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By Lindsay Ellingson, Byrdie (TNS)

Need a quick workout that mixes several styles together? Here are four sequences that will tone your whole body and elongate your muscles at the same time while incorporating Pilates, ballet and yoga. Mary Helen Bowers, founder of Ballet Beautiful, taught me the ballet sequences, which I do constantly.

Power passe
1. Start lying on your side with your legs straight and slightly out in front of you.
2. With your toes pointed, draw your top leg into passe position at your knee.
3. Keep your hips open, with your knee drawing backward as you extend your leg straight up.
4. Lower your leg into starting position, and repeat the sequence 20 times.
5. Next, circle your leg.
6. Bring both legs slightly forward to form a V shape.
7. Lift your top leg and slowly circle it forward for one minute. Then reverse the direction of your circle for one minute.
8. Repeat the whole sequence on your other leg.

Ballet beautiful hips and thighs sequence
1. Lie on your side with knees bent, legs forming a 90-degree angle.
2. Keeping your knees together and toes pointed, lift your top foot up toward the sky.
3. Extend you leg upward in the direction of your foot.
4. Bend your knee, bringing your top leg in to meet the bottom leg again, and repeat this sequence 10 times.
5. Next, come back to starting position for clamshells. This time, keep your toes together and open your knees.
6. Slowly and with control, raise and lower your top leg 10 times. (Note: If you want to make this more challenging, you can raise your feet and hover the bottom leg as well.)
7. Repeat the whole sequence three times, and switch legs.

Anti-gravity glute lift
1. Start on your hands and knees, in tabletop position, with hips over knees and shoulders over wrists.
2. Keeping your hips square and your foot flexed, press one leg up toward the sky, knee bent at a 90-degree angle.
3. Raise and lower your leg 12 times.
4. Next, maintain the same form, but open your leg to the side. Do this 12 times.
5. Repeat the whole sequence three times on each leg.

Core balance bicycles
1. Start sitting up straight with your hands and feet on the ground, knees bent, arms slightly behind you, and fingers facing inward.
2. Raise your whole body up, lifting your chest toward the sky. Keep your core engaged and your arms straight (but not locked), and hold this pose for a few breaths.
3. Lower down and raise your legs to tabletop position.
4. Lean back slightly to fire up your core, and extend your legs straight out.
5. Alternate bicycling out your legs for one minute, and repeat. (Note: For a more advanced sequence, balance without the support of your arms on the ground.)

And don’t forget to grab a crease-free hair tie to keep your hair out of the way during this power Pilates workout.

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Poll: Most Parents Oppose Rapid School Reopening

Numerous local school systems around the country are plowing ahead with plans to resume in-person instruction despite growing evidence that children are just as capable of spreading the coronavirus as adults.

Classes were set to begin on Monday in Baker County, Florida. Masks for students will be optional, not required. "It looks like it's back to normal this morning, honestly," a local television reporter observed as parents dropped their kids off in the morning. Many students wore no face coverings.

The Trump administration and the GOP have pushed for full reopening of schools for months."Schools in our country should be opened ASAP," Donald Trump tweeted in May. "Much very good information now available."

"SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!" he reiterated on July 6.

"The science and data is clear: children can be safe in schools this fall, and they must be in school this fall," demanded Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) on Aug. 1.

"I believe our schools can, and should rise to the occasion of re-opening for in-person education this fall," agreed Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) two days later.

"The CDC and Academy of Pediatrics agree: We can safely get students back in classrooms," tweeted House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) last Tuesday.

But while Scalise, Mike Pence, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have all cited the American Academy of Pediatrics in their arguments for reopening, a new study by the group and the Children's Hospital Association raises red flags about how safe that will be.

Their report found 338,982 reported coronavirus cases in children as of July 30 in the United States. Between July 16 and July 30, the nation saw a 40% increase — 97,078 new infected children.

Last week, a high school student in an Atlanta suburb posted a photo online showing few students wearing masks in a crowded school hallway. Since that time, at least six students and three adult employees in the school have reportedly contracted the coronavirus, and the school temporarily has switched to online classes.

Another Georgia school district has already seen at least 13 students and staff members test positive since reopening a week ago.

A recent study in South Korea found that children aged ten and older spread the coronavirus at the same rates adults do. A separate study in Chicago suggested young kids might also be effective spreaders.

These contradict the false claims made by Trump and his administration that kids have an "amazing" near immunity to COVID-19.

"If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely, but almost immune from this disease, so few. They've got stronger, hard to believe, and I don't know how you feel about it, but they have much stronger immune systems than we do somehow for this," Trump told Fox News on Wednesday.

"You got to open the schools. They have a stronger immune system even than you have or I have," he told Barstool Sports on July 23. "It's amazing. You look at the percentage, it's a tiny percentage of one percent. And in that one case, I mean, I looked at a couple of cases. If you have diabetes, if you have, you know, problems with something, but the kids are in great shape." Children have made up nearly nine percent of all cases, even with schools mostly closed.

And DeVos incorrectly said in a July 16 interview, "More and more studies show that kids are actually stoppers of the disease and they don't get it and transmit it themselves."

In early July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines for how schools could operate more safely during the pandemic.

Trump publicly ridiculed the guidelines, dismissing them as "very tough & expensive" and "very impractical."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.