About Me & Essentrics®
My Mission is to help people keep their strength, flexibility and mobility so they can do all the things they love and enjoy.
I have been working out my whole life. It began with Karate as a kid, and then I began working with weights and began jogging. I have continued with weight training and jogging but I found I was losing my flexibility and I wanted to get it back. I've tried yoga and pilates but I found I still wasn't getting the mobility and flexibility I was looking for. I had seen Classical Stretch/Essentrics on PBS with Miranda and thought it looked worthwhile. I bought a few DVD's but it took me awhile to 'get' into them, they just seemed too 'slow' for me. As it turns out I didn't 'get it!' I again revisited the DVD's and found them to have the flexibility and the mobility I had been searching for.
In June 2017 I decided to go to New York and take a live level 1 instructor training course and thus my journey began. In November 2017 I became a Level 1 Certified Classical Stretch/Essentrics Instructor. I was the 6th person in Washington State to achieve this certification. I enjoy teaching my students and I know I'm on the right path when they tell me how they are feeling better, have more range of motion, have recovered from surgeries quicker and have less pain. That feedback truly feeds my soul and propels me forward to learn more so I can do more as a teacher. When I'm not teaching you'll find me helping people buy and sell homes since I am Real Estate Managing Broker or I might be baking, gardening or making friends with a cat or dog :-)
Who Essentrics® Is For?
Women and Men of all ages who:
Enjoy a dynamic workout with motivating music
Are looking to tone their body without weights
Want to increase flexibility and overall mobility
Are worried about bulking up their muscles, but want definition
Have tight hips, back and shoulders and need increased range of motion
Are recovering from injury but still want to keep their body active
Have had past injuries and seek a safe workout
Seeking a workout that will help relieve pain
Are runners, cyclists, or spinners
Are training for a marathon, triathlon, etc.
What Is Essentrics®?
ESSENTRICS is a dynamic workout based on the theories of Miranda Esmonde-White that simultaneously lengthens and strengthens every muscle in the body, resulting in greater joint mobility and lean, long muscles.
Is Essentrics similar to Yoga? No—Essentrics is very different from Yoga. The Essentrics technique uses “eccentric” muscle contractions to simultaneously strengthen and stretch every muscle in the body. An Essentrics workout consists of dynamic movement—which means that you’ll never stop moving during the workout. Although we don't focus on meditation or spirituality, Essentrics is still a complementary workout to Yoga, as it helps to rebalance the full body, increase flexibility and mobility.
Is Essentrics similar to Tai chi? Not really. Essentrics is mildly influenced by the flowing movements of tai chi, in which both techniques use smooth, simultaneous “unbroken” movements to rebalance the musculature of the body, improve balance and increase flexibility. Tai chi also incorporates meditation, martial arts, and self-defense.
Is Essentrics similar to ballet? Not really. Ballet is a form of performance dance—Essentrics is not. The founder of the Essentrics technique, Miranda Esmonde-White, was a professional ballerina in her past and used the strengthening theories behind ballet to develop the program over 15 years ago. The goal was to create a therapeutic and healing program that would produce long, lean muscles and a dancer’s body.
Can I hurt myself doing Essentrics exercises? Very unlikely. Essentrics is a gentle, safe, low impact workout that is respectful to the body; no weights or equipment are used. It is recommended for men and women of all ages and fitness levels who are looking to strengthen and stretch their entire body. With that said—if you are suffering from chronic pain, an injury or illness—it’s important to check with your physician before starting any new exercise regimen. We have many clients who suffer from a variety of health issues who do our technique on a daily basis who have been helped and cured by practicing the Essentrics technique for 23-30 minutes each day.
With any type of exercise, it is vital to listen to your own body and move at your own capacity. If you’re new to the technique, have been sedentary for a while or suffer from any health issues—we do recommend you do our workout “loose like a ragdoll” until you begin to build strength in your muscles. If a movement ever feels painful or uncomfortable, it’s best to stop that particular movement. It may be that you are pushing yourself too deep in that exercise. Try again another time more “loosely and gently” to see if this helps. Depending on your health issue, there may be certain exercises that need to be tweaked or eliminated from your workout until you begin to heal any existing pain or injury.
