Mindbody

Download the app

The MINDBODY app

Fitness memberships, workout classes, wellness services, beauty appointments and more.

Install
Illustration of woman in cape
The Latest
Published Monday Apr 13, 2020 by Meredith Simmons

10 Things I Wish I Could Say to My Favorite Fitness Instructors

Fitness
Mindbody Community

It’s been just over three weeks since I was last in a gym. Three long weeks of wondering if my skipping a rep of push-ups was visible on camera, not jumping to avoid annoying my downstairs neighbor, and using a four-pound jug of salsa as a dumbbell. Basically, I miss seeing my favorite instructors in person. 

If I could hang out with them right now, here are ten things I would tell them:

Illustration of woman doing burpees
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually miss Burpees. 

Being a good apartment neighbor means I’m only doing low-impact workouts. I take back (almost) of my complaints about Burpees, jumping jacks, and other jumping-based movements. 

1
Illustration of woman doing burpees
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually miss Burpees. 

Being a good apartment neighbor means I’m only doing low-impact workouts. I take back (almost) of my complaints about Burpees, jumping jacks, and other jumping-based movements. 

Illustration of woman sleeping
I sleep better with you in my life. 

I was a loyal 6 AM workout aficionado, I’ve had to change my sleep patterns without your classes—and I can tell. It’s harder to get out of bed in the morning, and on the days that I don’t work out, it’s hard for me to fall asleep. I’m already looking forward to switching back to my regular routine when the time comes. 

2
Illustration of woman sleeping
I sleep better with you in my life. 

I was a loyal 6 AM workout aficionado, I’ve had to change my sleep patterns without your classes—and I can tell. It’s harder to get out of bed in the morning, and on the days that I don’t work out, it’s hard for me to fall asleep. I’m already looking forward to switching back to my regular routine when the time comes. 

Illustration of woman doing yoga with goat on her back
I’m amazed at your creativity. 

Every day it seems like you have a new idea. Sometimes I don’t like them, because they are really hard. (Paper plates as makeshift floor sliders? Come on!) Regardless of how I feel after each workout, I am constantly impressed by your ingenuity when it comes to teaching without equipment.

3
Illustration of woman doing yoga with goat on her back
I’m amazed at your creativity. 

Every day it seems like you have a new idea. Sometimes I don’t like them, because they are really hard. (Paper plates as makeshift floor sliders? Come on!) Regardless of how I feel after each workout, I am constantly impressed by your ingenuity when it comes to teaching without equipment.

Illustration of man lifting weights
You help me remember what day it is. 

My days are blurring together—and I don’t call them by their names anymore. Its either leg day, arm day, core day, or rest day. Honestly, I was probably already doing this, but it’s become abundantly clear that I tell time based on your classes. 

4
Illustration of man lifting weights
You help me remember what day it is. 

My days are blurring together—and I don’t call them by their names anymore. Its either leg day, arm day, core day, or rest day. Honestly, I was probably already doing this, but it’s become abundantly clear that I tell time based on your classes. 

Illustration of woman meditating
I’m only able to get through this because of you. 

I don’t mean this in just the emotional sense, though that’s true, too. To my favorite yoga and Pilates instructors: I’m only able to physically survive the questionable ergonomics of my home office because you’ve taught me proper posture and how to breathe to release tension. 

5
Illustration of woman meditating
I’m only able to get through this because of you. 

I don’t mean this in just the emotional sense, though that’s true, too. To my favorite yoga and Pilates instructors: I’m only able to physically survive the questionable ergonomics of my home office because you’ve taught me proper posture and how to breathe to release tension. 

Illustration of a person running with a hoodie and beanie
I wear studio swag when I feel lonely. 

While I’m basically living in yoga pants 24/7, I still am trying to look professional for my video meetings. But there are days when things feel really hard, and on those days, I pull out gear from your studios and wear it under my sweaters and jackets. It’s a little bit of secret confidence. 

6
Illustration of a person running with a hoodie and beanie
I wear studio swag when I feel lonely. 

While I’m basically living in yoga pants 24/7, I still am trying to look professional for my video meetings. But there are days when things feel really hard, and on those days, I pull out gear from your studios and wear it under my sweaters and jackets. It’s a little bit of secret confidence. 

Illustration of man and woman on separate phones facetiming
I miss the community you created. 

I started my day with the same crew, and I miss my workout BFFs. While some of us have traded reps for red wine, I miss seeing the faces of my friends on the regular.  

