If you haven’t already noticed there is a growing trend for ‘slow living’. This doesn’t mean you stop exercising but does involve a move from the fast to the slo-mo lane and extremes of every day living to allow for more focus and greater clarity of mind.
From rushing to a gruelling work out to working through the night, there are too many of us who push our bodies over the limit and end up surviving on caffeine binges and an unhealthy diet. Me included.
Now, the shift towards a ‘slow living’ life is gaining pace. The mindfulness movement has been bubbling away for some time but it’s taking grip more than ever now. Arianna Huffington planted the seed with many of us with her book Thrive which promoted a better work-life balance and then there has been a more recent trend with all things hygge which translates to ‘cosiness’ and highlights the importance appreciating the simple pleasures from nesting to eating.
In the ‘slow living’ world, 2017 will see more booze-free gatherings and gym classes less focused on the ‘no pain, no gain’ ethos but rather classes devoted to the restorative powers of movement and recovery.
Take my gym Embody, dubbed the first luxury holistic gym, based in Sydney’s Neutral Bay. Here, the classes take place on sustainable bamboo floors with a focus on mindfulness and choice of restorative yoga, mat pilates, barre, aerial yoga plus my favourite class cocoon meditation, where you float from after 45 minutes meditating whilst lying in a suspended hammock.
It lives up to its promise to make you “actually feel like a silkworm in a cocoon as you surrender within the weightlessness of the hammock as you undertake a regenerative, restorative meditation session where you will calm your mind, and find inner peace and balance.”
Sweat and grunt is out and balance is in, according to John Rahme Managing Director of Embody Neutral Bay. He says “we are built for the modern person, who is time poor, stressed and under active, offering a fitness sanctuary where people learn to prioritise their health journey”.
Embody founder and CEO Scott Capelin agrees that there is a move away from high impact training. He adds: “My main source of cardio is walking and I realised that between all these disciplines you don’t have to train with high impact and high intensity to increase energy and live with optimal health and a great body shape. I wanted to bring this philosophy to Embody members and create a beautiful environment where people can switch off and unplug from their busy days and the way we are connected 24/7.”
Among the many new popular forms of training is Barre style workouts. Barre works wonders for clarity of mind as well as your body shape, as the slow, concentrated movements become almost meditative. Now, this doesn’t mean you won’t build up a sweat but it does guide you more gently through exercise and is much more enjoyable.
Working out mindfully at home is also on the increase, with more and more dynamic and mood enhancing methods making their way to your living room. And it’s a whole lot easier now with apps for yoga and meditation so readily available.
Equally, there is a move for more slow sustenance and taking time to make meals from scratch. Food preparation is becoming more organic and food for recuperation as well as energy is becoming a focal point, as highlighted in Britain’s Mintel 2017 food and drinks report:
“Expect to see a rise in both “slow” claims as well as more products designed to help people calm down before bedtime, sleep better and restore the body while they rest. Opportunities will exist for more products to leverage the reputation of the tea category and use chamomile, lavender and other herbs in formulations as a way to achieve a sense of calm before bedtime.”
An example of this is the new tea ranges on the market such as Pukka Night Time tea which includes calming ayurvedic herbs to help you sleep better and the increase and popularity of more plant-based beauty products such as Sodashi creams and The Super Elixir range.
So if you are in a hurry for the next meeting then join Team Turtoise and pour yourself some home-brewed chamomile tea before you set time aside for your next mindful exercise class and join the new slow-mo movement.