by Dr Danielle Loveless, BBiomedSci, BExSci (Hons), PhD Ex Phys,
Accredited Exercise Physiologist
I have been working from the Universal Medicine clinic in the field of Exercise Physiology for the last 3-4 years. I am fully accredited and registered in the health care system and the majority of my work is in chronic disease and injury rehabilitation and exercise program support. In my time working from the clinic I have also been participating in Universal Medicine courses and workshops and embracing my own esoteric healing. Through the inspiration of Serge Benhayon I have begun to discover a way to exercise and work with my clients that is more supportive, nurturing and honouring for our bodies. This way has been developed from within myself, chosen by me, not taught or instructed by another, but completely inspired by a more gentle and loving way of living that I have begun to discover through Universal Medicine.
Working in the health and fitness industry in gyms, sports centres and at the local hospital’s rehabilitation department, I often see people go hard at it and ‘smash’ themselves in their exercise training. This way of training is encouraged by many fitness trainers, but appears much more harmful than beneficial to their body. I will often see a lot of injuries, people experiencing niggling pain in their back, hips, knees or shoulders and lacking the energy and motivation to continue with a program. Exercising at high intensities in any activity or sport, including any competitive sport that pushes the body to near maximum, puts a huge force through the body. Maybe the body can handle exercising at such an intensity now, but what about the physiological load that is placed on the body and the long-term damage? Did you know that running results in up to 5 times the body weight of the runner through their lower back, hips, knees and ankles? For someone who weighs 80kg this is 400kg per foot strike, which for a 1.6km run (approximately 400 steps) is approximately 160,000 kg or almost 180 tons for that one run. Perhaps this explains why when running a marathon, a runner’s height will reduce by approximately 1cm for 24 to 48 hours after the race!
In contrast to this hard pushing exercise, I have discovered that exercise can be done in a gentle way that is connected with the body. This means that the way the body moves in a workout is guided by how the body feels in each exercise and movement. Exercising in such a way regulates the intensity of the workout according to our ability to hold a gentle breathing rhythm, and to not go tense or hard anywhere in the body. The traditional way of exercising is based on sets and repetitions of movements of a particular number or duration. However, when exercising gently, the pace, intensity, duration or number of repetitions completed is determined according to what the body is telling us in that moment. By listening to the body we can feel when we have over-exerted or pushed it too hard and we can feel when to stop.
Exercising gently and connected with our body is very unlike any way I have ever considered exercising could be. It is nothing like what I was taught during 10 years of university in Biomedical and Exercise Science, but instead much more gentle, nurturing and caring towards the body. My surprise is that the benefits are far greater than I could have ever imagined. There are noticeable increases in strength and cardiovascular fitness and, as no excessive or unnecessary strain is placed on the body, there are no niggling pains or aggravations of other conditions or old injuries. Furthermore, I have found that there is a renewed daily vitality, instead of the exhaustion that often comes with exercise. There can be a sense of an increase in energy levels from exercise, but this is false and only occurs due to an immediate increase in adrenaline, which only lasts a short period before sugar, caffeine or some other stimulant is needed to pick the body up again.
What has recently been published by the media and online blogs about Serge Benhayon ‘exerting control over Universal Medicine students by modifying their exercise behaviour, or discouraging exercise altogether’ is completely untrue. My exercise work with the Universal Medicine clinic is supported in full by Serge Benhayon. Serge has inspired not only me, but many others to be more caring and supportive with their bodies such that we choose to exercise in a much more gentle way. I thank Serge deeply for suggesting that there may be another way to be with our body that is much more loving and supportive.
Attached you will find some testimonials from a very broad range of people who have participated in Gentle Exercise Training with me in either private sessions or exercise groups.
Since my first group session with Danielle three weeks ago I have found I’m self motivated to exercise gently every morning around 5am. I have found many benefits including a more truer relationship with me, more energy throughout the day, less tension being held within my body and any tension I may have is easily released while I exercise and connect with my gentle breath. I would recommend group work with Danielle to anyone who wants to truly connect with their bodies and to know more and to live more of who they truly are. Gentle exercise is the bridge to that place within.
Paul Barry, NSW
Danielle’s gentle movement and exercise sessions have been an integral part of my daily ritual for the last 3 years. They have enabled me to re-build my body’s suppleness to a point I never would have expected possible, considering all the accumulated sports and martial arts injuries from my earlier life.
