Mind and Body Awareness

by Kyle Washburn

Health & Fitness Editor

Friday March 5, 2010

Physical and mental awareness are keys to any exercise movement and goal achievement. Conscious Conditioning, an exercise class exclusive to Equinox, provides a unique overall toning and strengthening workout as well as an understanding of essential body kinesiology. It was created by yoga guru Jill Miller to improve overall health and body confidence in every class and is ideal for the novice student who wants to discover the ins-and-outs of body mechanics or seasoned athlete who's looking to perfect and excel their technique.

Each Conscious Conditioning class incorporates equipment in unique and innovative ways-including the BOSU and Stability Ball, Step, foam rollers, Gliders, and even the classroom's walls. Each exercise begins with a basic version of a move, in which the instructor gives context cues to what muscle is working and exactly how the body should feel at that precise moment; then the exercise is layered in terms of complexity and sophistication to become more challenging-mentally and physically.

"Conscious Conditioning allows you to check in with your body and really be present during a workout," says Lashaun Dale, creative manager of group fitness at Equinox. "And when you're more focused on your technique, you're more focused on your intensity level, too."

High intensity plyometrics coupled with low intensity core and stretching techniques and play-by-play movement descriptions and instructions provide an understanding of proper body biomechanics. While utilizing a similar mindset of practices such as martial arts and yoga, the focus on breathing and inner body connection elicits a sense of calm and well-being. The result is increased flexibility, alignment, balance, strength and mental clarity.

"The main premise of Conscious Conditioning is to give people more responsibility during their workout," Dale says. "By understanding the what and why to what your body is doing, you'll get a better workout every time-not just in this one class."

Equinox Fitness Clubs operates 48 upscale, full-service facilities in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Florida, Dallas, Boston and Washington DC. With two state-of-the-art luxury facilities in Boston: Back Bay, 131 Dartmouth Street, 617-578-8918; and Financial District, 225 Franklin Street, 617.426.2140. The company offers an integrated selection of Equinox-branded programs, services and products, including strength and cardio training, group fitness classes, personal training, spa services and products, apparel and food/juice bars. Since its inception in 1991, Equinox has developed a lifestyle brand that represents service, value, quality, expertise, innovation, attention to detail, market leadership and results.

Kyle Washburn is the National Health and Fitness Editor at Edge Publications, Inc. He earned a BS in Physiology, M.Ed in Sport Psychology and Counseling and an MBA. He is a certified personal trainer through NASM and ACE and has been training for over ten years. He is an avid triathlete, softball and tennis player, runner, hiker and enjoys the outdoors.

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