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Holistic Gymnastics: A Global Approach E-mail
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Written by Anna Selner   

A healthy mind in a healthy body, is one of the foundations of holistic gymnastics. But beware, there is no need to be in the form of Nadia Comaneci to do it! This gym is closer to soft exercise than Olympic sport!

Holistic gymnastics values a holistic approach and the term "holistic" comes precisely from the Greek word ‘holo’ meaning "everything". This gym was born in the 30's and is the vision of Dr. Lily Ehrenfried, who thought he could achieve the balance of the mind by balancing the body. Through gentle movements, the student gradually becomes aware of different parts of his body, whether standing, sitting or lying on his back, with or without using props. The slogan? Staying in touch with your feelings in order to regain the body’s natural position and mobility.

Holistic gymnastics to stretch

Although individual courses are offered, practitioners (a fleet of teachers consisting only of women) value group classes. Indeed, the group maximizes the awakening of consciousness through the sharing of feelings. Comments by others make some students realize how much they ignore their body!

During a typical session, you will be asked, for example, to put a ball under the arch of one of your feet and stay connected with sensations. Students may also be called to sit on a chair, where the challenge is to keep their balance on the bones of the buttocks. The practitioners are there to propose motions, but never to show them how to it. Students must find their own way of achieving the positions. So here, there is no question of comparing, or to show zeal. The competitive spirit is left at home and ego at work.

What we get out of this process is very individual: some participants understand how their skeleton is made or how their bodies move in space. Others discover where their stress points are. This is in fact, a workshop is to explore your body and your inner world.

Sometimes certain movements are needed to bring out awareness. By defeating tensions, we can wake up buried emotions or evoke recurring destructive thoughts. The findings, although sometimes painful, are always rewarding.

Who is this type of gymnastics?

According to a physiotherapist practitioner, “gymnastics is primarily a holistic philosophy of life, accessible to all.” "People are noticing the movements they are performing reflexively every day and they are also aware of automatic behaviors, which use their bodies and undermines their energy," said the practitioner. “Massage therapists, physical therapists, athletic trainers and physicians may also be interested in this lifestyle. They sometimes have a high knowledge of the human body anatomy, but they are less well equipped to approach the feelings of their customers. Our approach is the missing piece.”

The sessions are designed to work on four aspects of the body: breathing, balance, tone the body and education. Without really realizing it, students develop a fuller breathing, gradually find a natural posture and relax their muscles, to remove unnecessary pressure on their skeleton. Some learn to relieve themselves of some of their ills on their own, knowing what movements are of daily value and which to avoid.

The four lines of work


The human being is as good as its respiratory system, says Dr. Lili Ehrenfried. By focusing on the achievement of movements, students find breathing gradually in three phases, that is to say an inhalation, an exhalation followed by a pause. According to the principles inherent in the holistic gym ,a better self-awareness can develop by this breathing, and in the longer term, improve the shape of the rib cage, which will facilitate the work of the heart and cause a release the body, leading to a feeling of well-being.


The body, being subject to the law of gravity, must work every minute to keep his balance. Gymnastics holistic means to re-educate the body to give it more flexibility, an inherent quality in a good position. The exercises are there to help the body regain its natural axis, without forcing anything.


A stressed person lives with a set of muscles under tension, which can put unnecessary stress on the entire skeleton. It is as if the body was working constantly, so it should be at rest; this drains the life energy and causes fatigue. Through holistic gymnastics, a student learns to relax his muscles and stretch them. By restoring full length to muscles, they become more flexible and stronger, and movements are more fluid.

The education of the body

A regular practice of holistic gym can bring a lot of benefits, or an ability to treat certain ailments yourself. A holistic gymnastics practitioner admits that he tried everything (chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture, etc.) to relieve severe back pain: "With holistic gymnastics, whenever I feel the pain coming is back, I know what movements to do and which to avoid to relieve myself." Gymnastics has made him self-holistic, with wellness and a sense of freedom in the tasks of everyday life!

The secret of longevity

According to Dr. Lily Ehrenfried, when body and mind exist in perfect harmony, the human being will go smoothly, without suffering, as a candle goes out when its substance is consumed. The lady, who blew her last candle at the venerable age of 98 years, has managed to prove the efficacy of his method! Try holistic gymnastics and you will leave the session feeling rejuvenated you, I promise!

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Holistic Gymnastics: A Global Approach
A healthy mind in a healthy body, is one of the foundations of holistic gymnastics. But beware, there is no need to be in the form of Nadia Comaneci to do it! This gym is closer to soft exercise than Olympic...


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