Describing what “Essentrics” is, without the benefit of demonstrating it, is almost more challenging than the workout itself! The exercise modality—based on the strengthening principles of ballet, the gentle mobility movements of Tai Chi, and the therapeutic wisdom of physiotherapy—has to be tried to really understand its multitude of benefits.Developed in Canada over 25 years ago by former professional ballerina Miranda Esmonde-White, these workouts promise pain-relief, increased mobility and range of motion, flexibility, strength, toning, and body awareness. Many people may be familiar with the method from seeing Esmonde-White on PBS with her show “Classical Stretch.” What viewers may not know is that these exercises are appropriate for everyone—not just PBS viewers!Essentrics is used by many professional hockey teams (including the Montreal Canadiens), figure skaters, skiers, and other athletes to keep their bodies pliable, pain-free, balanced, and strong for their sports. But athletes are not the only people who can benefit from it! The workouts are always low-impact, gentle, and at a slow pace so that even those with the most painful impairments leave class feeling better than when they came in.Excellent for building strength and flexibility simultaneously—an Essentrics workout uses all 650 muscles in every class, rebalances over- and under-used muscles, and decompresses all the joints in order to relieve pain and tension. And all of this can be done in as little as 25 minutes!Essentrics instructor, Anne Weshinskey (Wondercabinet Wellness) arrived at Essentrics as a 50-year old acrobat and circus performer in a great deal of pain and stiffness. Unable to lift her arm above her head due to frozen shoulder, walking with sciatica, experiencing chronic neck pain, and feeling generally achy, Weshinskey just chalked it up to aging and a lifetime of overtraining. After a week of 25-minute Essentrics workouts, she was pain-free, and feeling able to continue her foot juggling career into old age. Most of Weshinskey’s clients who are older, formerly inactive adults claim to feel less aged, are sleeping better, have less pain, and more fluid joints than before they started regularly practicing Essentrics. Her classes are now made up of males and females ranging in age from 14-87! The 17-year old men’s track athlete working out next to the 81-year old grandmother with bad knees leave with something in common—walking out of class with ease and comfort thanks to Essentrics.Essentrics with Wondercabinet at the Sanctuary Wellness Center in Berryville every Tuesday beginning January 7, 9am–10pm and 6:30–7:30pm. Drop-ins for $15/class or $50/5-week session. To pre-register monthly, contact Anne Weshinskey at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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