One man’s life changing experience with the revolutionary mind and body exercise practice from Finland: ASAHI
Gaining Body Awareness Can Change Your Whole Self Image!
Modern people tend to spend their whole lives in their heads, ignoring their body completely until some part gives out on them. Maybe they have felt un-athletic their whole life and have built their body image to fit that belief, which they picked up in childhood. Even if a person goes to the gym regularly, it may be because they think there’s something “wrong” with their body appearance that needs “fixing.” In my previous blog, I touched on three common mistakes people make in relation to exercise. This could be Mistake No. 4: Ignoring your body or having only an external perception of yourself.
There are many forms of exercise nowadays to choose from, but few of them are holistic methods that combine mindfulness and body awareness through the breath the way Asahi health exercise does. In my first blog you will find a more detailed explanation of all the things Asahi has that other practices are lacking and the second blog covers three big mistakes people can make in regard to exercise. The blog following this one tells personal stories of some of my students in Rhodes.
Spending years doing a job in which I felt insecure caused severe pain in my back and shoulders, which I go into in Blog No. 2! Go to blogs.) Fortunately, that put me on the path to becoming an Asahi instructor! Today I want to share a story about one my students, Guenther (name changed) whose self image changed completely after only a few Asahi lessons.
Martin was about 72 when we met. He is a relatively tall, thin man, but most of the time his gaze was fixed on the ground in front of him and there was uncertainty in his step, as if he were too top-heavy somehow. He had already been making weekly visits to the gym for some years, but this had done nothing to improve his coordination, agility or balance.
He had felt clumsy his whole life. His mother and uncle had never been well-coordinated and so Martin thought that it was just his unchangeable fate to be born that way. The balance exercises in the first Asahi lesson he attended proved to be the most challenging for him. But he liked the way Asahi’s slow-flowing, but rhythmic pace got his blood circulation going and gave him more energy and a feeling of well-being, just after one lesson. So he continued to come twice a week to practices. Being a very well-educated, scholarly type, who spent hours a day among his books, getting out in the morning and practicing in the fresh sea air also did him good. Martin has a slight hearing loss, and he doesn’t speak the same language as most of the people in the morning Asahi session, but just being, breathing and moving together with the group gives him a strong feeling of identification with the others. It’s amazing what level of bonding can happen on a completely non-verbal level! These social benefits come in addition to the increased coordination, flexibility, balance and increased muscle tone Asahi brings. After the first lesson, when I pointed to my Asahi team t-shirt and asked if anyone would be interested in ordering one, Martin was the first one to raise his hand!
After only a few Asahi lessons he began to notice that his body started moving more easily all through the day. This was such a positive change for him. Now he was able to relax his upper body and let his center of gravity drop down into its natural place in the lower abdomen, giving him much more stability. He continued practicing for a couple more months. Then after the lesson he approached me after one lesson. His face was beaming and a tear of gratitude was welling up in the corner of his eye. He told me he never would have thought it possible to feel graceful, but Asahi has given him that experience for the first time in his life. And the progress continues with each session! The whole new relationship he has with his body can be seen in the way he walks and moves.
A year before starting Asahi he had fallen, and had injured his right shoulder. His doctors had recommended operating on the shoulder immediately, but Guenther decided to wait and see before following the surgeon’s recommendation. Through Asahi’s slow, gentle, but regular practice, he has been able to nurse the shoulder back to health and avoid the operation altogether.
The gentle pumping, spiral motions in Asahi squeeze out waste material from the cartilage in the joints and spinal discs and draw in new, healing building material. Unlike other parts of the body, cartilage isn’t connected to the cardiovascular system, so the only way to get nourishment to the cartilage is by applying gentle pressure through movement.
His wife, who used to practice Pilates, also benefits by coming to Asahi regularly and enjoys the dance-like flow in the Asahi movements. She is extremely grateful for the transformation she and her husband have experienced. This month he turned 75, but he says he feels younger than ever!
When I asked him what would be a good slogan to encourage others to start practicing Asahi, he said at first that there isn’t really a way to put it into words. Then it came to him:
“Just do it and you will see... Yes! That’s it!
JUST DO IT!”
Find out more about this Finnish health secret, Asahi at our website!
Here’s to your health!