YIN Eastern-style AND YANG Western-style Fitness: Taking the best of both to achieve fat loss, build muscle and feel strong
Holistic wellbeing doesn’t sound as sexy as lose weight, get fit quick and drop a dress size in 10 days.
We want fast, visible and overnight transformations.
But in order to achieve optimal results, to hit our ‘fat loss’ or ‘muscle building’ goals and most of all feel strong, we need to look at a holistic and intuitive look at health and fitness - as one entity, taking inspiration from Eastern philosophies that incorporate the mind and body as one, where exercise, nutrition and fulfilment is part of life.
Mindful focus on how we feel and what our body needs is much more than just ‘airy fairy’ talk, it is scientifically proven to help us eat, sleep and move in line with what we need daily rather than an ‘all or nothing’ short-term approach to diet and exercise.
Focusing on a gentle ‘yin’ and more forceful ‘yang’ style energy “chi” flow, in simple terms like interval or fartlek training. Plus, the key to the ultimate long-lasting mind and body transformation, losing fat or avoiding overtraining for example, is being in-tune with our whole selves which helps us to nourish ourselves so we not only look good but feel it too.
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Even top athletes use a flow state in their daily lives to achieve their personal best, they tend to flow between rest- activity -pause- rest -activity-sleep. But how can we do it? Move and stretch within an hour of waking to get our blood flowing and accept that each day we will get 2-3 hours of pure work or focused flow. So, if we start to feel overwhelmed with a task, it's better to have 20-minute deep breathing meditation first. If like me, you struggle with pausing, you can start simple with relaxing music such as “Solfeggio Frequencies” explains Abigayle Andre, founder of local holistic skincare brand Glam Aesthetics: “These frequencies affect how we feel. Sound healing dates back to ancient spiritual traditions and research shows it to have positive mental, emotional and physical effects.”
This gives us the energy to exert more into a ‘yang style workout’ or save time on procrastinating on the task in hand as we have a new found laser focus.
I know energy pacing is something I have incorporated in recent times to avoid burnout and to improve my performance. It's more important to maintain your form in exercise, work, family and life and most of all reap the rewards of total fitness, rather than go to failure.
Discover the right energy pace for your own lifestyle and if possible, always try to do some movement or stretching within the first hour of waking.
A way I love slowing down to incorporate mindfulness with movement is through Qi Gong as my instructor Mark Tum Whitmore, said: “By combining Qi Gong movements with breathing reduces stress and tension throughout the physical, mental, emotional and even the spiritual aspects of a human being, this provides a huge range of benefits for health and self-healing.”
In turn, adopting this mindful approach to life impacts how we eat, drink, exercise to achieve our 'fat loss' or 'feel strong' goals and most of all to sustain better habits as we evolve and adjust our 'flow' balance.