Pushing, stretching, twisting, pulling, and most importantly, breathing your way to a fitter, calmer you.
BodyBalance is a modern hybrid of traditional exercise and meditation arts, such as yoga, tai chi and Pilates. Like all of the Les Mills series of ‘Body’ exercises, BodyBalance is set to carefully selected music. In this case, the music is chosen to help inspire a sense of wellbeing and focus concentration.
The convener of this session, Lynne, uses highly visual imagery to explain the movements. When moving from side to side, Lynne tells the participants they are moving “from sunrise to sunset”. They don’t just look at their palms, they “open up the book of life”. They don’t just put their arms above their heads, they “salute to the sun”.
This imagery is more than just decorative language. By referring to the participants’ bodies in those terms, Lynne is encouraging them to take on a new perspective about themselves and how they fit into the world. This language, together with the poses and the music, works to clear the minds of the people in the class of negativity and stress.
The participants in the class run through a sequence of poses derived heavily from yoga and tai chi. These poses incorporate postures which, when repeated, become very good for strength, flexibility and balance.
The exercises look almost like a dance as the participants work to the music. Emphasis is placed on moving smoothly from pose to pose.
It looks quite gentle but people are working hard. Don’t let the calm faces deceive you. These people are really working out!
Some of the positions are quite difficult. For those who aren’t at the same level of proficiency, Lynne quickly finds an alternative stretch or position to approximate the same effect.
The session ends with a slow meditation session. The people in the class find a calming position on the floor. Lynne encourages the participants to focus on their breathing and let go of all of their extraneous thoughts. Their breathing slows down as they find stillness within.
Finally, Lynne encourages them to take a deep breath and the session is over. BodyBalance is a good all-in-one kind of work-out for people looking to get fit, relax, listen to empowering music and meditate, all at the same time. Classes usually run for an hour and leave the participants feeling fit, relaxed and refreshed.
CJ – Fitness