As the creator of the incredibly popular Yoga Tune Up® program and self-massage tools based on her book “The Roll Model,” Jill Miller is an expert in the movement of the human body. 24Life recently talked to Miller about her mindset routine, favorite exercises and life.
24Life: What is your top training tip for the spring? Does your workout routine change with the season?
Jill Miller (JM): Spring seems to come with an extra burst of free energy. It’s the call of nature. Look no further than what the grass, trees and animals are doing.
Get outside and take advantage of the zing from spring. Add additional walking to your day, move your workout earlier or later to take advantage of the beautiful twilight or sunset light.
All that extra sunlight boosts your levels of vitamin D and helps you sleep more deeply.
My workouts seem to have more enthusiasm in spring, and I credit that with this natural boost of planetary aliveness. I spend more time hiking and treasuring the smells and scents of the Earth, as it is warming up and blooming.
24Life: What are the three most beneficial exercises that people should include in their workout routine?
JM: I have three, and here are the instructions:
1. Breath Reset:
- Place Coregeous Ball on abdomen and lie face down.
- Inhale, hold your breath, then contract your abdominals for three to five seconds. Follow by exhaling. Repeat for five to eight more breaths.
- Slowly cross the ball across your midsection for two more minutes while deeply breathing.
2. RibCage Remedy:
- Recline on the ground and place a Therapy Ball Plus Ball at any point along the back of your ribcage.
- Slowly move the ball between each of the ribs, tracing the spaces between the ribs, which are called the intercostal muscles.
- Spend a few minutes on each side of your ribs rolling from inside out, to outside in.
- Finish and rest on the floor, enjoying the new liberty in your ribcage as you take a deep, broad breath of bliss.
3. Trapezius Tamer:
- Place Yoga Tune Up® Balls on either side of your upper shoulders on the upper trapezius and bridge your pelvis off the floor.
- Take eight deep breaths into the balls and allow your muscles to conform to the shape of the balls.
- Begin slow motion movements with your arms in all directions like seaweed to help the balls maneuver around the upper trapezius region.
- Breathe deeply for approximately three minutes while moving, then come down and feel the difference.
24Life: How do you regenerate or revitalize?
JM: These are my five “tools” for regeneration daily and on-the-go:
- I play with my 2-year-old daughter.
- I roll on Roll Model® Therapy Balls daily.
- I make sure to deadlift once a week.
- I block out eight hours for sleep every night.
- I take deep abdominal breaths when I start to feel anxious or overwhelmed.
24Life: What book is on your night-stand?
JM: “The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation” by Stephen Porges.
24Life: What is your go-to pre-workout or post-workout snack for nourishment?
JM: Pre-workout, I go for water, coffee and scrambled eggs with buttered gluten-free toast. Post-workout, I go for a chocolate smoothie loaded with almond butter, cacao nibs, kefir, banana and strawberries.
24Life: Do you have any rituals around sleep? How much do you sleep each night?
JM: I spend 10 to 20 minutes using my Roll Model® Balls to help scrape away any stress built up from my day and flip “on” my neurological “off” switch. I sleep eight hours nightly.
24Life: What are you most passionate about, outside of fitness?
JM: My daughter and my current pregnancy. I read a lot of neuroscience and am currently deeply entrenched in the relationship of developmental trauma and human behavior. And very good dark chocolate. And singing.
24Life: What’s one new thing you want to learn to do or one new thing you’d like to try this year?
JM: I have signed up for private singing lessons. I sang in choirs my whole youth, but after college, I stopped singing or studying voice. I absolutely love singing for pleasure and can’t wait to dig into training my adult voice the way I train my adult body.
24Life: How do you make sure you’re being your best self every day?
JM: I have a mindset practice that I do multiple times every day. It helps to keep me aligned with my higher purpose and remind me to stay in modes of self-acceptance when I start to feel out-of-control around stressors that are beyond my control. It’s a practice I teach to all who train with me, and I love checking in with my students about how this inner-work, works for them. Knowing that there is a community of people worldwide who also engage in this practice helps motivate me to stay connected to the practice.
24Life: What was the biggest lesson you learned while developing Treat While You Train?
JM: Treat While You Train taught me how to reduce complicated physiological and biomechanical human processes into simple, applicable and relevant moves for any body at any age or stage of health and fitness. It forced me to channel my programming into an easy-to-follow progression. It has been deeply gratifying to know that I am sharing the gift of longevity and sustainability with the gifted group fitness instructors who attend the training. These motivated instructors have absorbed this self-care fitness approach, made it their own and now return that gift to members.
24Life: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given, in less than 24 words?
Miller says …
“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” – Oscar Wilde
Miller also recently launched the Treat While Your Train program at 24 Hour Fitness gyms. To see more tips from her, check out Power Up with Self-Care.