A fitness lesson to be learned from the Spanish

Written by on May 23, 2013 in Body & Mind, Wellbeing - Comments Off on A fitness lesson to be learned from the Spanish

As the Filipino proverb goes; “A person who does not remember where they came from will never reach their destination.” Therefore, it is our origins and the goodness that we learn along the way that enriches our lives. In this article I explore how my Spanish ancestry has informed my healthy attitude towards exercise (see my grandmother in 1933 below).

My Grandmother (Mi Abuela) 1933Having come from the port of Liverpool, my origins are varied; Irish, Scandinavian and Mediterranean. Liverpool is also home to Europe’s oldest Chinese community. It is from this melting pot of cultures that I have absorbed a variety of ways to live the ‘goodness life’.

allmygoodness has already explored the benefits of some of these cultures; the peaceful Chinese lifestyle with our review of Peter den Dekker’s book The Dynamic of Standing Still and through introducing Chinese Green Boar tea into our diet. We have even touched on the goodness of Irish organic foods and Scandinavian designers Lite Kalabalik and Naty.

It is from my Spanish heritage that I have been encouraged to lead a healthy life through exercise. There are many healthy aspects to Spanish culture; the fresh high quality food and not to forget the siestas. The traditional Spanish attitude to exercise is what most impresses me. Unlike the city slicker attitude, that exercise should be gruelling, squeezed into the early hours before work, the Spanish believe exercise should be enjoyable, social and entertaining. It is a relief for everyday life not an added stress. This exercise takes its form in dance.

flamenco1Where my family originate from in the south of Spain, Flamenco is the dance of choice. Flamenco is a mixture of Arab, Romany and Spanish cultures. Dancers perform intricate stamping patterns that create the rhythmical beats to support the guitar. Flamenco is an expression of emotion, a dance of passion, pain and longing; the soul laid bare. To the pluck of the guitar strings and the raw, impassioned wail of the cantaor (singer), the flamenco dancer pours emotion from their body as rhythm bursts forth from their feet; beautiful, fierce and possessed. The dance of festivals and fiestas, it is excellent exercise and infectiously fun.

Throughout time, Flamenco has been known as a sensual and exotic, so the dance is exceptional for both body and mind. Flamenco does not just refer to the dance but also the dress, the guitar style music and singing. The women’s dresses emphasise the female shape and exudes empowerment. The traditional dress of red and black create an air of supremacy as you, the dancer, command the crowd.

In recent years Flamenco has become more popular and accessible. The London Flamenco School provide excellent traditional classes and increasingly gym chains like Fitness First and Virgin Active have introduced Flamenco feature lessons. So try Flamenco dance and feel empowered and toned! At allmygoodness we encourage you to look to your origins and rediscover the goodness that you come from.

About the Author

Christina Latham

Christina is one of our original writers who helped with the launch of allmygoodness. She has a love for finding vintage treasures and organic products in unexpected, undiscovered places. She has previously worked as a journalist for CD News at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy and Bader TV News in Berlin. She also writes freelance articles for Fitzrovia News and BetaTwentyOne. Follow her on Twitter @ChristinaLatha