A personal trainer, a yoga teacher, and a life coach, Farah Zahran aims to change people’s lives through a holistic approach. Bringing fitness, yoga, and life coaching together helped her guide people to find their balance and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and she’s about to share her magic. In a brief interview, Farah goes into detail about her secret combo.
Why the holistic approach? What brings these 3 aspects together?
I was in corporate when I realized that I want to help people through my job. I was particularly interested in helping them transform their lives, and I decided to shift careers to something that I love and can influence people through. It was all a chain of events from there: I took a yoga course in Nepal and became a yoga teacher in different studios there, then came life coaching and personal training. The gym was almost always a part of my life, and so I was inspired to become a fitness and strength instructor. Not everybody is into yoga, and I knew that being a personal trainer would put me in contact with a whole new demographic. To me, the three approaches complete each other, and they all eventually lead to me helping people become better, healthier versions of themselves.
Does being a life coach affect the way you conduct your classes?
Life coaching had a serious impact on the way I approach yoga and fitness coaching. It has taught me how to speak to my clients’ minds and made connecting with people so much easier. I would know exactly what to say during my yoga sessions to make them feel better, and I’ve learned how to get them to the relaxed, meditative state. My yoga classes are always so much more than the movements we do together. As for personal training, life coaching has helped me build stronger bonds with my clients. Anyone who does personal training knows the special relationship you have with your coach; it’s a one-on-one safe space where everything is confidential. Your coach becomes a best friend who you trust and share stories with. It’s important for me that my clients know I’m a life coach; it does wonders in terms of trust and we end up talking about so much more than fitness and weight loss. The hour usually goes by really fast.
What are some of your most commonly asked question?
Two questions I get a lot are “What’s the perfect training?” and “How do we start?”
As for the first question, I always say that there is no manual, and you need to be constantly listening to your body. Yoga and stretching are daily practices that do not exhaust the body. I recommend practicing these every day, especially for those who suffer from neck and back pains; these exercises alleviate muscle pain, enhance flexibility and mobility, and relieve anxiety and stress. Cardio and strength training should be practiced a minimum of 3-4 days per week, I would say. So the perfect combo is yoga and stretching every day with 3-4 days of cardio/strength per week.
Regarding the second question, my answer is always to just do it. Do not over think. Start with a weight loss program, go to a life coach, sign up to that yoga class, etc. Whatever it is that you want to do, ignore the doubt in your head and do it. I also always stress on consistency. Being consistent is one of the most important things you could ever do for yourself. A daily habit of 20 minutes is better than inconsistent long workouts; 20 minutes is more than enough if you make each one of them count. It’s all about building a habit and building a lifestyle.
Do you believe that the mind plays a role in fitness training?
I always say that the mind is so much harder to train than the body. Most people are usually limited by mental barriers they place for themselves rather than physical ones. I usually find that once I get to their minds, the rest becomes easy, and this is where life coaching comes to play. The trick is to change their perspective and redirect their thoughts towards the results. Guiding them to focus on their transformation and journey usually replaces their feelings of dread and burden with ones of satisfaction. Once I successfully do that, training becomes something they look forward to. They fall in love with their journey and let go of the negativity that’s constantly holding them back. The mind and body are connected, so attempting to train one without the other cannot yield to optimal results.