One of the greatest things about being a fitness trainer is seeing all the different kinds of people that come through my doors. Each person presents with different mental and physical attributes, as well as a different learning style that demands an individualized approach in creating an appropriate training direction.
There are two distinct energies I typically observe in my clients. Like the yin-yang symbol of ancient Chinese philosophy, or the warlike dance between the light and dark forces of our Universe, it seems we all share a combination of two elemental forces. This is by no means a scientific or data propelled blog. Its just a personal experience that’s been simplified and placed against the backdrop of our dualistic nature.
First, lets look at what I call the Fire element. From the mental side of things, the Fire element seems to lean a little towards a nervous, anxious or maybe neurotic disposition. These people are often very intellectual, task oriented and creative among other things. Like real fire itself, these minds are bright and active, but can sometimes be hot or volatile (I classify myself as a member of this group).
From a physical standpoint a Fire body seems to present itself as restricted or tight, sometimes even fidgety. Often Fire-bodies can be a little less coordinated which can cause agitation if coupled with a Fire-mind. However, a Fire-body does not always accompany a Fire-mind. Great exercises for the Fire element can be yoga, tai chi, and ground flow type workouts like Scott Sonnon’s- 6 degrees of Flow series.
Then there is the Water element. A Water-mind generally seems to be a little more at ease about the troubles of the world. Something like an old soul, Water-minds take things more as they come. However, they can be a little less proactive about things and find themselves in situations that are less than desirable. They sometimes remind me of the quote “Don’t wait to dig the well until you’re thirsty.“ Yet these are the people who can make us feel more at peace just by standing next to them. They are often less judgmental, more outdoorsy, and less concerned with material things.
Physically speaking, Water-bodies are often more mobile but sometimes have less stability and strength. Athletically speaking a Water-body may not be a real high performer, but they may be a great dancer or musician. A Water-body coupled with a Water-mind might find themselves having a hard time maintaining a fitness lifestyle against the grain of our culture of convenience and pleasure. Double Water signs need to be very paced and appropriate in introducing highly energized workouts into their lives, and never lose momentum that has been gained.
My job as a holistic fitness coach is to make the body-mind-nervous system as healthy and viable as the client wants it to be. In order to do this, we often have to make sure that Water receives some Fire, or vise versa. Then we begin to create the propelling force of Steam. Steam represents not only a driving and usable energy source, but often a more balanced and healthy approach for many people.
Too much fire burns everything up. It may look awesome and feel powerful while it’s happening, but when the smoke clears and the blaze is done the rebuilding process can be dark and quite immense. Likewise, while water is a necessity of life it can also be equally destructive. Whether by overwhelming amounts which creates rot and mold, or if left stagnant water becomes an environment for disease.