Victoria, BC Canada
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Many women are on a mission to achieve ‘flat abs’…which they believe is equal to a ‘fit belly’.
This is both positive and negative, true and false.
It’s positive because the abdomen is an important part of the core and a strong core is very important for overall health. It’s negative because the idea that most women hold in their minds of what strong abdominal muscles look like (flat!), is generally unrealistic and impossible to achieve. The truth is, some women work very hard, training many hours a days to get that super toned look, and some women are genetically predisposed to having a slim belly, but for most of us it’s physiologically very challenging to have a “flat” stomach. Yes we can certainly strive to get that coveted 6 pack, but realistically, for most of us, it’s going to take many hours at the gym every week, and we just don’t have that kind of time. And ultimately, what we should be striving for is a strong, flexible, healthy core that supports our daily movement, gives our organs the support they need and makes us feel powerful and sexy in our bodies, because of how well it functions, not because it conforms to a photoshopped image on the cover of a magazine.
This unrealistic mission to have ‘flat abs’ is fuelled by mainstream advertising campaigns displaying photo shopped models that are half the age of the market they’re targeting. Due to this relentless marketing, many women are plagued by anxiety, depression, frustration, obsession, envy and self deprecation. There is no denying that we are a skinny obsessed, misinformed society.
It’s distracting, disempowering and for some women, debilitating.
We’re here to help change all this, with education, motivation and inspiration.
Our outer abdominal muscles (Rectus Abdominis) are in fact slightly rounded, not flat at all, and factors such as age, genetics, lifestyle, pelvic floor strength, individual body type and cultural disposition will determine the size and shape of our belly. Even something as simple as posture can change the look of our physique in a matter of seconds. Energetic stagnation due to emotional or sexual trauma, can also have a dramatic effect on the belly and pelvis.
“We know that most of the images we see in magazines and in flashy fitness ads are unrealistic and unattainable. They may motivate us for a moment, but we lose motivation easily, knowing in our hearts that it’s a losing battle. Finding the time, energy and commitment required for working out is a lot easier when we look to inspiration rather than motivation. Inspiration that comes from the inside. From wanting to be a happier mom, a more passionate lover, a better friend, a more effective employee or a more successful entrepreneur. Being motivated to work out by the desire to have slimmer thighs and a thin waist may last a for a while, but the inspiration to work out because you know it will help you kick ass at the game of life will last forever. “
Our mission is to help rewrite the conversation we’re all having with our bodies…especially our bellies.
We’re here to reclaim the word BELLY as a beautiful, powerful, sensual aspect of Woman ~ an aspect that should be loved, respected, strengthened and honoured for what it does, NOT for how it looks!
We’re here to help change perceptions of what a strong core actually looks and feels like and shift the focus from form to function & feeling. A ‘fit belly’ means much, much more than having a six pack. Being fit in the belly is about connecting to the power in our centre and respecting & loving this area of our body as the life giving, creative powerhouse of our being that it is…rolls, scars, dimples and all! It’s about loving ourselves unconditionally and honouring the many stages we go through as women throughout our lives. It’s about being connected to who we are…strong, sexy and sacred, with or without flat abs!
The pelvic floor or pelvic diaphragm is one of the most undertrained groupings of muscles in the female body and one of the most important. A strong pelvic floor is essential for bladder, bowel, sexual health and much more. The pelvic floor forms the base of the entire torso and during times of stress and change, the pelvic floor bears the weight. These times of stress could include pregnancy, surgery, weight gain, physical activity, spinal injury, disease or basically just living in our crazy modern world. Finding ways to strengthen this foundation can help more than just physically; it can also help us open to change and strengthen the foundation of our life.
In every Bellyfit® class, we address the Pelvic Floor continuously and use a variety of cues to encourage participants to connect with this important area. Every movement performed, from shimmies, to planks, hip lifts to knee lifts, you’ll be encouraged to stay connected to your deep core muscles, thereby not only increasing safety, but also increasing the intensity of the workout, giving you that burn you crave, without sacrificing alignment and breath. And you’ll do it all without a single ‘crunch’ or ‘sit-up’ in the whole class!
Read here why you’ll never do a ‘crunch’ in Bellyfit®
Six reasons you were right to hate crunches
There’s a global revolution happening among women who are reclaiming their power and their pleasure. The ‘no pain, no gain’ model of exercise is slowly losing traction, and we couldn’t be happier! We’re beginning to understand and embrace that feeling good in our bodies, specifically when it comes to fitness, is essential to our overall wellbeing and creates a much more enjoyable, effective, sustainable movement experience.
It’s time to embrace our bodies and treat them with respect, kindness, compassion and love. As a temple for the soul, our body is a beautiful, expressive, sacred vessel and the vehicle for our dreams…and we’re learning to treat it as such by seeking pleasure over pain in all areas of our life, including exercise!
When it comes to fitness for women, Bellyfit® is leading the feel good revolution! Time to get that Oxytocin flowing, ladies!