It’s not just the physical aspect that I have found supportive. Danielle presents a new awareness of movement that has helped to re-configure the way I move in general, to ‘be with myself’ as I do the exercises every day. What I particularly enjoy is the subtlety of the exercises, and how I can learn so much with such seemingly simple movements.
With pleasure I can fully recommend Danielle’s group and private sessions and often refer my clients to her.
Chris James – Singer, Musician & Voice Teacher
Exercising gently was something I thought would never suit my liking until I started attending Danielle’s individual sessions and classes. I was amazed just to feel how hard I was being with my body. Danielle has shown us how to connect with our bodies and use our body as a guide through gentle exercise and breathing, feeling where we are holding tension or hardness and releasing any tightness around the body through stretching. I was amazed at how much better I felt after just a few sessions and now have a greater understanding of how my body is feeling. With Danielle’s love and support i can highly recommend a visit, you won’t be disappointed.
Kim, NSW, Australia
Danielle’s classes completely changed the way I approach exercise, she brings a love and dedication that is truly inspiring. I recommend her classes to anyone who wants to make exercise about connecting to your body and letting your body be the guide, rather than pushing your body into an unnatural rhythm.
RB, NSW, Australia
I attended Danielle’s gentle exercise workshop in November. The workshop was fun and playful and I learnt a lot about my body. Since then, I have been enjoying a playful loving relationship with my body. Exercise is no longer a stress, a strain or a chore, but a loving exploration of my body and how it moves and where it needs to strengthen, stretch and release. Stretching is no longer painful, but a gentle release of tension in my body, as I breathe. Being with myself as I exercise gently has brought me greater levels of energy, so that I am no longer tired at the end of my work day. I have a greater awareness of my body, so that I no longer hold so much tension and hardness in it. I can wholeheartedly recommend working with Danielle.
Dr Anne Malatt, Bangalow, Australia
I used to love exercise, team sports, running long distances, marathons, all the high intensity classes at the gym. I had great fitness levels, I was in great shape, but I felt so despondent and tired. I cut back till I did very little. I had a one to one session with Danielle a couple of years after this and, very patiently, Danielle supported me as I found my way to exercise so that I worked hard but did not overwhelm my body. I could see that my body had been trying to get me to slow down or at least listen all those years, so to rebuild my routine in a supportive way has taken a little time and is an ongoing process. My body feels like it has been asleep for lifetimes and feeling it come alive is inspirational.
Lucy, NSW, Australia
I recently attended a 6 week course in Body Awareness & Quality in Daily Movement & Exercise Group in Grafton. This has been a wonderful experience for me in terms of re-connecting to how amazing & important it is to have a regular exercise routine. Prior to doing this course I did no regular exercise. I work in nursing, so I have a job that is quite physical. I thought that was enough. I thought because I walk up & down stairs numerous times during the day that that would suffice. I was however feeling all sorts of muscular aches and pains as well as joints that crack. Deep down what I really knew my body was telling me was that I need to move and exercise. I was never taken with the ideas of gyms and other types of classes. I really did want something that would suit me.
Danielle’s classes for me was such a perfect place to begin. We start gently. We are encouraged to feel where our bodies are at when we do different exercises and not to push past any pain but to respect that. Danielle is very aware of individual needs in the group and always makes other recommendations or more gentle variations to any exercise we are doing.
I had so much fun, mostly because my body is thanking me for finally paying attention. But also Danielle genuinely loves her work and delivers her classes in a very joy-full way. How can you not feel inspired?
I continue with a program for me based on the exercises I did with Danielle. I now make time for myself to do this as I know how amazing I feel when I exercise. I feel fitter at work. Really, to work in nursing you need to have a good level of fitness and we are kidding ourselves if we think and do otherwise.
I feel inspired by Danielle and her work, but really it’s been up to me to choose this for me. I’m so glad that I have.
Thank you Danielle.
Jen Smith, Aus
I have spent most of my life largely unaware of my body, dragging it along to anything I wanted to do.
I started to feel weak, stiff wooden and old.
From just one individual session and several classes, I now do the exercises most days. I am much more aware of my body and by listening to it and taking care of it I have more strength, endurance and vitality.
At work welding used to be about what is going on in the weld zone, and everything else was subornate to that. At the expense of my body and so I would fatigue quickly.
Now welding is all about posture and I can focus on the weld zone but still be aware of my whole body; things run smoother, and I am more productive.
If I can do that, what else can I do?
Thank you Danielle, I get a lot more out of life now.
Bernie Cincotta, Aus