Charlottesville Alert

Memorial Day Hours | May 27

We will be running on a modified schedule for Memorial Day on Monday, May 27:

acac Albemarle Square & Downtown: 5:00am-2:00pm

acac Crozet & Pantops: staffed: 7:00am-2:00pm*
*open 24/7 with valid acac scan tag

Adventure Central: 9:00am-7:00pm*
*preschool & after-school closed

Waterpark: 10:00am-7:00pm

Your Presence is Your Power - Exercise for the Soul

by: Sapta Yin

Breath to Body – Body to Breath

When we come to the gym, we often carry our normal, everyday stress with us and act from that place of tension even in the midst of our workouts. We think we don’t have time to rest and renew. We have to keep putting our heads and hearts to the grindstone. We keep that mentality in our workouts and in the classes we take. “No pain, no gain … go hard or go home.” The only time we let ourselves rest is when our heads hit the pillow, only to rise and do it all again.

What if we were to slow down and take a step back to give our head and hearts a break? To give our souls a recharge with our exercise? There is an awesome way to achieve this, and it all starts with centering in our life essence: the breath.

Centering in our breath and connecting it to the body’s motion is most often found in the practice of yoga, but it can be used in all forms of movement to produce a powerful mindset of mindfulness, rooting and grounding in breath to work from and amplify the strength you already embody and have in each moment.

When we connect our body’s motion to our body’s breath, we become present in the moment. It automatically makes us more aware of how our muscles, joints, and tendons operate in each movement. We become mindful of how we feel–the big and small sensations–and the thoughts and emotions that come along with the sensations.

When we make our breath our starting point, we become more aware of what our center of power is. We can begin to build from the strength we already have and allow it to multiply, rather than grasping for a strength just out of reach. This mindset is excellent for giving yourself a more accepting, yet challenging, place to work from in your movement goals.

Next time you step into the doors of acac, set the intention to be present. Your presence is your power. It can always be found in the rooting and grounding of your breath to the present moment.


Breathing in, Breathing Out

Watch your breath for a moment.

Inhale – Let your mind focus on observing how the breath feels moving into the body.

Exhale -Let your mind focus on observing how it feels to release the breath from the body.

The body rises with the breath in. The body falls with the breath out. It is a cycle we all have–ever receiving, ever giving.

Notice how the body responds to the breath in, the breath out. Let your breath become deeper as your mind anchors more into the present moment of the breath.

Keep repeating this for a few more cycles of breath. Give yourself space to just observe one simple task, the one we all were born with: breathing.


Monkey Minds

Take a moment to recall what your mind tends to focus on throughout the day.

Do a mental scan…

Chances are that looking back on how our minds operate throughout the day, we see a cacophony of thoughts swirling.

There are to-do lists, people to see, things to do, projects to finish, sticky situations and not so sticky situations, healthy and unhealthy relationships, struggles and victories both big and small, and all the in-betweens that make up the day-to-day of our lives.

Sometimes our minds resemble a ping-pong game gone out of hand, and where the mind goes, the body follows. Our breath becomes shorter, our actions more frozen and tense, as the body responds to the accruing anxiety through all of our thoughts.

The thoughts are only in your mind. They are made with past regrets and accolades, future expectations and worries. Let the past be the past and the future, the future. All we ever have is Here … is Now … this very Moment.

The next time you’re in the club, remember to focus on your breath. Use it to center yourself and be present in your workouts. Let go of the stress and watch as your results improve tremendously.


Learn more by working with one of our personal trainers or taking a group exercise class in your acac club.

Charlottesville:  personal training | group exercise

Short Pump:  personal training | group exercise

Midlothian:  personal training | group exercise

West Chester:  personal training | group exercise

Eagleview: personal training | group exercise

Timonium:  personal training | group exercise