So it's really funny because when I went to music therapy school (yes, you read this correctly) we did a lot of "toning" but it really had nothing whatsoever to do with our thighs.
Toning for singers or musicians or meditators is very much like chanting. What you do is you pick a note, or tone that is comfortable for you (well within your range without any type of strain) and you breathe, hold out the tone, breathe more, in a cycle of breathing and keep holding the note. You can make it louder or softer, more or less intense, according to how much breath you have and how it feels. What you are trying to do, essentially, is a type of meditation in which you're focusing your energy. The tone itself becomes the candle flame, in essence. It is the single point of focus, albeit expressed in vocal form. Your whole body vibrates with the tone, it brings you a sense of clarity and peace of mind. It's amazing, really.
In fact it's so amazing that I remember when we'd having toning as part of our assignment for graduate school I would take at least an extra half hour to an hour to work on it, so transformative was it, so relaxing, so spiritual.
So now, New Year's resolutions upon us, thighs chafing and teeth throbbing from ridiculous amounts of ingested sugar, I am to tone. Yet it is not the nice voice kind of toning, it is the legs, abs, arms, no-more-egg-nog type of toning and I just feel too tired.
I have Shape Ups, which I've written about here at empowHer, and they are my saving grace at the moment. Since I have a dog I have to walk every day and this is a blessing. Every time I feel too tired to tone I try to remember three things:
1. I really want to be able to wear a bathing suit this summer (more because I love the water than for vanity, but I'm no non-vanity person all the way through, either...);
2. Once I start walking or running or working out I feel so much better and, with me, exercise always comes before eating right -- I can't eat right unless I'm exercising and then I am really motivated; and