Has the fitness industry brainwashed us?

The following blog post was written by Guy Gibson.

Guy is looking at starting a men’s yoga class. Are you, or any of the men in your life, keen to start yoga and would like to do it in a class run by men for men?

Please contact me and let me know and let’s get this class rolling!

Here’s Guy and his article:

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Has the fitness industry brainwashed us?

As luck would have it, I’ve been home for two weekends in a row without having to go anywhere. That changes next week. 

Finally, a session with Bryan Kest came around. I’ve been waiting for some time for this event. For those who don’t know who Bryan Kest is, he is the father of Power Yoga and a highly regarded yogi out of California. Bryan is also who I studied with to become yoga teacher. His philosophies challenge some mainstream thoughts but more importantly make yoga and more esoteric concepts accessible to everybody.

Which leads me to the thought of the day -
Has the fitness industry brainwashed us?

Every day I hear conversations in the work kitchen, see fitness industry advertising and people heading from the gym covered in sweat. 

No don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe we need to move and move regularly. Doing so is the only way we can keep our mind and body tuned and operating as a unit. As we age, keeping our muscles toned will help us maintain general health, balance and grip strength.

What I am talking about is the marketing which tell us unless you look this way you are not fit. I’m unclear as to why I need a six-pack abdomen. I understand the effort and dedication it takes to achieve and maintain. Sure, it looks great. What a six-pack won’t give me though, is the fully functioning core which I need to protect my back or keep my hips nicely aligned so the rest of my body has a solid foundation from which to function.

In short, I am asking the question – Is the fitness industry contributing to body image issues? The industry is telling us unless you look like this, you are not fit and not part of the tribe. But isn’t this contrary to the intent of the industry who is really supposed to be guiding us to health and wellness.

Couple that with fad diets which we take up hand over fist because in the 21st century we have lost patience for the long game and need instant gratification. Technology feeds that narcissistic addiction.

For a period, I tracked food consumption using and app on my phone – if you don’t measure it you can’t change it, right. Only to find out I received daily notifications telling me what my progress might look like or slapping me for not eating what it felt I needed to even when I felt fine and not hungry.

Couple the need for instant gratification with an industry promoting a singular view of what health looks like and we have a cocktail for failure and mental health issues being fed by the very industry meant to help us stay healthy and well into our dotage.

Mind what you feed your brain with. The fitness industry is littered with claims of substances, diets and workouts which will help you short cut your path to success. As Bryan says, “if you feed the negative tendencies and thoughts, they will grow strong. Starve them and they will wither die.”

Don’t get caught up in measuring yourself against a standard which is A) - very difficult to achieve, B) - almost impossible to maintain and C) - you probably don’t need and may cause you more harm in the long run trying to achieve it.

Look after your mental health as you go through the journey and you will come out of the back end in a much more balanced and healthy place with a wellness practice to sustain your mind, body and soul. 

by Guy Gibson Hydrafit Yoga

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