Breathe – Move – Be Well

Rudolf Steiner, most famous for his revolutionary approach to education and biodynamic farming methods, was considered to be well ahead of his time. He is quoted in 1923 as likening a single year on earth to a human full respiration cycle, with the Inhale being Autumn-Winter and the exhale Spring-Summer. Just as we pause between each inhale and exhale, so does the Earth at each Solstice, as the shortest and longest days of the year.

The nights of Winter are still long, we are still breathing in, resting and renewing; but as we have passed the pause – the Winter solstice. It is now time to take stock and be ready to release the power of our outward expression and growth into Spring and Summer.

So many of us often fall prey to the downsides of Earth’s inhale and the subsequent drawing in of energy, by drawing in a plentiful supply of Winter warming foods, along with a comfy slow down in general activity. The result, as we all know, is usually an increase in body fat and a decrease in overall fitness and mobility.

Whilst it is a sound principle to use Winter as a period of recovery for the body and mind, we must ensure that it is also a period of maintenance by keeping a reasonable body weight, a good base level of fitness conditioning and enhancing the immune system’s function, supporting the body with what it needs to ward off common Winter illnesses and kick back against any of those Winter indulgences.

Here are five Top Tips for doing just that:

  1. Take up an indoor training option. This is the perfect time to try Hot Yoga or a Meditation Class, think warm relaxing environment and strengthening the mind. If you predominantly train outdoors having an indoor plan B means you can keep up momentum no matter what the weather. Maybe it’s time for a general resistance training program in a gym to build solid strength and stability for your summer pursuits.
  2. Focus on shorter burst activities. Shorter days result in the perception of less available daily hours, choose exercise options that are shorter and more intense, such as express Spin or Circuit Classes, Boxing or brisk walks and runs, so that they are more easily scheduled into your day.
  3. Make the most of sunny Winter days outdoors. The Winter reduction in sun exposure, particularly for those in the southern states, can result in a lack of Vitamin D, potentially having drastic effects on our moods and motivation levels. Make your motto, the suns out, I get out, a good dose of Winter sun boosts the spirit and makes your body truly grateful.
  4. Eat healthy, immune system boosting, Winter meals.  Check out the delicious, nutritious Winter recipe from our Gaia Retreat & Spa head chef HERE. A unique and different style of broth that has fantastic immune boosting properties. A Winter wellness diet, regular exercise and good doses of Winter sun can go a long way towards boosting your immune system and keeping the lurgies at bay.
  5. Keep moving. A drop in daily body movement lowers our metabolism and promotes an increase in body fat. Simply moving our bodies more fuels the metabolic fire, this really is the most important key to being ready to fully enjoy spring as soon as it arrives. Even a short brisk walk before or after work can make a big difference.

By following these simple tips, we can launch into Spring fit and well, rather than have do all the hard work we would need to do to lose the Winter flab and regain that base level of fitness.

Breathe, Move, Be Well

Craig – Gaia Fitness & Wellness Coach


This article was brought to you by Gaia’s new Fitness Coach Craig McGarry, who has just recently joined our Gaia Wellness team, bringing with him over 25 years broad experience in up-to-date wellness and fitness training suited to our busy, modern lifestyles. Craig is drawing from extensive knowledge in the areas of Exercise Rehabilitation and Health Retreat Fitness & Wellness Programs as well as High Performance Sports and even Military Fitness Training. Each Gaia fitness and wellness program with Craig is guided by highly effective protocols through the integration of modern fitness training with the time-tested techniques of focusing on breath, purposeful movement, mindfulness and meditation.

Blend this with all that Gaia has to offer in wellness and you can garnish an ideal holistic approach to achieving a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Whether you are a beginner, a consistent intermediate exerciser or an absolute gun of a trainer, Craig is looking forward to assisting you toward reaching your next desired level, either with one of the many complimentary classes during your stay, or as pre-booked one-on-one sessions.

More about Gaia’s Fitness & Wellness sessions here –

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