Wabi Sabi Well- Personal Training with a Difference

Health and wellbeing isn’t just about having a healthy diet. It includes movement, meditation, breath, awareness, the thoughts we think, the emotions we feel, the activities we do, and more. I love starting the day with both movement and meditation- a chance for activity and stillness before the hustle and bustle of the day ahead. Brieann from Wabi Sabi Well has a view on fitness, personal training and physical endurance that gels with me. From the very first meeting with Brieann, I knew that her sessions were almost written for me in mind! Her unique classes offer a great workout, moments of deep insight, a period of therapeutic massage, all done in a loving, inspiring and motivating atmosphere. Treating each client with professionalism and also personalism, Brieann makes training sessions something that makes you break out of bed at 6am with a smile on your face!988411_639312922799180_1219715755_n

The sun was just breaking through from the previous night’s rain-filled clouds when my feet touched on the dewy grass under the towering Eucalyptus trees. Strewn out around me lay a blue yoga mat, a foam mattress covered with two colorful Mexican blankets, boxing gloves and various yoga props.

Brieann bounced about around me, pulling a few more things out of her bag and strategically placing them on the grass with a smile that could light up the darkest of places.

It was 6.30 am on a Sunday morning and I was scheduled to meet Brie from Wabi Sabi Well for a one on one personal training session. I have to admit, I was a little nervous as I loitered about shyly, seemingly out of my depth. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy exercise or being fit, active and outdoors. Nor did being up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning bother me in the slightest. It was more so the image that personal training evoked in my minds eye- sweat and tears and monotonous repetitive exercises that left you grimacing in agony for three days afterwards.

10003513_693619374035201_1561050013_n Yet Brieann’s sessions are indeed, something quite different.

Wabi Sabi Well is a unique creative fusion of movement, meditation and massage. There is something even just in the sound of those three words placed side by side that sounds so inviting and heavenly.

The term Wabi Sabi means to live life through the senses, to observe wisdom in nature and to recognize beauty in imperfection.

Wabi-Sabi is about celebrating the cracks and flaws, the imperfect perfection in everything simply as it is.

Self-acceptance and self-love are woven through Brie’s approach to fitness with gentle intent. Her sessions are crafted to nourish the body and soul and to inject her clients with the inspiration and motivation to commit to the life they have always dreamed of creating.

Every session focuses on intrinsically re-uniting the body, mind and soul, helping people to achieve their declared fitness goals while simultaneously allowing them to see themselves as whole and complete just as they are.

It is like the Japanese process of Kintsugi, Brieann explains,

‘When the Japanese mend a broken object, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something has suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.’

971048_538960056167801_651060831_n Brieann has been a personal trainer since she was 19, working in gyms, health resorts and doing one on one training mainly in corporate environments. Massage became laced through her sessions after her travels abroad certified her with Thai massage and Lomi Lomi massage qualifications.  Yoga came onto the scene a little later, and as Brie recalls, yoga was more of a challenge- it was the stillness, ‘I walked out of my first class when everyone was resting with their eyes closed in child’s pose,’ she reveals to me with a child-like giggle, ‘I went back to the gym and jumped on a treadmill, I just didn’t get it. ‘

And, like Brieann says in her sessions, it is often the things that we dislike and resist the most, that are the things we need to be working on and will offer us the greatest insights and benefits.

‘Yoga kept finding me,’ Brieann recalls ‘it just wouldn’t give up on me!’ After helping to promote a Yoga Aid challenge in Brisbane, Brie was taken in by the yoga community of LuLu Lemon who helped to change her original outlook on yoga. ‘Lu Lu Lemon showed me that yoga was fun, it was about honoring your body and loving your body, which was what my whole journey had to that point been about.’

10314004_729582493772222_29020538482041826_n Brieann’s own journey to health, like so many others, is riddled with potholes, detours, and setbacks, which is where her Wabi Sabi philosophy has stemmed from,

‘Wabi-Sabi has given me the life I was always chasing in my “perfect life quest’. I have the intimacy I longed for. A body I love. The creative flow, self- acceptance and state of contentment I always dreamed of. Is my life perfect? No. It’s wabi-sabi (imperfectly beautiful) and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.’

Our session began with several sun salutations as Brieann helped me to breathe life into my waking body and move through stretches to open the heart and places in the body where stiffness like to rest and hide.

After setting an intention for the session, clarifying what it was that I wished to gain from our time together, we moved onto the cardio component of the class which consisted of a fun and energetic mix of boxing, squats, pushups and mat work. Brie’s intuitive nature seemed to know exactly the right balance between pushing and easing off, maintaining a level where I was working hard, but not wanting to curl up into a ball and disappear out of sight.

1001527_564995190230954_1418941294_n I could feel my thighs burning and my heart pumping, but a smile remained on my lips for the entire duration of the cardio session.

The final component of the training incorporates massage and mediation, which are two of the key aspects that sets Brie’s sessions apart from anything else I had ever come across.  Again, knowing the exact balance between pressure and relaxation, Brie moves through a thorough, whole body massage, finding and releasing points of tension, offering gentle insights as her hands work.

‘Everyone holds onto emotional tension in different places and sometimes we carry it around not even knowing its there,’ she explains as she works on a particularly tangled knot behind my shoulder blade. ‘It’s a constant process of seeing, feeling, and letting go.’

We end with a focused, yet dream-like guided meditation which relaxed me to the point of nearly slipping away. Luckily, the morning sun on my face and gentle ocean breeze on my skin kept me present, while the songs from the morning birds around us kept me aware of the hour of the day.

1619415_724970074233464_3837428088318356533_n My time with Brieann was inspiring, activating, nourishing and healing on so many levels. Brieann’s own unique journey with health, wellness and fitness has structured her classes to be incredibly inclusive, thorough and wholesome. I emerged feeling lighter, clearer, stronger and calmer that I could remember feeling in a long time.

Brieann’s warm nature and her complete understanding of the fact that every single body is different makes each session unique and comfortable. ‘Along my own path,’ Brie explains, I discovered that my sources of shame to hide, became beacons of light to share.’  There is no judgment, nothing that could ever make you feel insecure or uncomfortable, rather she instills in you a sense of power, radiance and vibrancy. A belief in yourself and your capabilities that a weeklong retreat could not muster with such succinct depth and knowing.

Sitting sipping green smoothies afterwards together at Naked Treaties, Brieann and I could have chatted all day if it hadn’t been for another session she had lined up following mine. She has that gorgeous girl-next-door feel about her, like you can open your heart and soul to her and know that she will cradle your fears, insecurities, hopes and dreams with the utmost care.

It takes a special kind of person to coax you out of bed at 6am on a Sunday morning when the sky is still dark and the temptation of falling back into the land of dreams tugs at your sub conscious with a mischievous grin. Yet I guarantee, one session with this beautiful soul will have you jumping on that mat beside her and pulling on those boxing gloves at any hour of any day, time and time again.

If you are not a Byron Bay local don’t be disheartened! Brieann now offers one on one and group Skype sessions! Personal trainings from anywhere in the world! Jump on her website for details!

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Aside from her fitness credentials, Brieann is also a crafter of words in the most poetic and whimsical of ways. Follow her blog posts and find out more about her sessions on her gorgeous new website wabisabiwell