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Fitness trend 2011: Mind-body connection

Lisa Armstrong is the mother of two grown daughters, a yoga practitioner, an educator and a long-time freelance writer who focuses on health, wellness, and historical topics that affect humanity's personal and collective well-being.

The mind-body connection

With the downturn in the economy and stresses at work and home piling up during the holidays, the search for new and easier ways to get and stay fit is more intense than ever. Though some may associate mind-body workouts with a relaxed approach to fitness, the hot fitness trend for 2011 connecting mind and body is one of the most effective ways to achieve a serene state of being and super fitness. Here’s what you need to know about mind-body exercise.

Tai chi

Fusion fitness for mind and body connection

One of the hottest trends for 2011 is a fusion fitness approach that not only relaxes your mind but isolates muscles to strengthen and shape your body. These exercises highlight breathing, precision, control and concentration. Yoga, Pilates, and tai chi are part of this new method, but the newer mind-body regimens also incorporate techniques associated with calorie-shredding aerobic workouts.

Focus on breath for mind-body fitness

Almost all forms of mind-body exercises start with a focus on breathing. A deep supply of oxygen calms and centers you, says Workout Magic's Linda Farrow. Concentrating on your breath not only helps maintain essential mental clarity, but helps release tension as you isolate muscle groups. The goal is to pay attention to how your muscles and body feel as well as to how they may look.

Fusion fitness workouts combine mind and body

  • Cy-Yo: This is a one-hour workout that incorporates short yoga periods on a stationary bike and invites you to "pedal with the energy of your higher self."
  • Piloxing: A recent Hollywood fitness craze that combines Pilates and boxing, and is the creation of Swedish trainer and dancer Viveca Jensen, Piloxing is a popular choice for celeb Hilary Duff. Promoters say it blends the power and speed of boxing with the body sculpting of Pilates.
  • Yo-Chi: This a cocktail of yoga, Pilates, and tai chi with a stability ball. The program provides a combination of functional alignment and core strength with revitalized energy.
  • Yogalates: Another popular mind-body workout that combines yoga and Pilates. Dr. Kathleen Rea, a bioengineer,  fitness consultant, and former instructor at Tulane University, offers Yogalates at ReGeneration Fitness. This regimen is designed to expand core strength, muscle tone, and flexibility while maintaining calm and serenity.
  • Yoga Booty Ballet: Developed by BeachBody (best known for the wildly popular P90X workouts),  it incorporates guided meditation,  light cardio, hip-hop and Bhangra dancing with traditional hatha yoga techniques.

Incorporate these fusion workouts into your life in the New Year and enjoy the mind-body fitness you can achieve.

Celebrity fitness trends

Piloxing

Hollywood 411's Megan Tevrizian takes on the latest celebrity fitness craze - Piloxing. See why stars like Hilary and Haylie Duff, Ashley Tisdale and Brittany Snow can't get enough of this cross between Pilates and boxing!

More fitness trends for the new year

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