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Roots & Balance

As we start the New Year two words keep coming into my mind, roots and balance.

I will often refer to being rooted through the feet into the mat. I remember one lovely yoga teacher used to tell me to stand tall and imagine roots growing from my feet down into the earth. I often use this imagery in my every day when I need to be calm, patient or strong. My dear Dad would tell me to “frame” I think it probably meant the same thing but being “rooted” sits a little better with me now, it’s a little softer. I suspect I’ve had the ability to “root” for some time. Being aware of the feeling of both our feet being firmly on the ground as our body is being challenged, when our lives are being blown around or our minds our overwhelmed is grounding. Who knows what this year will bring but I hope to feel rooted through-out.

And at a time when exercise and fitness can be on many people’s minds with New Year’s Resolutions and extreme regimes flying around please remember the word balance. Feeling balanced mentally and physically is different to everybody because we all have a different body and mind. What feels great for you, may not feel great for a family member or a friend. Work out what you need to do to feel at your best. For me, right now, I know that a walk every day, cardio and Pilates each week, sleep and time at home keeps me balanced. A few years ago my work lead me to high intensity training, long runs every day, not much sleepand long working days, the balance shifted. I was producing a lot of Cortisol (stress hormone) from my exercise and putting it on top of a time in my life which was also stressful. I had a low immune system and felt mentally drained. Although I loved it, my body and mind didn’t.

As a teacher of movement and exercise I plan and research the sessions with clients depending on their aims and goals. Many want to be stronger and more flexible for their sport so we build on this each week taking into account any other training and exercise that they do. Some want to improve their posture, they sit at a desk all day and want to mobilise their joints and move in all planes to counter balance this sedentary position. Some want to stay strong and flexible as they get older or through disease. Some want to reconnect with their body again after having children. Some just enjoy the environment, the guidance, the community and often it simply fits into their life. But if someone walks into the room and feels tired I will roll out a mat and change the session, if someone walks in and cries I will get the tissues and change the session and if someone walks in and needs to run I will put on my trainers and change the session because I want you to connect and listen to your body to create balance and know that this is absolutely ok. I hope I teach you that it is ok to step away from the training plan and at times get rid of the stiff upper lip. Our bodies our wise, perhaps they give us small signals that we should listen to. Maybe the small signals are the ones we should take note of before a big signal heads our way. So this year, my friends, I hope to remain rooted and balanced and I hope I can also help you to feel rooted and balanced too.

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