We would like to share with you a short story as written by ancient Greek historian Plutarch:
While the games were being held at Olympia, an old man was desirous of seeing them, but could find no seat. As he went to place after place, he met with insults and jeers, and nobody made room for him. But when he came opposite the Spartans, all the boys and many of the men arose and yielded p415 their places.a Whereupon the assembled multitude of Greeks expressed their approbation of the custom by applause, and commended the action beyond measure; but old man, shaking his head grey-haired and grey-bearded, and with tears in his eyes, said, “Alas for the evil days! Because all the Greeks know what is right and fair, but the Spartans alone practice it.” – Plutarch as published in Vol. III of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1931
Through our decades of teaching very successful group classes, we have found — the most effective and efficient way to start a class is standing.
Your students most likely spend all day sitting — whether that be in the car, at their desk, on the couch, on their bike, on their spinning machine, on their rowing machine, on the airplane, etc. The last thing they need is to sit even longer.
Any time one starts their practice, the airways are slightly constricted, due to decreased activity in the Sympathetic System and increased in the Parasympathetic input to the lungs. The quickest way to activate the Sympathetic Nervous System and open the airways for deeper breathing is through standing extensions and 5-10 Empowered Thoracic Breaths such as the Standing Heating Breath.
A lot of great exercise physiology science is showing that flexibility drills (static stretching) should be performed only at the end of a session, never in the beginning. If performed in the beginning, it can cause serious problems on the joints.
What should be performed in the beginning of a session is mobility exercises. Mobility is the ability to move a joint actively through its full range of motion with strength and control. Someone who sits on the computer all day is generally going to experience mobility issues with respect to their thoracic spine and hips due to sitting (anterior pelvic tilt and hip flexion) and having shoulders in a forward position (thoracic flexion). What they need is performing activities for thoracic mobility (extension) and hip mobility (extension). So, starting your class with a dynamic warm-up that focuses on the hip, thoracic spine, ankle and shoulder will help your clients enjoy the rest of their practice without having to resort to compensatory movement patterns that can hurt them.
Last but not least, it has been scientifically proven that standing in certain ways (such as those in our Spartan Mind Strength™ Module-I) for as little as two minutes could be enough to make noticeable change in your physiology and psychology.
The best way to get your clients to want to come back is to have them leave happy and empowered. Make a conscious effort, do the right thing and have them stand up!
Thank you for reading and sharing! To learn more, check out one of our upcoming courses at AskTimAndVie.com.