Make your workout count: Integrate massage and wellness
Jill Miller was already practicing massage when she realized it was her own body that really needed to be worked on.
"I got into bad habits with yoga and I had to figure out what I was doing wrong," she said.
And so Miller launched her method Yoga Tune Up and began on her quest to figure out how to understand the body "from the inside out."
Yoga Tune Up teaches students health longevity through an understanding of one's own body. By understanding the pain in your body, Miller says, you will enjoy working out more, while also preventing future pain.
"Self care is health care," Miller said.
While Miller is based in California, New Yorkers can now enjoy her technique. Miller recently teamed up with Equinox to design the Rx Series class, which is offered at various Equinox clubs across the city and was also just introduced nationally. (Check the Equinox site for the class schedule.)
Rx Series is a 30-minute class that emphasizes the "3 M's": massage, mobilization and maximizing performance. Using Miller's patented Yoga Tune Up therapy balls, as well as yoga blocks and stretch mats, the class can be thought of as a form of preventable medicine, and is designed to help you feel your body more specifically. The class can be taken on its own, and also works well as a pre-class warm-up, or an after class cool down.
"It's a great way to prepare your body before you work out," Miller said. "If you're addled with knots, your body doesn't work that well. ... You're better served using all your tissues to have more efficiency [in your workout]."
The yoga therapy balls, pliable rubber balls that are just a bit larger than golf balls, are rolled over hips, under your shoulders and at the small of your back for deep tissue massage. The balls help you to "map yourself," Miller said. They show you which areas of your body next some extra attention.
Miller's goal is to help people enjoy their workouts without hurting their bodies. So many people hide their injuries -- they either ignore them, thinking they will get better, or aren't really aware of them to begin with -- but Miller says that can be very dangerous.
"Injuries cost you money and time," she said, adding, "pain can be psychologically debilitating."