Calm Seas Ahead

Pacific

January 2015


Escaping the everydaycan be easy as striking a pose, writes Tatyana Leonov.

Looking to unwind, relax and reconnect with yourself? Someplace onboard there is a peaceful, concealed corner where you can get away from it all and just gaze out at sea.. Okay, who are we kidding? The entire ship in made for this!

Whether you seek to strike a pose (we’re talking about the yoga variety, although dance poses are accepted and encouraged come cocktail hour), sit still and meditate, or simply lie down and have someone else perform the magic (read: massages and lavish treatments), taking care of your wellbeing onboard can be just as enjoyable as it is beneficial.

In this day and age we are bombarded with choices in almost every area of life; it’s no different when it comes to health. Should we eat according to the paleo diet, gluten-free, low-carb or vegetarian? Should we do cross-fit, yoga or aerobics?

Truth is, the answer is as simple as this: Nourish your body with nutritious food, exercise regularly and take the time to relax and be at peace with yourself. Some would call this simple-living ethos ‘spirituality’. Although the term spirituality has been used in a religious context historically, today it simply refers to personal growth and any activity where this occurs.

The Western approach to wellbeing is traditionally one of therapeutic actions where medicines are used to treat the symptoms of existing illness in the body. The Eastern approach differs in that it focuses on strengthening the mind and body so they are less likely to develop disease that requires treatment. However, today we are increasingly recognising the complementary nature of Eastern and Western health practices.

A popular Eastern health practice that is widely employed across Western society today is yoga, and for good reason: It’s great for the body and the mind and it’s easy to do almost anywhere at any time.

Although some people associate yoga chiefly with poses, there are many layers to the practice that have to do with physical, mental and spiritual growth.

As Steiner Operations Manager and yoga enthusiast Chinta Demasson explains, “Yoga can contribute to overall greater focus in all aspects of your life while dramatically improving flexibility, strength and the circulation of oxygen around the body.”

Whether you prefer to practise yoga in classes or by flowing between poses in the comfort of your own room makes little difference to the outcome: Yoga works well in all settings, and mental clarity is a huge benefit.

Similarly, Pilates can also be done almost anywhere and at any time — although, unlike yoga, it is an early Western exercise regime. The name Pilates comes from German-born Joseph Pilates. He developed the practice, which relies heavily on controlled movements, while he was held in a concentration camp during World War I.

The movements of Pilates are designed to work core muscles actively to build body strength and flexibility. The focus is principally on the physical, although many participants find they gain mental clarity during classes because of the natural flow between exercises.

“With Pilates, people find they quickly gain greater strength around core muscles, better postural awareness and improved physical confidence,” Chinta says.

Whether you opt for an Eastern or Western approach to fitness, wellbeing essentially comes down to taking care of your body and soul. As Chinta says, “Given the fresh ocean air, sunrises and sunsets at sea, and ample time to relax while on holiday, there really is no better place to try, or continue with, Pilates and yoga than onboard.”

 

MOUNTAIN POSE: Stand with your feet together and arms by your side. Inhale deeply and raise your hands straight up. Your palms should face each other as you reach skywards.

LOSE YOUR MIN: Renew your spirit with a massage at Aqua HealthSpaFitness, our onboard day spa.

CENTRE YOURSELF: Yoga can contribute to overall greater focus in all aspects of your life.

WARRIOR POSE: Stand with your feet 1 metre apart. Turn your left foot 90 ̊ outwards and your right foot inwards just a touch. Twist to the left and bend your left knee 90 ̊, extending your arms out to the sides and up.

PILATES STYLE: Ball crunches work your upper and lower abdominals.

FEEL THE CALM: Pathway to Yoga and Pathway to Pilates are offered onboard every cruise. Yoga mats can be hired and one-on-one sessions can be organised. Each of our cruises also offers a range of Eastern and Western treatments designed to relax your body and mind. Check Pacific Daily for more information. Charges apply.