Mind-body personal training is about more than fusing yoga moves or other mind-body exercises into a training session. Mind-body trainers support their clients in developing greater well-being in body and mind. In this more comprehensive training paradigm, trainers draw on concepts from traditional Eastern healing disciplines as well as modern science.

Experts agree that if you are going to incorporate mind-body methods into personal training, it’s important to be a practitioner. In other words, integrative training is not simply about applying a laundry list of techniques; rather, it’s about experiencing and exemplifying living in a mindful, balanced and embodied way. Try any of the following to deepen your own understanding:

  • Begin a meditation practice. Start with 5 minutes daily, at the same time, and gradually increase the time.
  • Try walking meditation. If sitting is difficult for you, try walking meditation. Concentrate on the present-moment experience of walking with a peaceful attitude. Again, start with 5 minutes and gradually increase time.
  • Use relaxation skills. Set aside time for deep breathing, progressive relaxation, guided imagery or silence on a daily basis.
  • Attend a retreat. Make time for your own annual meditation or other mind-body practice retreat where you are not teaching, as an opportunity for self-care and continuing education.
  • Take a coaching course. Enroll in a professional health coaching course to learn more about facilitating healthy behavior change in clients.

To read more about mind-body personal training techniques, please see “Mind-Body Personal Training” in the online IDEA Library or in the November-December 2015 print issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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