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mbg moves: A 15-Minute Mindful Movement Workout For More Energy & Creativity In Your Day

Jules Bakshi & Gabi Cortez
Fitness Instructors
By Jules Bakshi & Gabi Cortez
Fitness Instructors
Jules Bakshi is the founder and CEO of GOOD MOVE fitness studio, a choreographer, educator, Pilates instructor, and integrative nutrition health coach. Gabi Cortez is the Chief of Operations at GOOD MOVE, as well as a Yoga, Pilates, and dance instructor.
Image by Andreas von Scheele
May 10, 2021
Welcome to mbg moves! We've been working out at home more than ever lately—and we know our readers are, too. To help keep your fitness routine feeling fresh, we're releasing a new at-home workout every Monday, to start your week off strong. Each month will feature routines from a different incredible trainer we adore. Now, let's get moving with our spotlight trainers: Jules Bakshi and Gabi Cortez.
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While fitness can be valuable for building physical strength and endurance—it's also a phenomenal tool for mental health. In fact, in our classes at Good Move—a dance and mindful fitness studio for movers of all levels, genders, races, shapes, and sizes—we're all about finding joy, freedom, and empowerment through movement.

One of our favorite exercises for connecting with your body is what we call a gentle improvisation routine. This is a type of mindful workout that allows you to drop into your body and explore what type of movement feels great for you. Having an improv practice, whether it's regular or something you tap into occasionally, allows you to discover new ways of thinking, moving, and interacting with the world.

Depending on what you're carrying into your practice, improv can be very difficult or uncomfortable at times. How can you tap into that discomfort, move through it, then find new spaciousness and expansion that exists on the other side?

Below, you can follow along with us as we lead you through different move prompts—but really, it's about finding your own rhythm and tempo. Don't worry about what these movements look like, but rather focus on how they feel in your body. This routine is phenomenal if you're feeling stuck, blocked, or just want to bring a little more energy and creativity into your day.

Your 4-week challenge: Every week this month (keep an eye out for a new workout every Monday), we'll be sharing a routine that focuses on promoting mindfulness and mental health. By the end of the month, we encourage you to make this type of freeing movement part of your regular routine—whether that's one day a week, three, or even daily.

Summary

Time: 15 minutes • Equipment: None • Instructions: Move from one exercise to the next, following the movement prompts.

Soft Belly Sea Animal

Image by mbg creative
  1. Start by lying on your back, and make an "X" with your body.
  2. Exhale as you curl onto your right side, into a fetal position.
  3. Inhale as you come back into an "X" position.
  4. Exhale as you repeat the curl on the opposite side.
  5. Continue alternating sides, allowing the floor to massage your muscles, imagining you're like a soft-bellied sea animal moving through space.
  6. Complete this movement for 2 minutes or however long your body needs.

Cactus Arms With Leg Swings

Image by mbg creative
  1. Start by lying on your back, and bring your arms into a cactus position at the sides of your body.
  2. Allow your legs to swing from side to side, like a windshield wiper. Then start to add a leg swing. Swing your left leg up to the side of your body, then switch to the right. Keep your bottom leg anchored onto the ground.
  3. Continue for 1 minute, or however long your body needs.

Cat-Cow With Movement

Image by mbg creative
  1. Come onto all fours.
  2. Inhale as you arch your back; exhale as you allow your belly to drop down.
  3. Then begin to move your tailbone from side to side, and circle your body. Allow your body to move in whichever direction feels good.
  4. Continue for 2 to 3 minutes, or however long your body needs.

Downward Dog With Movement

Image by mbg moves
  1. From all fours, tuck your toes, lift your knees, and come into a downward dog.
  2. Immediately begin to pedal through your feet, and wag the tailbone from side to side.
  3. Keep moving in whichever direction or pattern feels good.
  4. Continue for 1 minute.

Forward Bends

Image by mbg creative
  1. With both feet firmly planted on the ground, slowly roll up into a standing position, one vertebra at a time.
  2. As your head lifts, sweep the hands overhead.
  3. Keeping a flat back, slowly fold back over your legs.
  4. Continue this movement for 1 minute, or as long as you need.

Single-Arm Reach

Image by mbg creative
  1. From a standing position, lift both arms overhead.
  2. Slowly allow your right arm to drop down to your side, as if it's melting toward your body.
  3. Reach your arm back up overhead, then repeat on the left side.
  4. Continue this movement for 1 minute, at your own pace.

Tree In A Storm

Image by mbg creative
  1. Start in a standing position, with both feet firmly planted in the ground.
  2. Imagine you're a tree in a storm, and let the branches of your tree (your arms) get swept in all directions.
  3. Continue for 1 minute, then come to stillness.

Paintbrush Arms & Legs

Image by mbg creative
  1. Start in a standing position.
  2. Imagine your arms and legs are paintbrushes. Imagine painting every bit of space you can reach with these paintbrushes, allowing your body to move about the room freely.
  3. Continue for 1 minute, or however long your body needs.

Seaweed In Water

Image by mbg creative
  1. Begin in a standing position.
  2. Imagine you're a piece of seaweed in the ocean. Allow your body to move through the water softly and smoothly. Let your arms, legs, and all your joints move in whatever way feels good.
  3. Continue moving this way for as many minutes as your body needs.

Close this workout by slowly melting your body to the ground. Allow your body to stretch out on the floor; rest for as long as you need.

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Jules Bakshi & Gabi Cortez
Jules Bakshi & Gabi Cortez
Fitness Instructors

Jules Bakshi is the founder and CEO of GOOD MOVE, a dance and mindful fitness studio for movers of all levels, genders, races, shapes and sizes located in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She founded GOOD MOVE as a safe space for everyone to explore a positive relationship with dance and intuitive movement. She is a choreographer, educator, Pilates instructor, and integrative nutrition health coach. Her teaching style is empowering, joyful, athletic and integrated.

Gabi Cortez is the Chief of Operations at GOOD MOVE. Along with managing operations for her favorite studio, she also teaches Yoga, Pilates, and The Good Move Signature class. Her teaching style allows you to tap into something new and feel the positivity.