Sports scientist and mental coach Shayamal Vallabhjee tells us how to strike the right balance
In the midst of lockdown, mental health coach Shayamal Vallabhjee feels he is blessed. With many grappling with a confluence of emotions like anxiety, frustration and uncertainty, the sports scientist and motivational speaker finds himself connecting with people more during this period. Having worked for over two decades with celebrated athletes, including Olympians, the Mumbai-based fitness guru, who is set to launch his next book Breathe Believe Balance in July, talks about the beginning of a new era in fitness post lockdown, having the right balance in life and more. Excerpts:
During the lockdown, we saw how fitness became rather popular. How will that change post lockdown?
I think the importance of fitness has heightened in this lockdown period. People have become more aware of the fact that if you have any underlying health condition then your immunity dips faster then others and hence they have prioritised their health. Also, one beautiful thing is that people will use the digital medium to connect with trainers and there will be a blend of online and offline health and wellness experience.
Do you think that the Pandemic has brought the focus on mental health issues?
Mental health has always been important to us, it’s just that we neglected it in the past but now we may not ignore it as much. Coming out of lockdown, post Covid-19 anxiety is about figuring out what the new normal would be. And that will dwindle quickly with the unknown becoming the known. It will be temporary, though. Also, we will be more mindful given the loss of jobs. However, the truth is that none of these things is bad. Anxiety and panic will give us direction towards becoming the best version of ourselves.
Do elaborate about practising mindfulness and balance.
Balance is everything. My version of balance is very simple. There are four verticals - mind, body, environment and relationships. To attain balance, people need to ask themselves two questions - From which area of my life am I going to push myself out of the comfort zone? And to answer that, they need to know what is their anchoring strong point? For me, it’s spirituality and mind.
Tell us about your upcoming book?
The book Breathe Believe Balance is a journey about self-discovery. I have used lessons from sports science, psychology, spirituality and from the athletes that I have worked with to help unlock the full potential of a person. I have poured a lot into it and I do not doubt that it will help people become the better version of themselves.