June 12, 2013

Misty Watson: Exercising like an animal

Misty Watson

— I’ve got a new exercise idea. It’s called kangacise.

You bounce around like a kangaroo with your elbows tucked into your sides while keeping your wrists floppy.

Throw in an occasional big hop and punch the air.

The idea is to free yourself, become one with a kangaroo and enjoy the whimsy of bouncing around.

Or would you rather do some nice relaxing kittyoga? Stretch like a cat and roll over. Then stretch like a cat again and curl up into a ball. Hold it for a 12-hour nap, and then stretch and repeat.

Still not for you? How about bear scratchercise, where you wiggle like you’re a bear rubbing your back against a tree.

If I still haven’t mentioned the exercise right for you, why don’t you try to Prancercise?

A YouTube video went viral recently which featured a woman in white, way-too-tight, spandex pants, a coral shirt and gaudy jewelry demonstrating her Prancercise routine, which is based on horse movements. A small group had a Prancercising parade at the Downtown Dalton Saturday Market this past weekend. And I’m seeing it mentioned seemingly everywhere.

Prancercise is “a springy rhythmic way of moving forward, similar to a horse’s gait and ideally induced by elation,” according to the website prancercise.com.

The goal is to “liberate ourselves from the fitness chains” through “using imagery to imagine ourselves as a beautiful animal that’s a symbol of beauty, strength and endurance while we’re exercising in order to free our minds of any self-image that may be less appealing.”

I’m going to imagine I’m a beautiful iguana with long pretty talons and a scaly greenish brown tail. So if you see me clawing at something or swatting at it with my backside, you’ll know why. Don’t disturb me. I’m freeing my mind.

The site goes on to say Prancercise frees Prancers through “using our own favorite music to induce our own natural movement that’s totally fun and comfortable for us! Freeing ourselves from the moves others prefer and the music they prefer.”

I prefer not to ever see this woman flailing around in those white pants ever again.

The exercise was created by Joanna Rohrback, to whom I referred. She recently tweeted “Prance like no one’s watching.”

Rohrback is a wellness coach with a bachelor’s degree in health services who is a huge advocate of holistic medicine, at least according to her website.

According to several news sites, the Florida resident created the exercise in 1989 — I’d say about the last time she changed her hairstyle, which by the way, doesn’t look messed up at the end of her workout thanks to the low-impact routine.

Late last year, Rohrback published a book, “Prancercise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence.” It is worth the trip to Amazon.com just to see the reviews about the book. My favorite is “I was Prancercising and accidentally pranced my way onto a rock and sprained my ankle. The doctor tried to shoot me! Stay away unless you have strong legs.”

Rohrback recorded the video and put it on YouTube with the release of her book.

“I never thought it would take a goofy interpretation of my video to make it viral,” Rohrback told The Huffington Post. “But that’s what it did!”

Maybe this is the exercise routine for you. If so, prance on, Prancers. Prance on.

I think I’ll stick to running. And secretly doing ballet in an oversized T-shirt and socks on my dining room floor.

But wild horses couldn’t drag me away from watching where this fad goes.

Murray County native Misty Watson is a photographer and staff writer for The Daily Citizen. You can share your love of Prancercising or your new idea for a workout with her at mistywatson@daltoncitizen.com; facebook.com/MistyWatsonDCN; or on Twitter, @mistydwatson.