7
Illustration of man and woman on separate phones facetiming
I miss the community you created. 

I started my day with the same crew, and I miss my workout BFFs. While some of us have traded reps for red wine, I miss seeing the faces of my friends on the regular.  

Illustration of 2 people social distancing
I can’t wait to see you again. 

I’m not sure when it will be, but I dream about it. Seriously: I’ve had dreams about getting after it in the studio again. I’m looking forward to the endorphin high, the high-fives, and being extremely sore after it’s all done. 

8
Illustration of 2 people social distancing
I can’t wait to see you again. 

I’m not sure when it will be, but I dream about it. Seriously: I’ve had dreams about getting after it in the studio again. I’m looking forward to the endorphin high, the high-fives, and being extremely sore after it’s all done. 

Illustration of a woman in a pink cape
I don’t want to live in a world without you. 

In the last few weeks, it’s been pretty easy to imagine a world without you in it—and I don’t want to experience that. I know times are tough right now, but you will get through this—look at all of the things I’d tell you if I saw you in person right now. You’ve changed my life, and for that...

9
Illustration of a woman in a pink cape
I don’t want to live in a world without you. 

In the last few weeks, it’s been pretty easy to imagine a world without you in it—and I don’t want to experience that. I know times are tough right now, but you will get through this—look at all of the things I’d tell you if I saw you in person right now. You’ve changed my life, and for that...

Illustration of a woman teaching a virtual fitness class on a phone
Thank you. 

Above all else, thank you.

 




If you want a chance to see your favorite fitness instructors—or find your next favorite—book a virtual fitness class on Mindbody!  

What would you tell your favorite instructors? Head to our Instagram Stories to share a thank you! 

10
Illustration of a woman teaching a virtual fitness class on a phone
Thank you. 

Above all else, thank you.

 




If you want a chance to see your favorite fitness instructors—or find your next favorite—book a virtual fitness class on Mindbody!  

What would you tell your favorite instructors? Head to our Instagram Stories to share a thank you! 

Meredith Simmons
Written by
Meredith Simmons
Senior Content Marketing Specialist and Certified Group Fitness Instructor
About the author
Meredith is an avid sports fan and group fitness addict, which lead to her becoming a certified fitness instructor in 2019. A long-time Mindbodyian, Meredith helps tell the stories of the thousands of businesses using Mindbody to make the world a happier and healthier place.
woman with crystal bowl
The Latest
Published Tuesday May 19, 2020 by Shanila Sattar

Top Breathing Exercises for Anxiety and Depression and The New Normal

Meditation
Renewal
Personal Growth
Expert Advice

Inhale. 
 
 
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last few weeks is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. 
 
 
Exhale. 
 
 
Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.  


Long-term anxiety and stress can harm our bodies 

During times of high stress, our bodies experience a physiological strain, where essentially everything from our heart, muscles, blood, and energy have to work harder than needed in order to keep functioning at a minimum. Our body’s natural processes, like breathing, can get compromised, lessening the healing functions of the nervous system, and overworking our adrenal system. Stress management is almost non-existent. This overtaxing of the body disrupts the natural flow of energy and resources, and puts us in something known as the “fight or flight” mode. In this mode, we are constantly deciding if there is some kind of real danger and how to survive it. We feel these signals when our heart rate and blood pressure rise, our stress responses like sweating and either constricted or super fast breathing occur, and our feel-good hormones become compromised. 
  
As we process anxiety, not only do we mentally and emotionally feel the repercussions, we also physically confuse our systems that are doing their best to naturally heal us. Staying in a state of continued anxiety with an overactive sympathetic nervous system can be incredibly damaging to your health, even if it is a small amount of stress that collects over time. Stress suppresses our immunity, digestion, deep breathing, disrupts sleep, and eating patterns, impacts mood, energy levels, and much more.  


We are holding our breath

Studies show that over 50% of adults are essentially holding their breaths. They do a shallow type of breathing known as thoracic breathing, where you breathe lightly into your chest instead of into your diaphragm. For example, notice how you’re breathing right now. You’re likely holding your breath to some extent and you’re probably not breathing much at all. If you’re asked to partake in a deep breathing exercise now, you’ll puff up your chest and shoulders, and empty out your stomach. Guilty? 
  
If you’ve ever seen a baby breathe or the breathing technique of someone in deep sleep, you’ll notice that their bellies rise and fall; the oxygen goes directly into a natural deep belly breath. Adults, however, have become acclimated to holding our breaths without meaning to. When we can slow down and practice deep breathing, we send physical and neurological signals through our entire body that asks us to rest.  


