Have you ever walked into a new yoga studio?
The woman at the desk checking you in can be nice. She’ll say hello and give you a little orientation to the space.
Everyone else is all business. They’re shuffling off their shoes, getting their mats, filling up their water bottles.
Then you get your mat and pick a spot within the studio (definitely in the back). The class starts and you’re working through the flow.
To me, it can be a little intimidating. The yogis know exactly where to go and what to do. They walk with purpose. I’ve always looked for that — purpose. It’s not an emotion usually associated with working out. Usually I associate working out with pain, frustration, and difficulties.
I particularly avoided hot yoga because of the heat, the phrasing I didn’t understand, and the fact that it always seemed like a competition. Everyone doing handstands while you’re in the back wondering what Tadasana means. I see you girl in the front doing a chaturanga handstand every time. I would go once or twice, struggle through a class, and feel so awkward I wouldn’t go again for months.
Now, after almost 3 years of practice, I go to a class almost every day and practice at home. I can’t imagine my life without yoga. Not just because of the physical benefits, because of what it’s taught me about myself.
It’s taught me how to let go of the comparison – to stop caring about the girl in the front, or the girl next to me doing a better peak pose. It’s taught me how to live with stillness, and silence, to let my true emotions come through. It’s taught me how to focus on my body and feel the muscles work for me and be grateful for that ability.
So, how did I go from being intimidated to everything around me to owning my own space on the mat?
I did these three simple things that I think will help you, no matter how you choose to get moving:
1. Get a workout buddy! This is my biggest suggestion. Find a friend who is already into yoga, or working out in general, and get onto their routine. Or, find a friend who wants to start and create a routine with them. Having a buddy with you makes it easier (you can laugh off some of the more embarrassing moments), and you can make it a treat for yourself – hello vanilla latte reward. You’re also less likely to disappoint your friend by blowing off a class and it cuts down the intimidation factor. Now, I love trying new classes with my workout bud – we even tried a new one at my bachelorette party!
2. Plan your day around your workout. I know that women running around in athleisure is kind of a joke, but it makes it more acceptable to plan your day around your workout. I find that if I have one or two errands/activities right after my workout I am more likely to go. For example, if you decide to go grocery shopping and mail something in the area of your gym, you’re more likely to say to yourself might as well, I have to get these other 2 things done. The hardest part is getting there – once you’re there it’s just one hour of your life.
3. Set an intention. Don’t just do yoga, or lift weights, or spin because it’s the new thing or you think you will lose weight faster with that exercise (I hear this all the time about cardio). You will not commit. You’ll spend the entire time asking yourself why you’re here, and why you aren’t on the couch at home. You need to find out why you want to move your body and what type of workout gets you motivated! I am motivated by group classes, particularly ones that clear my mind, and I find that making an appointment makes me stick to that time and workout even when I don’t want to go.
Try it out and report back to the SPL community. Let us know what you’re working on this month and if our tips helped you created a healthy habit! Namaste readers.
I’m just like you. My life can be hectic and cooking, cleaning and getting that workout in are sometimes the last thing on my mind. But, I’m here to share my tips and tricks on how to make adulting a little more enjoyable.