A Beautiful Balance.
Energetic Activities versus Quiet Activities. When someone attends a fitness program, whether for adults or children, which is more important? Is one of more benefit than another? Can both be combined into one class, effectively?
These are questions I have often asked myself as Yoga, Pliates, and more recently, a focus on ‘mindfulness’ have made their way into the energetic fitness world. As a 25 yr + fitness professional, I am always excited to see new concepts and class variety added into the world of physical fitness. Something for everyone. One of my favourite concepts was the introduction of an awareness and connection between the MIND, BODY & SPIRIT. This concept speaks to me on a personal level – but it didn’t at first. Throughout my adulthood, my absolute favourite go-to activities were always high energy ones like, fast-paced aerobics, gardening from dawn til dusk or cranking up-beat music in the house as I zipped through chores. Quiet activities, such as sitting in silence, taking a nap when I was exhausted, yoga meditation, or simply moving at a slower pace - felt like a waste of time to me. Until one day it became clear, that I was out of balance. I was over-stressed, over-tired, mentally drained and my usual, “just get myself moving and I’ll feel better” strategy wasn’t working for me anymore. It didn’t recharge or re-energize me like it used to. I was forced to take the path of ‘quiet’, mindfulness, slowing down, and of focusing on my mind just as much as my body. This new path was definitely outside my comfort zone. What I now needed to achieve health was to ‘sit still’ more. I soon realized that this had been an essential missing piece to my wellness regime.
Recently I have been giving my mind and spirit a lot more attention that I used to. Guess what.. I feel much more balanced. The benefits include feeling calmer and more relaxed about everyday things. I also have a variety of strategies for dealing with stress beyond fast paced exercise. I am completely surprised at how much, with practice, I now enjoy quiet, slower paced activities. They have become a real priority in my life.
This personal experience has crossed over into my professional world. I value quiet, mindful activities much more than I used to. I ensure that they find a way into my classes for those families, like myself, who would benefit from more balance in their lives. Recognizing that not all families are alike, I blend energetic activities and quiet, mindful, slower paced activities into all of my programs . Perhaps some participants are in need of more energetic activities in their lives (likely that is why they have signed up for a movement class) and some may find benefit from slower, quieter activities. My goal is to try to achieve a balance of both from start to finish.
Some of my favourite Slower/Quieter/Mindful songs:
FLY MY KITE – Musigo Kids
MIXING BOWL – Kira Wiley
COLOURS – Kira Wiley
UNDERNEATH THE RAINBOW – Kira Wiley