"Just Breathe, Move, Love" says Holistic Lifestyle Coach Archna Mohan

"All You Need (to do) is Breathe, Move, Love"

Archna combines the ancient Indian wisdom with modern western techniques to offer holistic lifestyle training and coaching to her clients in UK and other parts of the world. Here is a wonderful conversation, I had with her recently:-

Archna Mohan has an interesting story and journey from a very confident girl to a shy, woman who lost confidence in herself and then finally emerged as a super shero and a successful holistic lifestyle coach, with clients across the world.

Dr Amit Nagpal- Archna, tell us about your philosophy of Breathe, Move, Love.

Archna Mohan
-I came up with this name suddenly one day when I was working with a client and she was stressed with loads of stuff and events which were going in her life. I know at this stage no nutritional plan, exercise or a life style change will work for her. I asked her if she could do 3 things to start with. She inquired what were those 3 things.

I said Breathe deeply and I demonstrated Dipharmic breathing to her and told her to remember we can’t control everything in life as breathing and once you honour that it creates an amazing transformation inside and out. Breathing relaxes us to face uncertainty and it stimulates our mind and body with the message of being alive in this planet earth for a reason.

'Move' came from movement. Life is a flow . Exercise is a modern term given to movement which in a way sounds like punishment to many of us. So movement in any way walking, dancing, fun playing or doing things what we love not only keeps our body and mind healthy but it flows the energy throughout us.

'Love' is something which is also misunderstood because we often say, “I love that person so much but I have never received the love which I deserve from anyone.” I believe love starts from us, if we love ourselves enough then only we can be capable of knowing love. Nowadays we have forgotten to love ourselves because of many reasons. We see ourselves unacceptable in our own eyes. How is it possible for someone else to love you, if you have not seen what love is? We can’t give things what we do not own. Love yourself first than only you can love others.

So the three most critical things, we need to do are Breathe, Move,. Love

Dr Amit-From a graduation in political science, you moved to become a life coach. Tell us the highlights of your professional journey and story.

Archna- I was a student of science till secondary . In university I wanted to do politics for two reasons coming from a political background that was in my blood. I wanted to work for women and children . My first choice was to go in theater or movies to act and write and I was a good performer in school days but I knew that would not be acceptable to my family so thought about politics. After my graduation I did diploma in computer software and management and worked as programmer in some of the top educational organisations like Datapro and NIIT for a while. 

Yet destiny had other plans for me, so I left my job and got married . My life changed dramatically thereon as from a very confident girl I became a shy, less confident woman and lost all the trust in myself because of the pressure to be a good daughter-in-law, behaving like a woman so I started gaining weight and my health got worse day by day. I lost one child of mine and I was very depressed and it led to further unhappiness, jealousy, and distrustful behavior. I didn't like what I was becoming and my l body too was showing all the signs and symptoms.

My life slowly started changing when I moved to Mumbai. Now I was mother of two lovely kids and a loving husband but more than that there was something inside me which was shifting in a big way. I saw women of my age or older moving freely with self-confidence but I, being  still in my 20s was finding it hard. I started learning Spanish language on my own, stitching, baking and of course writing during my free time. I didn't have lot of money to join a gym so started walking and self-learning about various aspects of health and nutrition.

We shifted to Pune after some time and our financial situation improved too. I was lucky to get an apartment where there was a gym. A gym instructor used to come there 3 days in a week so I used to finish my house work, send my son to school and by 12 pm I would be in Gym working out with my little daughter. Soon I started waking up early at 5 am and went out for walking but it later converted to running . I started losing weight and I stuck to plain and simple home cooked food. 

 My writing started again, and I wrote a poem for my child whom I had lost and recited in front of 300 ladies in a club. There were so many women who ended up crying and some wanted a copy of a poem. The incident triggered in me a desire to go and offer play writing services to schools.  I got my first break in my son’s school to write a play and do the choreography/ direction . Subsequently, I got an award as a most talented Mom of the year.

In fitness area too I became unstoppable and I was asked to take the class whenever the instructor was on leave. I moved to Bangalore thereafter and did a course in Aerobics and started taking classes in different clubs. Meanwhile I also passed my 2 year diploma in Spanish.

My husband by that time was living in UK and life was hard with two young kids so we decided to move to UK. Sometime later, my husband came across an advertisement for a personal training course in Basingstoke, he passed the local newspaper to me. I applied for the course though we were not settled yet and were living in a hotel. My interview went very well and they were very impressed by my enthusiasm to learn. I answered with a strong Indian accent but worked hard at my studies, besides looking after family and working out in the GYM in evening. I had begun my journey in fitness industry. 

Later, I was offered a job in GYM as a gym instructor and than in the same gym I started doing Personal training too. Lots of achievements were under my belt, plenty of courses in healing, nutrition, movement but somehow I had an intuition there is more to explore. I came across CHEK institute in USA . I qualified myself as a practitioner and a life style coach. Currently I am a student of Psychology of eating course as part of Coaching. In short learning or your journey never ends and more so when you have a passion for something and for me it is human body, mind and soul.

Dr Amit-What are the essential elements of a holistic lifestyle in your view?
Archna-Holistic life style training is looking after body as whole. We work on lots of eastern philosophies like yin-yang, Chakra system etc. On scientific side we look at muscles imbalances, body posture and nutrition, on psychological level we look at inner child issues, emotions trapped in body and our own self sabotaging beliefs.

Dr Amit-You talk about the deep relationship between mind and muscle. Tell us more about it.

Archna-Talking about mind and body there is a link between our thoughts and our body .Often we do not realise that we carry some thoughts at a subconscious level too. We might work on nutrition, exercise and other aspects of health but still we may carry physical pain in our body or we may suffer from illness . Let me give you an example of autoimmune disease in one of my clients who had a very difficult childhood. There was lot of abuse, and shouting at home while growing up. 

