Personal trainers, are you looking for ways to integrate a mind-body-spirit approach into your training sessions? IDEA member and 2004 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year Lawrence Biscontini, MAÔÇömovement specialist, author and spa consultantÔÇöoffers the following suggestions, organized to correspond with the acronym N-A-M-A-S-T-E.

N stands for nurturing the training of clientsÔÇÖ brain-body-breath connection. Nurturing often commences when the trainer asks a client how he or she is feeling, not only in terms of the body (ÔÇ£HowÔÇÖs your energy level today?), but also in terms of the brain and breath; for example, ÔÇ£HowÔÇÖs your concentration level today?ÔÇØ and ÔÇ£HowÔÇÖs your breathing been this week?ÔÇØ

A stands for aligning the body with mindful concentration (the brain) and breathing.

M stands for motivating clients to pursue integration of brain, body and breath. A mind-body personal trainerÔÇÖs ultimate goal should be to plant the seeds of motivation so that clients pursue mind-body fitness and integration on their own.

A stands for appraising clientsÔÇÖ integration of brain, body and breath. Trainers may wish to record clientsÔÇÖ feelings, as well as their numerical measurements, tracking the feelings over time to observe emotional progress related to fitness level.

S stands for starting sessions. Think about beginning your personal training session with the salutation ÔÇ£Namast├®,ÔÇØ thereby invoking hundreds of years of mindful greetings between teacher and student. Starting sessions with a mind-body approach also means asking clients how they feel in terms of their energy, emotions and breath.

T stands for transitioning. As personal trainers become more familiar with mind-body exercises, they can begin incorporating exercises from yoga or tai chi, using these as transitional moves between more traditional training exercises.

E stands for ending. Mind-body personal trainers should conclude sessions mindfully. Saying ÔÇ£Namast├®,ÔÇØ adding guided meditation, ending a session with flexibility exercises in a pool, offering mindful reading material or brain-teaser handoutsÔÇöall serve as examples of how you can round out sessions by including a mind-body-spirit component.

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