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People usually neglect and ignore their inner self, says international life coach and fitness expert Jasmin Waldmann, who has more than a decade of experience in the field and whose four core pillars include mental power, movement, diet and awareness training.
When it comes to holistic fitness of a being, people are no more "inter-connected between body, mind and soul", said the 30-something Waldmann, who has trained people from various professions and backgrounds like athletes, businessmen and women, celebrities and the elderly. Most of her life coaching designs are personalized for each individual, she added.
Waldmann was born in Bavaria, Germany, to a Romanian mother and a German father. As a 13-year-old, she suffered a serious personal setback, but her fitness orientation helped her emerge stronger from the experience and use it to propel her further on her life adventure. Since then she has travelled and lived extensively in the US, as also in Australia and Asia, picking up varied experiences that have shaped her total approach to life and fitness.
Mental health and physical fitness are interlinked, said Waldmann, who currently lives in suburban Gurgaon and conducts workshops in the National Capital Region and other parts of India.
As an example, she said: "If you lead your thoughts in a positive way, your posture automatically becomes upright." On the other hand, "if you straighten your spine, pull your bellybutton slightly inward and bring your chest up, you will automatically feel good."
Mind and body are connected to such an extent that during personal setbacks, the unconscious mind expresses through the body, leading to problems like stomach ache, she said.
Founder of Pilardio, a holistic mind-body fitness programme which is a mixture of dance, exercises and meditation, she observed that her clients outsource the responsibility of their health to cooks, servants, doctors, spouses, parents, teachers, gurus and astrologers.
Regular students of Pilardio "benefit a great deal". The steps and exercises need attention and involve the students fully. The mind is busy with the movements, the feelings, hearing the music and coordinating the body to the music with a specific focus.
Waldmann said that life coaching makes people's dreams, problems, desires, and needs much clearer. "It helps to identify the obstacles, move them or go elegantly around them towards the target."
She recollected one of her clients who came to her after she had reduced 15 kg - but the last five kg refused to disappear. After a few sessions of Waldmann's life coaching, the client reduced seven kg. Not only that, "she got a new job, moved out of the common house which she moved in once with her ex-husband and became happy and cheerful again", Waldmann remembered.
For people who have less time for themselves, such as those in 9 to 5 jobs, Waldmann suggested "fewer but necessary and powerful changes" for better mental health and happiness.
"Get up one hour early and use 45 minutes for yourself and 15 minutes for your spouse/family," she said.
She warned that one has to be a little disciplined to carry these out.
For the first 15 minutes, indulge yourself in any kind of movement, like pilates, yoga, walking, jogging or planks and crunches.
The next 15 minutes should be spent in meditation. "Breathing, pulse or Zen meditation works best," she said.
Then use 10 minutes to plan your day. Choose your one and only priority target for the day. Use the last five minutes for yourself - reading or snoozing.
She also suggested reflecting on one's day before going to bed. Take 10 minutes at night and sit silently.
"Ask yourself good and helpful questions. Something like: 'Did I enjoy my day? Did I finish my priority task which I wrote down in the morning?'"
She also insisted on making sure that you get enough quality recovery time for yourself.
She promised that the changes, when carried out for at least 21 days in a row, will make you happier and successful. Waldmann, as a child, was always in motion - both mentally and physically. From an early age, she practised ballet, singing, painting, many sports activities, martial arts and self-defence techniques. She went on to indulge herself in Pilates, weightlifting and dance styles like hip-hop. Her interest in the area made her study sports and health.
Since 2012 she is also an instructor in Krav Maga, an Israeli form of self-defence.
So, how would she sum up her philosophy?
"Live your own life, find out your inner self to achieve the desired success, be healthy, reach your targets with accuracy and inner ease - and find happiness within," Waldmann said.
(Shaifali Agrawal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)