04 Oct The Whole Story
When you think of a gym, do you only imagine the stench of sweat, the clunk of heavy weights, pounding music and staff who see you as a number?
If so – and if this was your experience of a workout center – did you find that your desire to keep going gradually dimmed? That your initial enthusiasm waned as fast as the membership manager could get your direct debit details from you?
Of course, regular workouts should be a goal if we want to live longer, healthier lives. But often, we give up when quickly when we’re only focusing on one area of our lives, such as pounding on a treadmill and expecting this to make us feel fabulous day in, day out.
Yet if we don’t look at our diets, we don’t see results. If we want to stress less, then we need to think about the way we think. If we’re in pain, we need to find ways to alleviate it so we can move on and not make it worse.
In other words, there needs to be an holistic focus, and it very much helps if the place where you work out also shares this goal.
By this, we mean taking into consideration the body, mind and spirit as well as watching the foods we eat and how we prepare them.
“People want more from the goal of getting fit these days,” says Flex co-director Heather Thomas Shalabi. “It has to be as much about their lives off the mat as it is about the classes themselves. It’s difficult to reach your full potential if you’re not thinking holistically.”
As the website Eat Simply. Live Healthy says: “fitness is really nothing without proper nutrition.”
For many of us, learning about holistic wellness takes guidance – guidance on how to look at our diet, or fully understand the science or concept behind the method of exercise you choose, or even the concepts behind a safe detox.
The same goes for pain or stiffness. If we suffer from one or both, we might be tempted to move as little as possible and avoid exercise only focusing on our diet instead. Yet again, there’s no balance.
Then there’s the body-mind connection. Perhaps the importance of meditation to yoga is what has contributed to its immense global popularity – the mind is calmed as the body is strengthened. In our stress-based society, it’s no wonder this combination has been so successful.
The same could go for Pilates focus on breathing to attain each posture. When you’re that focused on your breath and posture, you’ve no time to worry about the endless concerns that bother us throughout each hectic day.
“The key to reaching your fitness and wellness goals is knowledge,” says Heather. “The more you know about how your body responds to your chosen exercise and the more you know about diet and the way you think, the more likely you will see and feel results.
“You can only get such information if you speak with professionals who care about their clients,” says Heather. “The more you know, the more likely it is you will achieve your fitness and wellness goals.”
So if you’re seeking to make real changes to your body and mind, the holistic approach is the ideal solution. Better still, it is knowledge that will stay with you for life.
For information on Flex’s full schedule of workshops – including ®Yamuna Body Rolling (targeting pain and stiffness), Introduction to Chakras, Postnatal Recovery, Contrology, the Magic of Mat Pilates and Improving your Pilates with TRX – please go to: Workshops