Asahi is a Finnish mind-body health practice, which was designed to meet the modern medical recommendations for healthy physical activity. Anyone can practice Asahi Nordic, or Asahi, for short, regardless of age or physical condition and without any mat or extra equipment. Usually Asahi is done as an outdoor or indoor group activity, but it can also be done at home as a personal practice or with friends.
Ways to practice Asahi
Asahi is made up of easy movements and its health benefits are backed up by modern scientific sport medicine research. Since Asahi is designed to be as simple as possible, it is accessible for people of all ages and in all states of health, even for those who have never exercised before or for those with weight issues.
Asahi strengthens the legs and develops balance. Practicing Asahi increases metabolism and boosts immunity to illness. It can also help with general health issues, such as pains in the back, shoulder and neck areas and is a natural way to relieve the psychosomatic symptoms caused by stress.
The Principles of Asahi
Asahi’s movement series are done slowly and with full concentration, with no background music or other extra commotion. Each series is made up of three movements to relax the body and mind, three movements for the neck and shoulder area, three movements for the back and the last three movements are designed to develop balance and strengthen the legs.
The principles of Asahi govern its practice: staying relaxed while practicing, doing it in a peaceful way, combining the breath and the movement, moving flowingly, being aware of good body alignment, expanding and contracting the muscles with pumping movements, using the kinetic chain of joints, practicing staying balanced, twisting in spiral movements, and being mindful of body sensations. These principles are the basis for Asahi.
Asahi movements are soft and gentle, and are done in combination with the breath. The routines are simple, safe, easy to learn and have direct applications in daily life. For example, Asahi practices the skills of lifting, pushing and being aware of the surrounding environment. Many unfortunate injuries occur due to a single movement made in a bad work position. Asahi concentrates on strengthening the mental and physical skills needed for everyday activities. In addition to the basic Asahi Series One, there are more challenging series. It is possible to practice Asahi standing, sitting or even in a prone position.
Where to find Asahi
There are Asahi teachers in almost all regions of Finland. Asahi is a form of health exercise and also a form of self-help movement therapy. It is practiced in workplaces, schools, parks, and training gyms. Athletes use it as a warm-up and recovery practice. Asahi is recommended for expectant mothers, for people with heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and respiratory difficulties. The Finnish airlines, Finnair, offered Asahi in a sitting position for several years to its passengers as an in-flight exercise routine.
Asahi has been catching on abroad and now there are Asahi practitioners outside Finland as well. Finland ranked No. 1 for the fourth year in a row in the United Nations report on the happiest country in the world. There are many factors that affect people’s happiness, but could it be that Asahi has had a role in this ranking?
Where can you learn Asahi?
It is easy to start practicing Asahi. On the webpage you can order the Asahi guidebook, Be Healthy and Happy, Asahi: the Nordic Health Practice. You can practice Asahi on your own, but if you want to share Asahi by starting a group practice for people in your area, it is quite easy to train to become a teacher.
The international Nordic Health Institute (NHI) offers online teacher training courses. If you really want to become an Asahi ambassador and establish an Asahi network in your country, the NHI can help you reach your goals. The head coaches of the Nordic Health Institute hold seminars to train teachers and Asahi supervisors in various countries. Maybe you would be interested in organizing an Asahi seminar in your area. It is also possible to come to the Asahi headquarters in Finland and study with the head coaches. While in Finland you can get practical experience of the many ways Asahi is being taught to special interest groups. Please get in touch at the address below!