She was very intuitive and she learnt to avoid the situation somehow but her physical body started showing lot of symptoms of illness when she was in an unsettled environment that scared her. It resulted in hyperactive immune system and several autoimmune problems. Our body has trapped unwanted thoughts, fears, belief and we focus on symptoms in body, which are only manifestation. Once clients become aware of their thought processes or how their subconscious minds plays around, they start relaxing and changing it . Awareness is the first step because often it is deep rooted in us, so when we address that we realise that often our own beliefs hinder our own progress.

The person who is not able to say NO will find it hard to exercise which needs pushing. Often when I give them exercises, I notice how their bodies find it hard to do certain movements that gives insights of what is going on in their minds.

Dr Amit-As females get more and more into roles and professions earlier restricted to males, how do you think a woman should balance Yin and Yang energies or her inner conflict / need for regular switchovers. 

Archna-There is tremendous pressure on women these days not just to do all the feminine roles but to be at par with the male counterpart. Traditional feminine role was more about looking after the kids, home and they were very clever in looking after the minute details during the hunting and gathering phase to protect their family and kids of anything uncertain. Now there is social pressure on females is to look good at any cost, immediately after they have given birth to a child. Getting in shape is followed by the pressure to earn money. Their role is just not restricted to home and kids but it is much more vast. 

Very often there is overwhelming stress in women, which lays hidden. Some women are born with more testosterone than estrogen in their body by birth and naturally show more masculine traits than other women. A woman is caring by birth, , she takes in, nurtures, cultivates, creative by nature but when she has to do more masculine roles she become stressful, her physical body also start showing the symptoms. Overweight, too skinny, chronic dieter, binge eating, bullemia, anorexia, depression are few example of these.

A women can balance her yin and yang energy. She has to look after her feminine energy (or a giver to this world) and she is very much capable of creating that beauty around her. These things can be achieved through meditation, Mandala, any type of art or creative work. Masculine or yang on the other hand is fire, day, light that a women can achieve through knowing how they learn or do things differently than a man so not competing but complementing it. There are few methods to achieve a balance between yin and yang but as a woman most of us will have a stronger feminine side so we need to embrace it fully and then enter the masculine world with our feminine strengths.

Dr Amit- Tell us something about your approach to handling emotional blocks and emotionally induced disorders (EIDs).

As a coach in eating psychology I have seen a deep co-relation in eating disorder, and emotional blockages in certain areas of life. Often time I get clients who want to lose weight or have some issues with their confidence or have some physical pain. The first work I do with my own intuition and knowledge is what brings them to life? it is hard to find at times but if those blockages get traced, then my task becomes easier. 

To help them know their life (soul) purpose, I work with them on art form of Mandala, sometime crystals, colour, food they eat or crave for, their way of expression, what intimates them. I go through some session of the beyond self sabotage beliefs where they slowly understand which emotions are restricting them. I look at the chakra system too which is a great way of connecting illness, pain with what happened during their growing up. I often get astonished with the finding of emotional blockages or overflow in human body.

Dr Amit-What is your daily routine? Anything else you would like to share with our readers.

Archna-That’s a very interesting question. I am an early riser and I have a alarm named Lulu, which is my dog. So my day starts with taking her for a walk, just a small walk at 5.30 than I do Tai -chi after that I write something for my Facebook page "Breathe Move Love". I believe in nourishing my body and my family with home cooked food, so I prepare breakfast and then we leave home, dropping my daughter to school. I answer some e-mails, meet few old people for coffee and than I am off to Gym.I love weights and functional training. I do yogaasans almost daily. My gym days are 3-4 in a week and it’s not more than 40 minutes sessions. 

I usually have online clients to work with, and I do not take more than 5 clients in a day because it needs lot of your energy, research and hard work behind the scenes. I walk whenever I get time with my dog to freshen up or get some inspiration. I listen to podcasts related to my work mostly on my walks and for my course work and all. Evening I finish dinner by 7 pm , sometime I have clients and if not than I study something daily for few hours. I meditate just before going to sleep which is usually 10 pm.

I am a very disciplined person but it doesn't mean that I do not let myself relax or let my hair down from time to time. I am very intuitive towards my desires and body needs so when it says ‘rest’ than I take leave from everything for days and come back for my work rejuvenated. I have some close friends here and my family, who are all a big support to me and they help me relax time to time. I am also a big admirer of nature and animals so when I am stressed or angry or low on my energy levels, I go in the lap of nature and spend my time there. 

Dr Amit-What is eating Psychology Coach and what exactly do you work on as a Psychology coach?

-Eating psychology coach works on Body image issues, weight gain, weight loss, chronic dieting, binge eating, emotional eating and all with a perspective of mind- body nutrition. Here I use lot of technique and coaching skills to know where exactly the issue lies if any? The transformation in this process is not through excessive dieting or exercise but it’s more like connecting to what that particular individual needs, their requirements and finally they find good health, well being and soul purpose. 

Dr Amit-And I am sure, they live happily thereafter. Thanks Archna for sharing your journey, struggles and story with our readers.

Brief Profile

Archna Mohan is a Registered Personal Trainer with deep experience of working with clients of all abilities to help them achieve their goals. She is based in UK and combines the knowledge of fitness, wellness, lifestyle and bio mechanics to deliver a tailor-made programme for her clients. She loves challenges and helping her clients to achieve maximum improvements in their fitness, nutrition and Wellness. 

She also coaches female clients globally via Internet and helps them walk the tight rope of a balanced lifestyle.  


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