Well my vote is in: hands down this year’s Oscar for Best Actress goes to…Michelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn. If I had to describe Michelle’s performance and her exquisite reincarnation of the beautiful and legendary Marilyn Monroe in two words, I’d say phenomenally awesome. Because she’s just that! And for someone who loves the “art of acting” and who sees almost every film out there – in the past two weeks alone I’ve watched MoneyBall (again), The Descendants, Mission Impossible, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (twice), Sherlock Holmes, Young Adult, We Bought A Zoo, War Horse, and My Week With Marilyn – she certainly gets my vote.
And if you’re wondering what else I’m doing in Hawaii besides admiring the best films and acting performances of the year, I’m almost finished with my book, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood. Which, by the way, has some pretty cool Cover Art that you’ll find quite fitting. So wherever you find yourself this holiday season, make sure to find time for the lovely and amazing Michelle Williams in a true-to-life story of Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn. You won’t regret it!
And what else you won’t regret is getting your daily workout in. Especially if your holiday diet calls for Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake or perhaps a little Tiramisu. But no worries, just take a quick break and slim down your waistline with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #82 – Easy Abs. Enjoy – R
If you want to feel the love this holiday season, go see We Bought a Zoo starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. The performances are wonderful – including the incredibly adorable Rosie, played by Maggie Elizabeth Jones – and there’s plenty of animal magnetism, feel good energy and tear swelling compassion at every turn. So no matter if you’re 6,000 miles away from your loved ones (like I am here in Hawaii while my family’s in New Jersey) or 6 miles away, share some good times together and bask in the film’s sunshine of love – because it truly delivers!
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to get your workout in with some Zoo Yoga from my Yoga Survival Guide. Because what’s a holiday season without fun, friends and fat burning yoga to melt away those extra pounds of joy! Merry Christmas everyone 🙂 Enjoy – R
So you’re going on vacation and you won’t have time to workout, right? Wrong. Because with today’s 84th consecutive 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout – Lounge Chair Abs, all you need to do to is chill out poolside on a lounge chair. That’s right. Because no matter where you go, there’s always time for a 5 minute workout. And for those of you who aren’t familiar with my 5 minute yoga lessons (in my Yoga Survival Guide), there isn’t a place on earth where you can’t workout or strengthen your yoga practice. So if you’re not a sun worshiper and rarely find yourself on a lounge chair, check out Shower Yoga, Bus Stop Yoga, Baking Yoga, Office Yoga, Weight Room Yoga, Prison Yoga (for Lindsay Lohan), Park Yoga, Traffic Yoga (yes, while sitting in traffic), Beach Yoga, Rooftop Yoga, Zoo Yoga, and of course, Watching “The Ellen Show” Yoga. Because no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can ALWAYS add some fitness into your day. Enjoy – R
I woke up today with pain in my low back, specifically on my right side. It wasn’t there yesterday so perhaps it occurred during the night, or maybe negative energy or tension came to reside there as a result of stress or something I did yesterday. No matter the cause, I went to the gym this morning and wasn’t able to work it out with my usual stretching so I decided to focus on it with 15 minutes of yoga and meditation when I got home. First I laid on my back and quieted my mind with the meditative breathing technique called Ujjayi Pranayama. In yoga terms (or Sanskrit) it means upwardly victorious or skull shining breath which is a three part yogic breath moving from the low belly into the upper chest and throat. Inhalation and exhalation are done through the nose – with your mouth closed – and the resulting sound is much like the sound of the ocean. Next I hugged my knees into my chest while rounding then elongating my spine which is call Apanasana. All the while I kept with my meditation and Ujjayi breath while sending thoughts of relief specifically to the point of low back pain. Next I slowly rocked back and forth and side to side massaging my low back into the ground. Next I reached for the sides of my feet moving into Happy Baby pose. I also teach this pose in Zoo Yoga from my Yoga Survival Guide as well as Apanasana in Comfort Yoga and Ujjayi Pranayama in the very first lesson, Mountain Pose. Next I straightened my legs best I could while holding onto my big toes – much like Paschimottanasana on your back (also taught in Park Yoga). Next I spread my legs wide into a big V, all the while keeping my spine elongated best I could. Finally I hugged my knees into my chest for another Apanasana, then slowly moved into my final resting pose, Savasana. Viola! No more pain. Although everyone’s body is different with varying degrees of pain, give this sequence a try the next time your low back is bothering you. It just might do the trick. R
I spoke with my brother yesterday who said he could use some help with his sciatica. Sciatica occurs when there is pressure or damage to the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in the spine and runs down the back of each leg. It controls the muscles of the back of the knee and lower leg and provides sensation to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg, and the sole of the foot. Sciatica pain can vary widely. It may feel like a mild tingling, dull ache, or a burning sensation. In some cases, the pain is severe enough to make a person unable to move. So what can one do to help? A simple, yet rather uncomfortable yoga asana called Lizard Pose. I cover Lizard in Lesson #30 of my Yoga Survival Guide, aptly named Zoo Yoga. So if you could use a little relief, as I encouraged my brother to do, spend 4 minutes a day in Lizard (2 per side), then roll over on your back and come into Happy Baby for another minute – which is also covered in the same lesson. Remember to slow your breath and try not to wiggle around in the pose, however uncomfortable it may be. And enjoy your time at the LA Zoo!