I’ve always been a bit of a workout girl.

Growing up, I played every sport available:  baseball, basketball, karate and volleyball were some of my favorites.  Growing up with 3 brothers, I was also interested in wrestling and football, but those activities were cut short with the realization that proper girls didn’t do those particular things.  (My dad still taught me his prize winning wrestling moves….)

Living in Southern California, I was an avid jogger.  I loved my early morning jaunts up the hills in my neighborhood.  It felt great to be outside and enjoy the year-round sunshine and warm weather.

In Denmark, I don’t really run outside anymore.  I’m too much of a wimp.  The weather has to be completely agreeable before I put on my running shoes and head out for the forest.  It is amazing to be out in the forest, but it doesn’t happen often enough for me to stay in shape.  I joined the local gym just over two years ago.  My workouts are now much more varied:  strength training classes, yoga, Zumba and the occasional venture to Fit and Fabulous, boxing or Bikini Boot Camp.  I’ve become a part of this local community (and the language) through my fitness classes.

I’m also discovering that my body hurts more after all the workouts, playing and travel.  It isn’t drastic, but enough to make me aware that I need to expand my exercise “repertoire”.  My bass colleagues are also pre-occupied with keeping their bodies open, strong and flexible.  Many practice tai chi or yoga.  Others use body awareness strategies like the Alexander Technique.

While on this recent Lines for Ladies German tour, I met a lovely woman who teaches the Feldenkrais Method.  She led the band through a couple of exercises to open up our hips and shoulders.  They were gentle, relaxing, and quite trans formative.  Morten was having some neck and shoulder pains.  I led him through the exercise I had learned the day before.  He couldn’t believe how much better he felt after so little “work”.  We’ve been scouring YouTube and watching various presentations.  Here are a few we found particularly helpful:

Freeing the Neck (short video):

Freeing the Neck (longer video):

Another thing to check out:

I also got the recommendation from my friend Pia to check out Sharon Starika’s mp3 workshops.

I went through her video for active stretching and I like it a LOT:

Try these and let me know what you think.  Do you have a special stretch that you use?  Is there another technique we should be checking out?  Let me know below.