When we launched our winter session at the gym last week, I noticed that many of my students were missing out on a very important aspect of exercise. I call it “auto-pilot” syndrome. People show up in class, willing and ready to participate but I can tell that their mind is elsewhere. People tend to go through the motions physically, without really connecting their mind to what they are doing with their body.
It is my job to pull you back into the present moment during our time together and that is why I raise or lower my voice occasionally. Heck, I have even started to growl at times while cueing just to snap my clients out of their daze. FYI, sometimes I am concerned that a student might injure themselves or others because they are distracted.
To get the full benefit (yes, Jocelyn there are benefits to doing pigeon pose) we need to tune in to what we are doing every minute of our workout. For instance, when I call ‘football’ during aerobics, I have asked people to hold their hands around an imaginary ball. I started doing this because my clients were hanging their arms limp by their sides, and in many cases, barely moving their feet. So instead, lets imagine that you are making that million dollar salary and carry that ball as far as you can go! I tell my clients to ‘hold their fitness in their hands’ and I mean it both literally and figuratively. We will achieve what we believe. Maybe you are not carrying a football but you are in charge of your fitness and you can have a positive impact on your health by really tuning your mind into your activities. That is why I try to prompt your thoughts with suggestions throughout the class especially during Essentrics. I need you to imagine a resistance because we do not use weights in class but we use our imaginations to ‘push that piano or grab that elastic or lift that feather.’
There is only so much I can do as your trainer. I want you to succeed at achieving your goals and much of that is about your ability to use your mind to get over the finish line. It is true that we don’t always feel like exercising and I am the first to congratulate all of my students for getting their butts to class on time, no matter the weather etc.! The days are shorter and there are many reasons why our thoughts are elsewhere however I hope to encourage you to focus on the task at hand, no matter where you are or what you are doing. You will achieve results that much quicker and easier if you fully engage your mind in your activities. So the next time you are in class doing aerobics or dance or Essentrics, leave your ‘to-do list’ at the door and really try to think about the cues you are hearing and how the moves are helping to make you stronger, more flexible and balanced!
See you soon,