Over the many years of teaching barre, yoga, and cardio, I have used many fitness items that I love and adore. After all these years of teaching, these are now the fitness items I absolutely need in my movement world.
- Grippy socks: I love my grippy socks to keep my feet from sliding on the barre and on the floor for planks and pushups!
- Cover your bum leggings: I love the high-waisted and full length leggings from Athleta, Alo, and Carbon38.
- Alo sweatshirts: They are fitted and have a comfortable roll-down collar.
- Maduka PROlite yoga mat: It’s light and durable and easy to carry around in the city. Plus they have a lifetime guarantee!
- Nike Training Free 1.0 Cross Bionic fitness shoe: These are great for cardio dance classes. They are very lightweight, bend easily at the arch so your foot can move freely, and give you extra arch support while you are dancing away! They are stable and versatile. I keep the soles clean and only wear them indoors.
Bonus: 3 of My Favorite De-stressing Moves
You don’t have to go to a spa to relax. With these three moves, you can de-stress anywhere. Just find a quiet place where you can avoid any distractions; when possible, I love to do these moves in nature, bringing back the focus on breathing and being present in the moment.
Lie on your back with your knees bent comfortably. Place your right hand on your heart and your left hand on your lower belly/navel area. Make sure your lower back is comfortable on the floor. Close your eyes, or have soft eyes. Inhale four counts exhale four counts through your nose. Breathing in and out of your nose helps your breath go deeper into the lower lungs where there are parasympathetic nerve receptors, which are associated with calming the mind and body. Ideally stay in this position for 10 minutes.
Kneel on a cushioned mat or carpet with your knees a little wider than hips. Fold forward from your hips, bringing your forehead to the floor or rest it on a block. Extend your arms on the floor with your palms down. Feel your third eye (the space between your brow) opening up. Inhale for four counts and exhale for four counts through your nose. Forward folds like child’s pose are very introspective and calming and inspire a sense of gratitude for positivity in your life. Hold the pose for about 60 seconds. Repeat two times.
Yoga ½ Twist
Sit on a cushioned mat or carpet with your left leg parallel and extended along the floor with flexed foot. Cross your right leg bent over the left outer thigh and place your right foot on the floor near your outer thigh. Keep both hips on the floor and twist your lower, middle, and upper back to the right side. Place your right hand on the floor and your left hand on your outer right thigh. Keep your chin parallel to floor. Hold for 30 seconds and counter twist, holding for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Twisting releases pressure in the lower back by restoring circulation to the back, which also reduces anxiety. When the lower back is tight this can create tension in the body and mind.
Elisabeth “Lis” Halfpapp is the founder of Exhale Spa and co-creator of Core Fusion. Highly respected in the fitness industry, Lis is co-author of Barre Fitness and a star of Exhale’s On Demand platform. She has appeared on The Today Show, Dr. Oz, ABC, CBS, and ET and has been seen in the pages of Vogue, the NY Times, Fitness, Women’s Health, Prevention, Self, and many more.