On Monday, we were invited to try a class with Hamelin D’abell, creator of the Hamelin D’abell Method. The method incorporates exercises from barre and Pilates workouts. The class took place at the lovely Egoist Body Studio, just off Tottenham Court Road. There were just three of us in the class so it was very intimate. We started our workout on the mat and then moved to the barre. The movements involved plank, leg raises, kicks and the clam to give us a full body blast. What was most difficult for both Shaleena and myself, were the long repetitions within the workouts. Most studios tell you to repeat for 8, Hamelin made us do repetitions of 30! I needed two rest days after the class.
We wanted to learn more about the method, so we asked Hamelin a few questions:
1. How did you come up with the method? What training have you had?
My method draws upon my background which is Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, aerobics and floor work classes. I taught high impact aerobics and floor work full time for many years, and eventually started combining flexibility and deep muscle work/toning together into one specific system, and that’s when my method came into development. A lot of my class students became hooked right away and started requesting private tuition. This was back in the mid to late 90s. One of my private Belgravia students had a basement room of hers turned into a Hamelin D’abell Method studio where she and her friends would come and train with me up to 6 days per week, 3 hours each per session. A session would start with 1 hour of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, then some high/low aerobics or jogging followed by 90 minutes of deep muscle/toning work. The sessions quickly became THE thing to do although the ladies kept it very secret which in my opinion added even more excitement to the mystery.
2. What are the main benefits of following the method? Who is it best for?
The sessions are very progressive and one of the first things one would notice is the sense of calm when doing the toning exercises, even after one session the student will notice an increased firmness to the muscles and a greater sense of ease and pose. The toning work is meditation in motion. I don’t play music, that way the client can close his or her eyes and really focus on the individual toning movements whilst relaxing the mind. The sessions have a very beautiful flow to them which stems from my vinyasa background where one would move in and out of various yoga poses in a very rhythmic but calming pace. The sessions are very effective in terms of changing one’s body fast, especially if the aim is a firm body with refined muscle definition, increased flexibility and strength – people often finish their session feeling like they’ve done a deep yoga session whilst having worked their muscles thoroughly. Men and women from all walks of life do my Method – they know what they want, they understand the ‘concept’ of working out and connecting with one’s body and mind, but even then, beginner’s also come to my Method and progress with the exercises as the weeks goes by. I am there to guide everyone along in a safe and motivating manner.
3. What are your top tips for keeping fit?
Keep it balanced. I follow the system of Ayurveda and have found the perfect balance that suits my body type and personality, this includes exercise, nutrition and over all life style. Keeping fit also means taking time out to relax and to breathe deeply. Keeping fit is a way to be happy and content within oneself and this is greatly enhanced through exercise, healthy eating, yoga and pilates, relaxation and deep breathing. This creates the most harmonious balance for keeping fit and feeling good.
Shaleena and Roshni
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