Updated: Oct 14, 2020
"Once you start realizing how much tension you've had in your body, and you start to relax, you really get into it. You want to learn to even relax even more, it is such a powerful, beautiful, soft feeling." ~Callan Pinckney
Being a young child, I remember my mother working out to her VHS Callanetics: 10 Years Younger in 10 Hours. This at home workout captured my attention whenever she put it in the VCR. The teacher sounded gentle and etheric. The music created a sense of calm in the living room. My mother followed along to movements on the screen with grace and ease. It absolutely fascinated me to watch these small movements that she made for counts of 50 or 100. It was deep muscle exercises that made noticeable changes in the body. There was no sweat or fast movements. The video encouraged strengthening and lengthening, allowing for the body to work and then unwind in its own time. With each session you could work a little deeper and then stretch a little farther.
As I grew, I used this video at home as well. Then I slowly forgot about it. My teenager attitude took me into the gym with high intensity and heavy lifting. How hard could I push? How sweaty could I get? If there is no pain, then there is no gain... right? At that moment in my life it was exactly what I needed. Making slow deliberate movement with focused breathing was not in my routine any longer. How could I get fit without pushing my limits? This kind of mindset can serve an individual but is it sustainable for long term health and wellness? I wonder....
My relationship with my body has been a continual, changing, evolving thing. I have ran many, many miles, pulled plenty of weight, have pushed myself fast and hard and enjoyed the excitement of group workouts. The fitness community brings a lot to the table in many different ways. I appreciate it all. More importantly though, I appreciate my body in a greater way when I find the things that are gentle and effective. Allowing oneself to truly connect into the body with breath, focus and movement is where real change happens. Callanetics allows for such a connection and that is why, 30 years later, this is my workout of choice over any other discipline. I have never injured myself with these series of movements. I am encouraged to go slow, finding breath into the deepest parts of the muscles that are being worked. At the same time, experiencing greater strength and tightening of the body. It is absolutely incredible to feel.
Finding the ease in your body is a powerful, beautiful and soft feeling. Realizing that working really hard might not be of the best service to your system. When we do any work that makes us feel safe and gives us permission to be exactly where we are in life, then the opportunity for new skills are developed. Those new skills are never lost. The nervous system, with safety and permission, can be rewired for a lifetime. That is why I love this workout and why I am a health facilitator working with clients in Integral Neurology, Evolutionary Personal Care and Vital Life Coaching (which makes up the ELAN technology). This kind of gentle and effective works allows the Sympathetic to unwind which pumps up the Parasympathetics in the body. In a culture of go go go, we need an opportunity to slow down in a real way. To notice and find our bodies. When we can find our bodies, we can then feel our bodies. Once we start to feel more, then we can actually have a chance to heal (in whatever manner is appropriate- physical, mental, spiritual). This is simple and profound, but there is work to do. Participation is absolutely required.
Thank you Callan for being a constant reminder to relax. To find the deep down work that needs to be done and at the same time to let it all go. Allowing me to drop the tension in my body but to be fully present. Thank you for ELAN, giving me to opportunity to find and feel my body. The healing journey is constant and requires consistent work. The coupling of both technologies have created profound and effective ways of managing life, health and wellness.
"Learn to be in control of your body instead of the motions controlling you." ~ Callan Picnkney