I'm already in great shape, what will this workout do for me? As long as you have muscles and tendons, you will benefit from the Essentrics technique! Essentrics works the entire body—all 650 muscles in one workout: toning and slenderizing, improving posture, increasing flexibility, mobility and range of motion, rebalancing the body, relieving any pain and reducing any existing scar tissue in joints and muscles—all the while promoting a healthy cardiovascular system.
Incorporating Essentrics into your daily routine will allow you to continue to do the physical activities that you love to do—no matter your age—for the rest of your life. Reason being that this type of full-body movement will prevent muscle atrophy and cell death, and help slow down and reverse the aging process. It is a great complimentary or stand alone workout, that helps to improve overall performance in other activities or sports.
What is the pace of a typical Essentrics workouts? The pace of an Essentrics workout varies. If you’re new to the technique, suffer from an injury/illness/pain, or are seeking a mild “stretchy” workout—we suggest doing one of our slower-paced workouts.
I've never exercised a day in my life…Can I still do this workout? If you’ve been sedentary for some time and wish to incorporate some form of exercise into your daily routine—you’re in the right place! The Essentrics technique is gentle and safe; we have workouts to suit all ages and fitness levels. It’s best to start this workout slow and gentle “loose like a ragdoll,” as this will allow you to gradually condition your body at your own pace. As you begin to increase the strength in your muscles and increase flexibility, you will be able to stretch more deeply.
I'm recovering from an injury / surgery... Can I still do this workout? If you’re suffering from an injury, are in rehabilitation due to surgery, or suffer from chronic pain or an illness—it’s important to check with your physician before starting any new exercise regimen. We have many clients who suffer from a variety of health issues who do our technique on a daily basis and who have been helped by practicing the Essentrics technique for 23-30 minutes each day.
To heal an injury, it is necessary to increase the flow of blood into the injured area in order to deliver the healing properties of blood while removing the poison. Stretching is one of the fastest and most effective methods of delivering blood to specific regions, which is why it is so effective in injury healing. Healing also requires rebalancing and protection of the injured area. ESSENTRICS is a rebalancing program that strengthens and stretches all the muscles around the injury, giving it a chance to heal. This technique strengthens the muscles around an injury such that these muscles can then take up the slack of the ones around the injured muscle, giving relief and time for the injured area to heal.
We recommend doing the Essentrics workout slow and gentle “loose like a ragdoll.” If a movement ever feels painful or uncomfortable, it’s best to stop that particular movement. It may be that you are pushing yourself too deep in that exercise. Try again another time more “loosely and gently” to see if this helps. Depending on your health issue, there may be certain exercises that need to be tweaked or eliminated from your workout until you begin to heal any existing pain or injury.
HERE ARE SIX RECOMMENDATIONS:
1. If you are limited in your fitness ability, are new to our technique, or suffer from chronic pain, we suggest that you relax your muscles during all the workouts and move slowly and gently until you feel ready to pick up the pace and intensity.
2. Work as hard as you are able to—your muscles will grow at a pace that is safe for you. Don’t push too much to begin with; your body will change much more rapidly if you don’t force it. Be patient!
3. Even when done in a relaxed mode, the dynamic movements in Classical Stretch / Essentrics will increase your blood flow, which will bring healing nutrients and oxygen into your muscles. Don’t feel that you are wasting your time relaxing as you will actually gain strength faster!
4. Your body gives you signs—be sure to respect them. There is a difference between the discomfort when you are safely strengthening your muscles (a good thing) and a sharp pain sensation (a warning that you should not be forcing it).
5. Don’t forget to breathe!
6. It is safe to do daily 23-30 minute workouts. Similar to how brushing your teeth protects your gums—daily stretching will protect your youth and vitality. A minimum of 3 times weekly is a good place to start.
I am a runner / athlete. Will these technique improve my athletic performance? The Essentrics technique is the perfect compliment to any type of physical activity. Popular among numerous professional athletes and Olympians—Essentrics has become a staple fitness program within many sports industries, including running, hockey, football, golf, basketball, skiing, figure skating, swimming, diving, squash, and more!
