Berlin’s new gym combines neuroscience and exercise

Berlin’s new gymnasium uses neuroscience to improve physical health

Hagius is a new Berlin gym that uses light and scent to create the optimal environment for your workout

The “mind-body connection” is nothing new. It dates back to ancient Greece (the birthplace of the “gymnasium”), where thinkers like Socrates and Plato taught that physical health and intellectual vigor go hand in hand.

Hit the modern gym and you’ll often find meditation and restorative yoga classes, or hear about the benefits of cardio for improving mood, but you rarely find a place that concretely describes the physical and mental benefits of exercise. individuals.

The Berlin gym in tune with your biorhythms

Hagius is a new gymnasium in Berlin that tries to do just that. The space offers workouts based on neuro-athletic training and sports science, with a particular emphasis on ‘biorhythms’, in line with the suggestion that our bodies need different stimuli at different times of the day. daytime.

For example, the circadian rhythm determines when our body is awake and when it can relax. “After the sun,” writes the Hagius team, “we would be active in the morning and calm in the evening and the time signals to trigger this response can naturally be found through light, food, sound, smell and light. movement If we do not live in harmony with these rhythms (as is often the case in our modern way of life), our ability to perform and regenerate steadily decreases.

Hagius tries to imitate or stimulate these natural rhythms through bands of light in cold and warm tones installed throughout the space. So, for example, cold white light is dimmed to minimize the proportion of blue light waves that would otherwise disrupt the natural production of melatonin.

Hagius uses scent in the same way. The gym collaborated with Berlin-based perfume studio Aoiro to create scents made from natural ingredients such as citrus, herbs, spices and woods to promote different biorhythmic responses to the time of day.

As a result, all individual workouts and small group classes – from kettlebell and boxing, circuit training, movement, pilates and yoga – are accompanied by targeted stimulation of the brain and nervous system. by light and smell. The idea being that these different sensory factors can be used to create the ideal environment for the body’s natural rhythm at that particular time.

“We wanted to create a place in Berlin where we could offer a different kind of training experience,” says co-founder Timothy Hagius of the space. “Physical performance starts in the mind. Movement is regulated by the central nervous system and sensory inputs play an important role in this process. ‘

Timothy, set designer and director, founded Hagius with his brother Nicolas, a model. It sounds like a particularly Berlin story, that two of these brothers would open a multisensory gym experience in a former post office, and it certainly gives Hagius some cachet.

The brothers worked with architects Pierre Jorge Gonzalez and Judith Haase to create the minimalist interior of the gym, with ash floors from the Havelland region in Germay mixed with stainless steel and granite fittings. The result is a space with few distractions, allowing you to focus only on your training.

“We asked the architects to design a space that would give clients the impression of being disconnected from everyday life during their training, despite being located in the middle of the city,” explains Nicolas. “We wanted to minimize external irritants and deliberately counteract the excessive noise of modern life. »§

About Shirley A. Tamayo

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