Calm and Strong….. Inner Peace with Abs of Steal…. Less Stress with more strength, welcome to the new age of mind body fitness. The new way of fitness and wellness involves balance and you know you are a part of it when you can be in a “ZEN” like state and feel the “BURN” all at the same time.
As written so perfectly in last month’s Women’s Fitness, “Mind-body workouts are no longer bound by any one discipline. They can happen anywhere – at the yoga studio, in the weight room, on a foggy morning run. Integrative fitness with Intention treats the whole you – physical, mental and emotional. More importantly, it’s an approach that works for life, so it is sustainable.”
We have yoga, pilates, Zumba, cross-fit, boot camps, weight classes and beyond. By all accounts we should be fitter and healthier than ever before. When we found out that due to our inactive lifestyle we cannot possibly exercise enough to counteract our increasingly sedentary lives, the fitness tracker or FIT BIT, exploded to help us track our daily steps. Problem is, we are stuck in a state of strong, steel and strength 24/7. Our fight or flight responses and adrenaline are not turning off and we are struggling to get back to a resting state. Workouts alone won’t give us a healthier body. We need the ability to link the intention and why we are doing something, or what our body really needs to progress.
I was inspired to start this style of teaching, when I myself was recently faced with the most emotionally challenging time in my life. I could feel the burn in my legs on the hills we were climbing in spin class as though it mirrored my life, a heavy, hard, muddy climb. I started to tell everyone to breathe and BE calm and strong. It had true intention, purpose and it worked!
Here are a few Steps to Fitness with Intention.
Access your Readiness – Understand what your physical and emotional body is going through that day. How much gas do you have in the tank? How do you feel on a scale of 1-10? Tailor your workout or class participation on how you feel that day. If your tank is empty, work accordingly, knowing tomorrow will be better.
Breathing Awareness – Never hold your breath, and use your breath as energy, or prana life force. Exhale on exertions and inhale on extensions. Take deep long breaths and focus on your breathing as much as you can.
Set Intentions for the workout – Do you want to release stress? Do you want to feel powerful? Do you want to let go of some old baggage? Do you want to release anger? What is the purpose of your workout? Keep your monkey mind quiet and ego in check by focusing on your workout intention.
Relaxation – Savasana (yoga relaxation), deep stretching, myofascial release, massage, hot tubs, steam baths, and beyond. If you rush out of a workout, there is no time for your body to recalibrate. Make time for any of the above, and reward your body so it will be ready for the next workout.
By Kelsi Bissonnette