Take care: Body & mind

I’ve always been a generally active person. I’ve always done the usual gym routines of HIIT, weights, treadmills – the works! Towards the end of last year, after numerous mental back-and-forths, I finally acknowledged that these workouts

I’d been doing for years were actually not working for me the way I needed them to. What was happening, was that my body was stressed, which limited its ability to burn fat mass and let my lean muscle mass flourish.

While in Cape Town this past December, I began researching different workout disciplines, hoping to find something that would be better suited to my needs and that my body would respond to positively. I found my new love: BARRE.

Image: Breathe Barre, Johannesburg
IG: @breathe_barre

Barre is a strength workout influenced by disciplines such as ballet, yoga, pilates and their postures. In these classes we use a barre, like the ones you’d find in a ballet studio, resistance bands, thera bands, small balls, light weights, sliders and a few other gadgets that I love to hate.

I must warn you: approach with caution. Barre workouts look easy because of their simplicity and focus on body weight, BUT, your thighs, your butt, your arms and your abs will be on fire before you’re even one quarter into your workout!

I’ve been going strong for three months now and I am so happy about how much stronger I’m getting. My posture is improving, my fat mass is melting away and my arms, legs and abs are starting to get the definition I’ve always wanted.

My full workout plan includes a combination of barre classes, weekly pilates and a yoga class every Sunday.

This combination has also been so beneficial for my peace of mind. I never imagined I’d be one of those people who speak about looking forward to “their time on the mat”, but I really do. The world is still during that time – no distractions, no noise, no stress. Just me, my mat and the amazing things I’ve discovered my body can do.

With the lockdown, all my classes have moved to Zoom, so I get to stay on track and on my mat while doing my bit to flatten the infection curve.

I supplement my physical wellness with work on my mental and emotional wellbeing through meditation and journaling. Every day, I make time to be alone and be still. I do “free journaling” where I just write down my thoughts, feelings, etc, and I also do “guided journaling” with the Affirmations Journal, which includes specific prompts to help you dig deeper and heal and affirm yourself more meaningfully.

Affirmations Journal by Phemi Segoe
IG: @phemisegoe

In all of this, I don’t forget the importance of a healthy diet, hydration, making time to do other things I enjoy and connecting with people who add to my joy and my peace.

Author avatar
Sihle Bolani

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