Editor's note: an earlier version of this blog post incorrectly listed the broadcast times of Gokhale Fitness with Eric. The correct times are 3pm Pacific / 6pm Eastern on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Apologies for any confusion.
Gokhale Method instructor Eric Fernandez, based in Pennsylvania, hosts our new Online University program, Gokhale Fitness with Eric.
Our new Online University program for alumni, Gokhale Fitness with Eric, has been delighting participants three times a week since it began last month. When starting a new exercise class or fitness activity, it can be encouraging to learn more about the instructor’s background. To this end, I recently sat down with Eric to ask him a few questions about what he brings to the table for Gokhale Fitness with Eric.
AH: In addition to being a qualified Gokhale Method teacher, you have a background in martial arts. How does this influence your approach to fitness?
Eric Fernandez (EF): The martial art I practice and teach focuses on relaxation and breathing, and I try to apply this to everything I do. Even when I am doing something physically demanding, I am trying to have as little tension as possible. A relaxed body has improved circulation, lower blood pressure, heals faster, is less prone to injure, quickens your response time, improves flexibility, and just plain feels good.
AH: What other influences inform your understanding of the human body?
EF: The Gokhale Method has been the biggest influence on my understanding of our physical nature since I discovered it. It has forever changed the way I approach any movement or exercise. Every injury I've ever had while training, I now know the reason they happened. Like I said when I was being interviewed to become a Gokhale Method teacher, "There is no going back for me."
AH: What kinds of topics do you focus on in Gokhale Fitness with Eric?
EF: Strengthening, endurance-building, breathing, mobility. And everything we do emphasizes our spinal health. We are just a few weeks into the program right now, so I am excited to delve into topics such as massage, stretching, running, and even vision exercises.
Eric demonstrates impressive hamstring flexibility, as well as a nice J-spine.
AH: Is Gokhale Fitness with Eric accessible to everyone, or do you need to already be a fitness buff to join in?
EF: This program is for anyone who wants to participate, even if you've never done a workout in your entire life. There are alumni in all sorts of conditions and fitness levels. Every exercise can be modified to be made easier or more challenging, or replaced with something similar. Accessibility was a must when Esther and our team conceptualized Gokhale Fitness. Every class is self-contained, so you do not need to have come to the last or any other prior ones. You can start benefiting right now!
AH: So far, what has been your favorite part of leading Gokhale Fitness with Eric?
EF: The interaction with the participants. We have such an incredible community with our alumni. They are intelligent, passionate, caring, and focused. I love answering their questions and hearing about their improvements. I'm quite shocked at how they have received me and what I teach. It is an honor to be a part of this program.
AH: Finally, what do you hope to provide to the participants of Gokhale Fitness with Eric?
EF: A fitter body, a deeper sense of self-awareness, and a bit of fun.
Gokhale Fitness with Eric takes place Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 3pm Pacific / 6pm Eastern through Online University. Clocking in at 25 minutes per session, it’s long enough to get you going but doesn’t take up too much space in your day.
If you’d like to join in the fun, sign up for our Online University for alumni of our courses (Gokhale Method Foundations Courses, Pop-up Courses, or Gokhale Elements). If you’re not yet an alum but would like to become one, you’ll automatically become one after completing our one-on-one online course, Gokhale Elements. Your body and mind will thank you for the investment in your musculoskeletal health for years to come!