Breathing exercises can reduce stress and anxiety

The great news is that there are easy breathing exercises we can do at home that do not take a lot of time or effort. An incredible tool that anyone can use in times of high stress is remembering to inhale and exhale. Yes, breathing. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also recommended breathwork not simply as an immunity building tool, but as a way to balance emotional and mental wellbeing. Deep breathing and other breathwork improves the body’s overall functions; improves the respiratory system, builds protective mucus in the nose, oxygenates and blood and brain, improves digestion, alkalizes the full body, and much more. Each style of breathwork sends special physiological signals—some ask us our bodies to slow down and chill, to get out of fight mode, and bring us back to equilibrium where our body’s natural healing systems can be activated; some styles of breathwork ask to pump up and energize


Top breathing exercises to reduce anxiety and stress 

It’s common to find yourself rushing through breathing practices or feel like you need to set aside special time for it. But that’s the point. We get to slow down, and we get to implement these practices even if there are distractions, business, and no perfect zen meditation corners in our homes. We can do these anytime, anywhere. 
  
If you’ve been feeling any small symptoms of anxiousness or stress, now is the perfect time to incorporate some incredibly easy and effective breathwork techniques into your day-to-day. 


Belly breathing 

This breathing technique can be done at any time of the day, for as long as you want. It’s recommended to practice this for at least 30 seconds to start and several times throughout the day. It’s a breath technique to practice before going to sleep as well. As you’re doing this breath, imagine your stomach like a big pump. As you breathe in, you’re expanding; as you breathe out, you’re emptying out. 

1. Put your hands on your belly/abdomen area. 
 
 

2. Take a big breath through the nose and PUSH your hands away from the belly as you breathe in. Expand your stomach as much as possible and try not to puff up your chest. 
 
 

3. Slowly exhale through the mouth and constrict your belly inwards. Feel free to make a sound with the mouth when you do this.  
 
 

4. Repeat for a minimum of 30 seconds. 
 
 
  
  

6-7-8 Breath 

The 6-7-8 breath can be done at any time of the day to calm anxiousness and stress, especially before doing to sleep. It’s a self-soothing technique that helps relax and calm the nervous system. You can do this practice sitting up or laying down.  
  
1. Close down your eyes. 
 
 

2. Relax your mouth. 
 
 

3. Take a deep breath in through your nose for 6 full seconds. Count in your head and maintain an even pace. 
 
 

4. Hold this breath for 7 seconds. 
 
 

5. Pucker your mouth and exhale out through the mouth with a “whoooooossh” sound for 8 seconds. 
 
 

6. Repeat this 6-7-8 breath for at least 5 rounds, or as long as you wish. 
 
 


You can adjust the 6-7-8 counts to accommodate your pace. You can try a 4-5-6 sequence, or an 8-9-10 sequence. Play around with the length of time that feels good for your body. Some people love to sit by an analog clock for the ticking sound to help keep pace; some love to incorporate music. 


The Box Breath 

This is another easy technique that can be done at any time of the day. 

1. Breathe in for 4 seconds through the nose. 
 
 

2. Hold for 4 seconds. 
 
 

3. Exhale for 4 seconds through the nose. 
 
 

4. Hold for 4 seconds. 
 
 

5. Repeat at least 5 times. 
 
 

You can play around with the timing for 6 seconds, 8 seconds, and so on to see what works best for your body.

These are the top three breathwork techniques to manage anxiety and stress. Plenty of other techniques work on sleep, inner healing, subconscious programming, altered states of consciousness, and more. Play with the three techniques above and see what feels great for you. It’s common to find a sense of calm almost immediately, some gentle tingling, and relaxation! As we’re adjusting to the new normal, let’s all contribute to creating peace both inside and out. 

If you'd like to try a guided breathwork class with me, click here to find one that works with your schedule! For other breathwork classes, browse Mindbody

Shanila Sattar
Written by
Shanila Sattar
Founder, AlwaysPlay Studios
About the author
Shanila is a sound healer, breathwork coach, women’s researcher, and speaker. She trains sound healers and breathwork facilitators through her mobile studio, AlwaysPlay Studios, and is the founder of the Integrative Wellness Leaders based in Los Angeles. She practices integrative wellness - considering a person's emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. Her background is in tech, having co-founded an award-winning web agency, and in women’s research, specifically in mindsets, implicit bias, perfectionism, women's health, and societal experiences supported through the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and several universities. She has implemented several health and wellbeing programs in underserved populations throughout Los Angeles. Shanila mentors women who are wellness entrepreneurs and on their confidence journey.