Gahiga on why wellness business is important for Rwandans

Kali Gahiga is an aqua-gym instructor and a life coach. She uses both platforms to help people find strategies in achieving their goals and solutions for the challenges they encounter in life.

In an interview with Sunday Magazine’s Donah Mbabazi, Gahiga talked about her choice of career and what life coaching is all about. 

What is wellness business and what made you join it?

Wellness business is an employer approach to improving employee health. Wellness programmes include activities such as company-sponsored exercise, weight loss competitions, educational seminars, tobacco-cessation programmes and health screenings that are designed to help employees eat better, lose weight and improve their overall physical appearance.

I joined it because I wanted to help myself first and then help others as well; what I do is very important to me. I am passionate about fitness and wellness and I was drawn to it because of the fact that I would be able to reach out to others.

How is an aqua-gym different from other gyms?

This is simply doing gymnastics in water. It is very interesting and very important for the body.  It is a gentle and smooth workout where you can’t get hurt easily. Aqua-gym is good for the body and enhances a relaxed mind. It is very important for the whole body because it prevents you from sickness just like other sports.

And life coaching… what does it involve?

With life coaching, you basically help a client by guiding and supporting them as they make positive changes in their lives. You help them uncover the desires they want to achieve in life and stir up their passion to pursue their dreams.

As a coach you listen and encourage your clients, create space for them to reflect on their lives but most importantly do accountability.

When a client comes in for a session, which is usually one hour, I let them talk as I listen to them. Everything depends on what they want to talk about but I will push them to get themselves better than they are already. We then set goals and as time goes on we do accountability.

How relevant is life coaching?

Life coaching can be truly life changing, it helps you focus on your goals and the things that are most important to you. Through guidance, a client figures out exactly what it is they want to achieve and how. Life coaching helps someone to remain inspired and motivated to achieve their desired targets.

What are some of the strategies you use to help clients achieve their targets?

First of all, it is very important to listen to them. Get to know what kind of goals they want to reach and then help them find the solution. I don’t give them the solution but I help them find it because, normally, people know what they want but don’t know how to reach these dreams they hold inside. As they talk to me, we navigate everything together and at the end of it all we come up with the solution.

Most coaches emphasise the need for self-care, why is this so?

Self-care is very important when it comes to one’s physical and mental health. It helps in maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself, which in turn yields positive feelings, and this improves self-esteem.

Self-care is important for your family and friends too. For example, if a wife or mother cames to me with family issues, I would first encourage them to take good care of themselves before they do for their family–you can’t love others without loving yourself first.

What is the one thing people should know about life?

Life is beautiful and it is not complicated. It is people who complicate it without knowing it. Yes, life has its set of challenges but what people don’t know is that they have control over such situations and that they can turn a negative situation into a positive one only if they are determined to. 

Sometimes it is hard but this is where life coaching comes in.  Winning in life is a step by step thing; it cannot happen in one day.

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