TV fitness celebrity Forbes Riley states, “open your eyes to new healing possibilities” in the foreword of my new book Healing Happens: Stories of Healing Against All Odds. She sets the tone for stories from eighteen health and healing experts who have helped themselves and clients overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges even when given six to eight weeks to live. From this research, there are four key takeaways to health, happiness, and success.
1. Start with a Lot of Students
What you want to do is set yourself up for success. It is hard enough to feel confident as an instructor but then to have very few students can really drag yourself down. Especially when you are a new teacher or start a new class, pick a location or time you know will get a lot of students. Start with subbing until you become more known or teach within a community where you are already known. You’ll feel a lot more energized as an instructor when there are more people adding to the energy in the room.
As fitness professionals, we can create all sorts of wonderful programs for our clients, but they do no good unless we figure out how to inspire them to take action and maintain new habits. One of my favorite quotes from the great yoga guru Paramhansa Yogananda is “Your trials may be great, but the greatest enemy of yourself is yourself!” In order for people to create a new habit that feels recharging, they have to figure out how to get themselves out of the way.
We commonly talk about developing a buddy system where someone or a class holds you accountable. Or we encourage people to push themselves for a small amount of time when beginning new activities which will automatically develop a habit. We set up calendars, competitions, and offer rewards for accomplishing goals. Below are five creative tips which we do not commonly think about on how to develop a recharging habit.
If someone told you there was a form of exercise that could enhance physical beauty, embellish grace of expression, increase power of mental receptivity, prevent hardening of arteries, enable lasting youth by stimulating circulation and ejecting waste from body, drive away headaches, improve voice, steady the nerves, put on or take off fat as desired, send curative energy to diseased parts, detach scattered attention from the senses, lead to greater concentration, strengthen the mind, and inspire success, you would want to know about it, right?
That is exactly what the famous yoga guru Paramhansa Yogananda promised with the set of 39 isometric exercises he developed called Energization Exercises. I have witnessed remarkable changes in myself and hundreds of others within just one week of starting these exercises. There is a lot of research showing the benefits of isometric exercises. Now that can be applied to this full body workout!
Your clients have probably been bombarded with all sorts of advice and ideas. And you might feel like you are just adding to their burden by recommending yet another regimen to follow. Instead what they really need is a simple shift in mindset and an approach that will allow them to make better choices without sapping their willpower and beating themselves up. If you help them understand some basic principles they can easily remember, you’ll empower them to take control of their health and be responsible for creating more vitality in their lives, with you as the catalyst, not the commander.
When I was a child I started reading nutrition books. I became particular enough about food that my mother was concerned I was anorexic even though I had a big appetite. I actually only went through one phase where I was counting calories and the amount of nutrients I was getting. Most of the time I wanted to enjoy life and not be too particular.
What would it be like to have your clients walk away not only achieving their goals but also feeling great about their experience with you? What is behind the motivation to have a healthy body and lots of energy? The desire to be happy! Even if someone truly just wants to improve the physical condition of their body, they likely got to where they are because of feeling like they lack in some area. What good is a healthy body if you are not happy? You can take things up a notch for your clients by including an individualized inner wellness program that assesses the three following areas.
How is your client breathing?
Breathing is the foundation of our existence. Without it, how would we be alive? The way we breath can trigger the parasympathetic nervous system to relax the fight or flight response. We have a sharp quick inhale when we are met with a surprise or fear, or a long slow exhale when we make a sigh of relief. If you start to listen to the quality of your clients’ breathing, you can learn a lot about their attitudes.