SHILPA SEBASTIAN R.finds the BODY BALANCE class quite relaxing and easy to tackle
It is back to Fitness First gym to try the body balance class. This time, not wanting to tire myself, I stand in the last row so that I can stop whenever I wish. But, to my surprise, the class is relaxing and there are no aches and pains, no sweat or grime. The whole session is smooth and before I realise it, it is time to leave.
Slow and gentle
Just as the name, body balance, suggests, the one-hour session is all about balancing your body and focussing your mind on getting good control over it. The exercises are a combination of tai chi, yoga and pilates. We start with the warm ups. The exercises are really slow and very gentle on your body. Even the movements are not jerky and so automatically your body and mind are relaxed. You are not focussing on building muscles or toning that flab but just letting yourself go with the music, which is a wonderful experience.
The instructor, Savitha, has a soft voice and she keeps repeating: “Do it only if you can. Hold it as long as possible.” So you are ready to go only that much and hold your position only as long as you can. Not too bad.
After the stretches we move on to balancing exercises. This one is really good. You are focussing on standing on one leg while you are bending to the other side and simultaneously raising your leg, and stretching your hands too. More than muscle power, this needs some thinking and agility, you realise.
Initially you are struggling to hold your position, but gradually you learn to stand still for at least a few seconds, which is an achievement.
Then we move on to hip openers. These are stretches that increase flexibility and freedom of movement in hips and lower back, says the coach. There is soft music to go with the mood of the exercises. One only wished that the choice of music was more mellow.
We progress to exercises from yoga and pilates. This one includes work on the abdominal and back muscles. The one I did best was the happy baby position, where you lie flat on your back lift up your legs up and hold on to your heels. Can’t imagine how one must have looked but must say that position really made you feel happy and relaxed.
Finally it is a bit of twists and bends that “work on those hamstrings and back”. We end the class with relaxation and meditation. This is one class that works fine even for those lazy muscles as it is stress-free and I was surprised that I lasted the whole hour!