The technique is often used in conjunction with an athlete’s pre-existing training program—to help strengthen, stretch and rebalance the full muscular structure, as well as increase flexibility and range of motion. Essentrics prepares the muscles and tendons to both withstand the maximum demands of one’s sport and to rebound injury-free from unexpected twists, turns and stresses.
How fast will I see the benefits? Immediately! After only one 23-minute workout—you’ll feel lighter, more limber and notice a difference in your posture. Many people who suffer from pain or joint stiffness end up feeling mild to complete relief after completing a workout. For weight loss, it's important to develop healthy eating habits, along with exercising on a regular basis.
Will Essentrics help me lose weight? Yes! However, it is important to remember that weight loss takes more than just an active lifestyle. The Essentrics technique has assisted many people in their weight loss and toning goals when combined with a healthy, nutritious, and properly portioned diet. If you have healthy eating habits, the Essentrics technique will most definitely help you to tighten, tone, and lose weight.
Remember to try to do at least 23-30 minutes of Essentrics every day or at least 3-4 times per week to see the best results.
How many calories will I burn during a 23-minute workout? It is very difficult to give an accurate number when asked about how many calories are burned during one workout. There are many factors that come into play—variables such as height, weight, age, and even how loose and limp you keep your body during the workout will have an impact on the exact calories burned. We say that about 75-125 calories are burned in a 23-minute workout episode.
If you wish to have an exact calculation it may be worth investing in a calorie counter that attaches around your chest. There are also all sorts of great new technologies that can help to regulate calories burned.
I feel pain in my knees when I do pliés. What am I doing wrong? All of our workouts are gentle and respectful to the body. You should never feel pain anywhere while doing Essentrics. If you do, however, feel pain in your knees when doing pliés—you may need to adjust your knee alignment.
Follow these 4 STEPS to ensure you have proper knee alignment during pliés:
1 - Stand on the full flatness of your feet (equal weight on the front and back of your foot)
TIP: Don’t let your arches collapse!
2 -As you lower, keep your knees in line with your big toes.
TIP: Think about pushing your knees back!
3 -Keep your back straight (shoulders in line with the hips)
TIP: Don’t slouch!
4 - Keep your quads engaged on the way down.
TIP: Do it with a purpose!
If you have knee pain during your pliés, re-check your alignment and/or don’t go down as far.
For fun--lift your toes to check! Doing them properly will HELP the health of your knees.
If you ever feel pain during one of our workouts try to loosen the movements and keep your body very limp. Move back to the last position you were in that was painless and do all movements up until this point. You will find that with time and practice, you can comfortably push yourself even further.
Will I achieve the same benefits if can't raise my legs as high as Miranda? Yes you will! Miranda is not only the creator of this technique, but has countless years of experience in professional ballet and personal training. Don’t feel bad if you can’t raise your leg as high or stretch as deep.
When starting with the Essentrics technique, it’s very important to remember to move at your own pace and capacity. You may not look anything like Miranda when doing the workouts now, but with regular practice, you will become stronger, more flexible, and be able to follow along with ease.
Our bodies take time to change. Moving at your own capacity—even if you do the workout slow and limp “loose like a ragdoll”—you will still reap all the benefits of the program. Don’t give up and keep at it!
What Essentrics® Can Do For You...
For Health & Performance
Increases full body flexibility
Helps relieve pain
Unlocks tight muscles and joints
Strengthens the spine and core
Helps to treat and prevent back pain
Age-defying workout: creates a youthful feeling body
Improves agility and speed for sports
Supports injury prevention
Helps speed-up recovery time through increased blood flow
For Body Shaping
Defines the waist
Creates toned, lean and strong arms
Slenderizes thighs and quads
Creates flat, defined abs
Lifts the butt
Targets and firms every muscle in the body
Essentrics Class in Montreal, Canada
Sahra Esmonde -White
The Creator of Essentrics, Miranda Esmonde-White and Sahra Esmonde-White
Sahra Esmonde-White is co-owner and CEO of Essentrics and host of the Essentrics DVD Series
Miranda Created Essentrics in 1997 after being a professional ballerina. Since 1999 her her fitness TV show, Classical Stretch has been airing on PBS and is rated the #1 fitness show on the network. Miranda is a New York Times bestselling author with her books Aging Backwards, Forever Painless and Aging Backwards, FastTrack.