that provide some kind of no-slip surface, if you can do so safely.
Wear clothes that encourage your fullest, freest, most expansive movement (nobody will present you with overpriced, "designer" ESSENTRICS® swag or try to convince you that you need to wear fancy leggings to get the most out of this workout!... sorry, venting a pet peeve...)