Developed to aid post-workout recovery, the Bamford b Strong range emphasises the importance of finding balance in our pursuit of strength – whether we are searching for it in body, mind or spirit.
The past year has forced us all to confront our own understanding of what it means to be well, from personal health to resilience in wider communities. Many have found strength in connection to others but also in finding a deeper connection to themselves – learning first-hand of our own reserves of strength that loom within each of us.
To shed further light, we turned to expert practitioners at our London and Cotswolds Wellness Spas to educate us on the role of recovery in strength, demystifying common misconceptions about what true rest is, and inspiring us as we continue on our own healing journeys.
What is holistic recovery?
‘The human body is a complex organism with unlimited potential. It is constantly busy: recovering, rejuvenating and healing itself from our physical exertions. Each second, there are 6-10million cells that regenerate themselves - ultimately it is up to us how we create these new cells.
Holistic recovery means aligning all four bodies – physical, mental, pranic and etheric - in balance.
The physical body responds to what is needed in order to perform to its optimal level. Mental wellness can be maintained with meditation and prioritising what makes us happy. Pranic energy is our life force. Pranic wellness can be achieved by doing regular, simple breathing practices or just observing one’s own breathing. And finally, the etheric body is our subtlest body – it is a kind of bridge between our physical body and each and every experience we encounter.’
Vikrant Koli, Resident Fitness Practitioner, Cotswolds
‘In the modern fast-paced world we live in, it is imperative to allow your body time to switch off and zone out to ensure our mind and body are totally cleansed so we can undergo new challenges from day to day, and allow ourselves to perform to the best of our capabilities both mentally and physically.’
JAMES GOLDEN, RESIDENT FITNESS EXPERT AND TRAINER, COTSWOLDS
What are some common misconceptions about recovery?
‘A common misconception is that sleep is the same as rest and recovery. They are, in actuality, quite different processes. During sleep the body is going through an incredible rejuvenation process during which we consolidate memory and re-build our cells – it requires an incredible amount of energy to do this!
On the other hand, rest and recovery needs to address all of the sense channels in our body holistically. For example, sitting down and watching TV is great rest for the physical body but there is a sensory overload of sight and sound – we are resting our bodies but forgetting to rest our mind and cognitive functions. That is why even a short meditation can leave us feeling as if we have just woken up from a great sleep – all of the senses have been given permission to rest. Sleep and recovery do go hand in hand but we need both in equal measure in order to thrive day to day.’
Jasmine St Cliere, Resident Yoga Teacher, London
Sleep and recovery do go hand-in-hand but we need both in equal measure in order to thrive.
‘I have crossed paths with many people in my professional career who have considered recovery days as ‘lazy days’ and didn’t consider them as necessary to make progress – in my opinion, recovery days are an integral component of any effective lifestyle plan. If the body is under physical stress, it is important to factor in those all-important rest days to avoid major muscle soreness if you are exercising, experience disrupted sleep or have poor physical performance generally.’
‘Most people think that when they do any form of exercise, they will automatically become stronger. This is not correct. When we do any exercise, we actually wear down our bodies at its cellular level – it is only later when we recover and nourish the body with what it needs that we will become stronger. Targeted treatments can be applied to aching muscles to support with this physical recovery. For instance, the combination of yarrow oil and rosemary in the b Strong range work to reduce inflammation and improve circulation respectively – lending a helping hand to the body’s natural processes.’
What has the past year taught you about recovery?
‘I used to think rest and recovery was something you should do, but I now know that it is something we all categorically need to do. Without it we see and experience burnout and emotional overwhelm; our mental health unfortunately pays the price for this. It is when we set aside enough time for rest and recovery that the magic happens.
We all owe it to ourselves to live in a body that we greatly care for – to give thanks to a body that works so hard to care for us.’
‘I have always maintained a focus towards recovery of the body due to my activity levels as a fitness trainer, but I have certainly focused more on replenishing the mind in the past 12 months, in particular with the importance of sleep. On reading a book called ‘Why we sleep’ by Matthew Walker, this opened my eyes to how important it is for the body to obtain regular, good quality sleep and more importantly the potential negative impact of not respecting the benefits of this natural process.’
‘Health, strength and balance go hand-in-hand to determine how you make it through tough periods such as the one we are collectively experiencing now, and how mentally balanced you are will serve to keep you calm and to hold on to your truest aspirations.’
Holistic recovery goes beyond resting the physical body after we exercise – it addresses our Mental, Pranic and Etheric bodies as well.
Sleep and rest are not identical processes, but rather both are equally important. Beyond a good night’s sleep, it is healthy to allow for regular rest during the day that allows for all of our senses to relax and recalibrate. Meditation is a great way to do this.
Exercise alone does not lead to strength. When we exercise, we wear our bodies out and it is the combination of exercise and recovery that promotes physical strength. Pay attention to what your body needs.
b Strong collection
A stimulating blend of 100% natural essential oils: black pepper boosts circulation, yarrow oil soothes inflammation and redness, and rosemary improves circulation and eases stress.