Balancing Mind and Body

Balancing Mind and Body

A newcomer to yoga, Member Matt Crabbe says a Club class has helped him to find flexibility and relief from nagging shoulder pain.

I think Covid changed everyone’s lives. When you’re sitting at home and you have three restaurants that are closed, you have a lot of time to think. After looking at myself in the mirror, I thought it was time to do something. I stopped drinking for a long time and decided to lose weight.

I started taking krav maga classes with Boaz [Hagay] at the Club about eight months ago. At the same time, I was playing a lot of squash and doing gym work. But the more I punched things, the less I could hit things. After a while, I found that my arms and shoulders started to hurt a lot.

I knew [Club instructor] Luiz [Olimpio], and he said I should join his yoga class. I wasn’t too interested in yoga but decided to pop along.

The first class was very difficult. It’s all about flexibility, balance and your core. I was stretching a lot before, but I was surprised at how inflexible I was. I tried the class twice and then kept going back.

I find it very accessible, particularly with a guy like Luiz. He makes everyone feel very comfortable. I’m usually the only male in the class, but I don’t feel self-conscious.

He reminds you to breathe and switch off from everything outside and to be in the moment. I tried meditating because my wife started, and I found it really interesting. You totally escape. Your mind floats off.

My restaurant business can be quite intense, what with menus and events to think about, but yoga helps you to think clearly and to make rational decisions.

I don’t go to the class every week. It depends on my schedule. Even if I don’t do a class, I can do the same stretching at home. It has helped my shoulders a lot.

I do krav maga almost every morning and play squash about once a week. Yoga helps balance those things. Squash is a great cardio workout, but you sweat when you do yoga as well. Your body literally shakes when you do some positions for the first time. As you become more flexible, they become more natural for your body.

Yoga is very good for flexibility, particularly as you get older. Even if you do just the basic moves, like I do, it really helps in day-to-day life.

I have lost about six or seven kilos over the last six months. You get good comments and feel better in yourself. I enjoy the training, which keeps me motivated. Plus, I don’t want to slip back into my old ways.

To lose weight and change a lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. Little by little, I could see the progress I was making and kept going.

As told to INTOUCH’s Nick Jones.

Top image (Kayo Yamawaki): Luiz Olimpio and Matt Crabbe