Mina’s StoryThe Origin of Mina Method
While working as a ballet instructor, I was often asked: “How do you maintain your figure?” My answer was nothing more than “by moving my body a little each day.” However, the conversation often ended with “that’s because you get to dance every day for work. I’m jealous.”
The truth is that sudden dance movements during instruction are really not good for the body. In fact, they are quite dangerous, and I have injured my legs many times as a result. By the time I retired from ballet, my feet were numb to the toes, I was suffering from a slipped disk causing sharp shooting pain, my knees were injured from having knocked-knees and the base of my toes and heels hurt from the load placed on the bottom of my feet. Every day I felt pain all over my body.
However, for dancers there is pretty much no such thing as a day free from pain or some kind of injury, so I was used to it.
But one day in addition to this feeling of discomfort, I noticed a jiggly feeling around my waist. After retiring as a dancer, I had already used up all the muscle I had accumulated, and my core muscles, which supported my back and hips and relieved them of pain, had begun to loosen and grow soft. When I woke up and got out of bed my body felt heavy and ached. I would begin slowly walking and wait to gain my strength. As always, when giving instruction I would move suddenly, strain my muscles, and as I had hardly stretched, my body only grew stiffer. I spent my days telling myself this is just how my body is and going to get massages for temporary relief. But what about this jiggly sensation I had never felt before? Given my age, I began to worry. Then, my back pain suddenly worsened. I decided “That’s it!” and finally began regular stretching and exercise.
I tried going to various gyms and learning different styles of exercise and even went in early to warm up before teaching my ballet lessons, but I was not really able to work out my whole body with such limited time nor continue this on an everyday basis. Even when exercising at home, I didn’t like the hassle of having to lay out mats, etc.
I had always heard it wasn’t good for the back to exercise on top a soft bed, but one morning I wondered “Is that really true? I’m going to try exercising right here in bed.” and began by doing little stretches and light exercise upon waking up. And it felt really good! The soft bed was really gentle on my insteps and knees, which usually hurt from coming in contact with the floor, and when I got out of bed I felt lighter in both body and mind. Not just my back but my heels as well no longer hurt when standing up, and my knees moved smoothly, free of discomfort, as I went down the stairs.
Most important, however, I was able to tone up my jiggly belly, waist and buttocks at the same time!
From here, after trying various techniques, I established a method for effectively moving the entire body over a short period of time and have continued using this for myself for over 10 years. “Continued” does not mean every day. On days when I don’t have time or can’t be bothered, I take a break. After a few days off, however, my body begins getting antsy.
As I repeated this practice, before I knew it 1 month had passed, then 6 months, then a year, and I had formed a habit that allowed me to spend every day in comfort, free from pain. I never thought this was possible during my days as a dancer. Now, morning exercise in bed is part of my daily routine. Originally, I intended to keep this as my own secret practice. There is nothing glamorous or fashionable about it, nor is it a fun strenuous exercise where you break a sweat and feel a sense of achievement. Honestly, it is pretty plain.
However, I felt the urge to tell people who found training at the gym troublesome or suffered from back pain and that flabby feeling like I had about what I had achieved in over 10 years of practice.
Because I myself have gotten older, I can confidently tell you about the benefits of the Mina Method for Morning Exercise in Bed. It is my sincere hope that this at-home exercise “for health & beauty as we age” will reach as many people as possible and become a part of their daily routine that they will enjoy for the rest of their lives.