Tom Clancy once said “life is about learning; when you stop learning, you die”.
I say “life is amount movement; a fusion of mind and body working together, when you stop, it kinda all seizes up!”
As a woman hurtling faster than I’d like to the big 50, I’ve experienced that inevitable shift and change in my body through my 30’s and 40’s. This week I’ll be sharing a little of my own story and how that led me to create MoGaChi.
As an energetic ‘tigger’ type slender and toned youth, I’d never given my flexibility and stamina much consideration; that was until I hit 30. The shift was subtle around this time but I definitely noticed a dip in my energy levels. In reality I’d stopped lots of things that were giving me a good physical workout and was definitely spending longer sat at a desk at work. Fast forward a couple of years and you can add to that night after night sat on the sofa (as a single mum with a 5 year old tucked up in bed). Up to that point I’d enjoyed aerobics, step, cycling, dancing, the gym, pilates and yoga, and somehow bit by bit it had all stopped.
I vividly remember one Friday morning getting ready to go on a walk with my dad, and I could hardly bend low enough to fasten my shoe laces; I mean it was a real struggle to get down there. I hadn’t realised until that point that I’d started sitting on the bottom stair to fasten my shoes, and it suddenly hit me that I’d lost my flexibility. I was amazed. I’d always been super flexible, and spent much of my youth bouncing around doing gymnastics. What was more scary was the thought that I was, at that time, only in my early 40’s. What would it be like when I was in my 50’s, 60’s and beyond! This was motivation enough. I stepped up my exercise and added yoga into my exercise regime. It was gentle at first, probably not a regime at all, more of a step back into exercise. I did yoga once a week at most, but it was a start nonetheless. My desk job and long car journeys started to play havoc with my lower back, hips, neck and shoulders. I was stiff and achey, and all too often in quite a bit of pain. That put a temporary stop to exercising, but that was a mistake. After a few months of pain I got fed up, and decided it was time to create my own hatha yoga routine that focused on a full body workout that I could do in a morning before work. After only a few weeks the difference was amazing. Wanting to also calm my mind, being at the latter end of a masters degree and having started a new job, I added meditation to my morning routine. A few months later I added Tia Chi and Donna Eden’s energy routine. This was a huge turning point for my mental and physical wellbeing, and I’ve never looked back. So one day recently, I decided to share my mind and full body work out, and MoGaChi (body movement inspired by yoga and Tia Chi and QiGong), was born.
What is MoGaChi?
Our bodies are a beautiful piece of engineering and we often take them for granted. Without a full range of regular movement, and particularly as we move beyond 40, muscles and tendons will start to tighten, lose flexibility and eventually cause us physical issues, such as back or shoulder pain or shortened tendons. After 50 our ability to build muscle lessens dramatically, so it’s important to build and maintain our muscle strength.
The class starts with a short mindful meditation in the form of deep breathing and a body scan; and finishes off with reiki relaxation. The class promotes deep breathing and posture mindfulness throughout; with a movement sequence inspired by yoga (to flex, tone, lengthen and strengthen); Tia Chi (to promote controlled movement and breathing that works with the energy around your body); Qigong and Energy Medicine (to promote controlled movement that works with key acupressure points and the meridians (energy) within your body).
Gentle this may be, but over time you see underused muscles start to strengthen and tone, and your flexibility improves. Your energy and vitality increases and you gain a greater sense of calm; an all over mental and physical wellbeing workout.
What issues might your favorite sport be giving you?
Loss of flexibility is not just about age, it also occurs in people who do specific sports without paying attention to their whole body. Let’s take cycling for example, this is a very popular sport and road biking has continued to boom over the past 10 years. Whilst regular cyclists may be fit, strong (particularly in the leg area), and have good stamina, they are prone to suffering from tight hamstrings and calves. Muscle cramping in the legs is another common issue, as is back and neck pain. Given that many of us have desk jobs or spend long hours on laptops, tablets or smart phones, cycling can aggravate these areas when out on long bike rides. If you’re sat with shoulders and back in a neutral position, this can help to ease the issue but many people are not continually mindful of this whilst riding. Doing regular MoGaChi works to strengthen, lengthen and tone muscles across the body, and reduce or remove common issues experienced.
As an aside, you should also check out your seating position on the bike as this can continue to cause problems if the height and distance of your handlebars/seat is not right for your body size.
What are the Benefits of MoGaChi?
- Gain and maintain flexibility
- Lengthen, strengthen and tone muscles
- Improves posture
- Balances your energy system and meridians
- Promotes relaxation and a calm mind
- Improves balance
- Stimulates the lymphatic system which aids blood flow and digestion
- Stimulates the immune system
- Helps the body’s metabolism
- Promotes clarity of mind
Where can I go to do MoGaChi?
There are 4 different ways you can access my MoGaChi classes:
- Register your interest on our facebook page so that you get notified immediately of any local classes, you will also be able to book or make enquires through this route
- *Attend a scheduled class, or set of 4 classes, or event
- Request a private 1:1 session(s)
- Book a venue or hold a private ‘group’ class
*View scheduled classes and events
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