“A completely original workout that draws on the flowing movements of tai chi which create health and balance, the strengthening theories behind ballet which create long, lean, flexible muscles and the healing principles of physiotherapy which create a pain free body.” – Essentrics.com
Entering the Room
When I sauntered into my first Essentrics class this summer, I was in healing mode after fleeing an emotionally abusive relationship just weeks before. I had read that among other benefits, the regular practice of Essentrics resulted in an increased sense of well-being and pain relief. Desperate for a wellness boost, I entered the room with an open mind and a bruised heart.
As the teacher summoned us into a starting position, I prepared myself for a battle of calisthenics and concentration within the four corners of my mat.
Similar to yoga flow, we were guided through a sequence of movements, stretching our limbs with the grace and agility of classical dancers. Though side lunges are among my least favourite exercise moves, I welcomed the shift between tension and release. I kept my core strong and fought through the pain of holding my arms in a sustained upraised position. I focused on keeping my leg muscles taut, inhaling and exhaling through the discomfort. As I shifted from one side to the other, I reached to the sky, pulling positive energy into my body. I felt powerful. Beautiful. Strong. With every movement, I felt as though I was building a sturdy chain, lifting me higher and higher out of my dark well of grief.
After an hour, the class finally drew to an end. Adele’s “Send My Love” switched on as the class wound down.
“We’ve gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain’t kids no more” – Adele
Stretching through the cool down, I breathed out my nightmarish past, and breathed in the hope of a better future.
I rose up from my mat, refreshed and restored. I wasn’t sure if it was Essentrics or Adele – but my physical and emotional pain seemed to have waned, if only for a brief moment. I knew it would be fleeting, but I was confident that if I could experience one moment of light out of that dark, cloudy well, then I could rise again and have another.
And baby, I’m still rising.
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