Often fitness classes are so rigid in terms of dictating how we perform and so intimidating because of this. When our heads and hearts are clouded by the idea that we are not doing enough or not doing something right, we lose our motivation and the sense of pleasure that comes from movement. Moving our bodies through whatever form of exercise we choose to do is a joyful act, flooding us with endorphins and an uplifting sense of achievement. Yet many fitness classes lack an understanding of the mental and spiritual wellness that comes from exercise, focusing solely on the physical appearance side.
To help you find a fitness class that speaks to your soul as well as your body, the following is a guide to some of the best holistic fitness classes out there, put together with guidance from Mila de Biaggi, founder of Move With Mila. Each of these incredible classes (accessible online and offline) is designed to help you embrace the mover within and leave you feeling a true sense of freedom and positive energy…
The Class by Taryn Toomey
The Class offers an entirely new approach to fitness, blending a fun high intensity workout with mindfulness and meditation. The idea is not just to challenge the body physically but to engage your mind and clear your heart. Guided through your workout by an invigorating instructor, surrounded by powerful music and encouraged to express and let go of your inhibitions vocally as well as physically, The Class will leave you hot, sweaty and yet feeling spiritually and physically restored.
5 Rhythms is an incredibly spiritual dance experience that aims to still and ground the mind through moving the body. Each class explores 5 rhythmic sets of movement that make up a wave which enables you to utterly embody and therefore express your inner world of emotion. The idea is not to focus on technical perfection or expert rhythm but to work with your body to free your heart and mind and ultimately connect to your soul.
Wild Thing Moves
Described by Mila as ‘a space that brings you right into your inner being’, Wild Thing Moves is a Vinyasa based Yoga class that focuses on helping you to celebrate your body for what it can do and enabling you to feel empowered within it. Their name ‘Wild Thing’ or Camatkarasana in Sanskrit means ‘the ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart’ and each class really feels like a heart and soul opening experience, focusing on how your body and mind connect and flow together. I also love the fact that no two classes are ever exactly the same in terms of movement, meaning that you are always stimulated, engaged, learning something new and nourishing every time.
Movement Practice by Leilah Kirsten
Inspired by contemporary dance, alternative training methods and movement exploration, Leilah Kirsten’s Movement Practice provides an accessible space to play with and empower your body through dance. Classes aren’t specifically focused on how to move but rather facilitate your exploration of what your body needs and can do, building a sense of freedom and empowerment from within as well as a deeper sense of self-awareness.
Move With Mila
It would be remiss not to mention the fitness programme that inspired my love of dance Move With Mila! Mila’s method is unlike anything I have experienced before, completely stripping away any embarrassment or fears you may have about dancing and inspiring you to move and twist and shake in a pure celebration of everything your body can do. Each month Mila takes you through a new routine, with five classes a week, each one focusing on a different aspect of body and mind creating an holistic approach to fitness that leaves you feeling positive and strong. I am a huge advocate for her classes as they are not only a great workout but have had a truly positive impact on my mental health.