Over the past six years Bethenny Frankel has been called many things: apprentice (as in NBC’s The Apprentice: Martha Stewart); housewife (you know, from The Real Housewives of New York City); and Skinnygirl (thanks to her insanely popular Skinnygirl Margarita and Sangria cocktails and health supplements).
Now the food chef and supermom can add one more moniker to that ever-growing list: yogi.
Frankel just released a workout DVD dedicated to her go-to exercise as a follow-up to last year’s Body by Bethenny DVD.Bethenny’s Skinnygirl Workout includes two 15-minute workouts and one 20-minute workout.
The practice may seem contradictory for the fast-talking, brash New Yorker, but for Frankel, the zen of yoga is the perfect complement to her bustling life.
Working Workouts in to Her Schedule
This relaxed approach to working out didn’t come so easy to the Bravo star. “Before I used to do boot camp and spinning,” she explains of her former daily exercise frenzy. “I used to be so manic, and I just don’t need that in my life.”
So she replaced the nearly daily sessions with drill sergeants and packed studios with at-home yoga. And instead of pressuring herself to find a chunk of time each day, Frankel adopted a more relaxed approach. “I usually only work out at home in the morning after I put the baby down. And even then it’s not every day, but maybe two or three times a week,” she says.
The more mindful and relaxed practice of yoga seemed a long time coming for Frankel. “I tried yoga 20 years ago and hated it,” she admits. “But it just evolved, and the more I did it, the more I loved it. It always made me feel better, like I had a massage that was getting the creaks out.”
Her favorite pose is triangle. “Or any position where you’re bending forward with your interlocked hands hanging over your head,” she says. “All of my tension is in my neck so it just releases that.”
For the 41-year-old mother to 1-year-old daughter Bryn, being able to exercise in short bursts is a necessity. “That’s what the new DVD is about: It is individual sections that cater to your total body,” she says. “Each section tones and works every part of your body so you don’t feel cheated if you only do 15, 20, or 35 minutes.”
With one look at Frankel’s lean and toned body, it’s no doubt that her laid-back approach is working for her. “No one ever believes I’m in this kind of shape from working out to my DVD in my house for 35 minutes,” Frankel says. “And I used to be so much less in shape and work out so much more.”
Making Exercise a Family Affair
By nature, Frankel prefers to work out solo. “I’m not a group exercise person at all,” she says. However she makes an exception to her lone-workout sessions when she’s on vacation. “If I’m on a beach vacation especially, I go walking on the beach with [my husband] Jason or a girlfriend,” she says.
And, there’s of course her attachment to her daughter. “I like to be with the baby,” Frankel admits. “That’s another problem I have. I’m a little codependent.”
As a result, Frankel and baby Bryn do yoga together on some mornings — sort of. As Frankel moves into poses such as Warrior or Downward Dog, Bryn will try to do imitate the same moves on her miniature mat. “It’s a teeny tiny yoga mat, which is the cutest thing ever,” she says.
Those mommy-and-me moments are exactly how Frankel knows she’ll raise a healthy daughter. Instead of talking about exercise and diet obsessively, Frankel plans on simply leading by example. “She’ll see what I do. And if she wants to know about yoga, she can find out about yoga. And Jason plays golf and runs, so she can know about that too,” Frankel says. “We’re just not going to talk about it and obsess about it.”
In the meantime, Frankel hopes other women will adopt her low-key approach to fitness. “I came into this world to let people know that they didn’t have to be so crazy about working out,” Frankel says. “I used to be like that and it’s not real life and it makes people hate what they have to do.”
Instead, Frankel advises to find a consistent time to work out and stick to it as much as you can. After all, she says, “People are just so nuts about it, and they don’t have to be.”