Te Awamutu gym Club Waipā has collaborated with a wellness centre to provide restorative breathing classes to combat stress, anxiety and depression.
Sandro Thiara Mota is the owner and instructor of S.T.M Functional Fit wellness centres in Cambridge, Hamilton and Auckland.
He started his first centre in Cambridge two years ago and says it focuses on the mind and nutrition as well as high intensity interval training.
"Just doing exercise won't change people's lives," Sandro says.
"They need to sync their mind and the body with effective breathing techniques as well as exercise and nutrition."
In the past six months he has introduced breathing classes and workshops into his centres, as well as ice-bath immersion to repair the nervous system and control deep breathing.
For the first time, Sandro will now offer these sessions outside of his centres.
He will exclusively be running them at Club Waipā once a week.
The sessions start on Tuesday, July 3 and include a morning energise class and an evening destress class followed by an ice-bath immersion.
Sandro says the aim of the techniques is to allow people to live a healthier life.
He says New Zealanders are among the most stressed, anxious and depressed people in the world.
He believes the key to destressing is to have control over your mind and will teach participants to do this in his sessions.
"Breathing is the remote control of the brain," Sandro says.
"It is the only way we can quickly and freely access our nervous system and change it."
Sandro believes too many people are stuck in a state where their sympathetic nervous system is always switched on. This system is often referred to as the fight or flight response and can see someone become highly stressed in minor situations such as traffic or a bad phone call.
Through his guided sessions he hopes to have people turning on their parasympathetic nervous system, the system that allows you to relax and be calm.
"In the session we will be able to get them to turn off their sympathetic system and activate their parasympathetic system using these breathing techniques," says Sandro.
"I want people's minds to be completely changed from when they first lie down to when they leave."
Sandro has developed his knowledge and breathing techniques from all around the world to create his own unique technique.
Sandro has been able to guide over 500 people through his breathing sessions since introducing them. He has also taken on private clients such as a national boxer and a medical centre.
Sandro has also started four-hour restorative breathing workshops. These will be a lot more in-depth and personal.
The workshops begin on July 21 and will include one-on-one assessments to identify and correct breathing habits followed by breathing sessions and a science and nutritional lesson.
Secure your spot in the Club Waipā sessions by visiting reception. Find out more about the four-hour workshops here.