We are thrilled to announce that BBC London Radio has done a special evening programme for World Mental Health Day (10.10. 2018) and shortlisted trapeze and aerial fitness as one of the top 10 activities to boost mental health. Our Circus Glory’s owner and teacher, Genevieve Monastesse, has been invited to speak on the show on Wednesday night.
Trapeze was the number 1 activity for mental health problems discussed on the show and here on our blog we wanted to extend this to give you the top 5 reasons why trapeze and aerial fitness are so excellent for your brain and mood. Read on and get inspired! At the bottom you can also find a link to to the BBC London radio show to hear Genevieve speak live.
1. A Mood Boost with Literal ‘high’
We know that any physical activity stimulate our body to releases chemicals called endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body, makes us feel good and gives us a positive outlook on life. However this is elevated to the new heights with trapeze as people are working with gravity and are literally ‘high up’ flying through air. One of our regular students said: ’To turn your body upside-down is extraordinary, as an adult shifting your whole perspective physically moved things’. This feeling upside down combined with physical activity gives students a unique mix of adrenaline and endorphins boost that explains why trapeze is so addictive. ‘It gives you a feeling that you cannot get from any other ground or gym-based physical activity’ says Genevieve in the interview.
2. A Challenge To Face That Gives You a New Self-Belief and Confidence
Trapeze is symbolic of things out of our reach, things that challenge you that you can’t simply do easily at first and that you need to find your way to get there. As Genevievie says in the interview, ‘I had two new students from marketing background today who found our trapeze classes as a great way to push their boundaries and make them think in a new way. They told me that in the corporate work environment they would stop the activity which they couldn’t achieve at first. However here on trapeze, they were forced to persist even if failed on the first attempt. After repeated practice, they would get where they needed (which is on a trapeze bar or into a specific basic trapeze trick) which would give them an amazing confidence boost afterwards and a new outlook on approaching challenges in real life.
3. Physical and Mental Strength
Where trapeze (and aerial fitness in general) differ from other forms of exercise is their focus on strength. It requires a lot of upper body and core strength just to get up on the trapeze without assistance. However if you're feeling physically stronger, you feel mentally stronger too. There is a strong link between our body strength and our mental strength which can help with mental health issues and influence our mood and how we face life.
4. The Process of Slow but Gradual Improvement
It takes time to build the muscle and upper body strength to get yourself up on a trapeze and perform effortlessly. However the process of slowly improving and achieving goals seems to be important in the therapeutic process. ‘Some student take a few weeks to a few months to actually get up onto the trapeze bar without assistance, but when they do it, they have the biggest smile on their face’ says Genevieve. This kind of learning teaches our brain that slow progress is good and that it will eventually lead to the success, keeping us in the positive mind set when it comes to our day-to-day life.
5. Group Support and Understanding
A right environment to learn trapeze is fundamental to boost mental health in a good way. There can be a lot of competitiveness in aerial classes if a right example doesn’t come from the teacher. Our adult classes at Circus Glory in Primrose Hill are specifically designed to be welcoming and small (max 8 people in attendance). This creates a support system for everyone, where new students are encouraged by regular and more experienced students. Those students went through their beginner’s journey and can relate to what new people go through so they are naturally helpful and supportive. It is also beneficial for experienced students to work with new people as it reminds them of their roots and how far they came so far. ‘It is a mutually beneficial set up that does wonders for all students and is personally encouraged by myself in every class’ says Genevieve.
You can listen to the whole show on BBC London Radio via this link. It will take you to the show recording on demand. You will need to register/login to access the BBC portal (it only takes 3 seconds!). The recording will be available online for the next 3 weeks only. The part about how trapeze can boost mental health starts at around 35min into the show recording. We hope you enjoy and please let us know any questions or comments below.
To encourage new students to try trapeze, we currently have a special intro offer where you can claim your very first class for £14.99 instead of standard £21. To book your first class, just email Genevieve at firstname.lastname@example.org and mention 'Autumn Offer 2018’.