We've made it through the first half of my Mind-over-Matter weight loss series! To help everyone organize the exercises and how they should be done, I have put together this post which collects all of the Yang routine into one place, with some added comments for each exercise.
Mind-over-Matter Weight Loss - Yang Routine
Walk like a Warrior: Warm up with this exercise. It integrates body, mind, and spirit. Even better, you can walk like a warrior anywhere: in your house, outside, in place facing the window, around a lake, etc. You can do it year-round. This video demonstrates the exercise at home, in place, near a window. When walking, keep the toes facing forward, and roll from the heal to the ball of the foot.
Getting oxygen into the bloodstream is only one goal of this exercise. The second goal is to invoke the warrior spirit. A group of women in Dedham, age 75+, that I taught this exercise to, would use the 23rd Psalm as their mantra to invoke the warrior spirit.
Start with 1-3 minutes. Over time, increase the time you walk until you can do it four times a week for 20-40 minutes each. Beginners and limited individuals should walk slow and utilize their arms to coordinate with the leg movements. For more advanced individuals, or people who want a challenge, raise the knees higher, swing the arms harder, and go faster.
Up and Down: I go into great detail in this video about the many ways to do this exercise to get your heart pumping, build muscle, and burn fat. Be sure to start at the level that is appropriate for your ability, and work your way up.
Push-ups: Begin with 5-15 of each type (elbows-in and elbows-out), and work your way up to 30-50 of each, 3-5 times a week. Make sure you integrate deep breathing, emptying the mind, and evoking the spirit by putting the mind in the three forces: human, heaven, and earth.
Sit-ups: For people who are restricted and cannot do sit-ups from the floor, start from the chair. Slide to the edge of the chair with your butt, straighten your trunk, and hold it straight like a plank throughout the exercise. In the video, we show the three arm positions, as well as the three levels of difficulty on the floor. Again, choose what is challenging, but not painful for you, and work your way through each stage.
Counting Breath Cool Down: Finally, we cool down from all of the cardio and strength training with a simple method for slowing the breath and the mind. This facilitates relaxation and healing by bringing oxygen into the tired muscles and rebuilding them, regulating hormone production, and reducing stress.
On Tuesday, we will begin the Yin portion of the Mind-over-Matter Weight Loss system. I'm excited to show everyone what comes next!