I am usually a strength training fiend.
I love lifting weights. It makes me feel strong. It gets all my angst out. I have fun with it!
Last week, however, I embarked upon a different journey: yoga.
Yes, I decided after months of absence from my last random yoga class to sign up at a studio that was recommended by a friend…
…and I LOVE it!
This particular studio is all about “power” yoga, which means fast-paced, challenging poses back-to-back. For me, this is perfect because I get a great workout in without feeling bored… and I leave sweating into my eyeballs.
And I’m noticing amazing changes in both my psyche and body.
I’m feeling more grounded. I tend to “meditate” best through movement, so this form of yoga is great for focusing my mind on the present, and reconnecting to my self while shelving the anxious nonsense that is my impatience with these projects.
I am paying attention to hunger cues a lot better than I was the week before. Before I started yoga last week, I could tell the anxiety was getting to me in the form of urges to eat my way to comfort. Old habits die hard, my friends, and they even rise from the dead sometimes if triggered by certain emotions. I used to eat to calm my anxiety, and have since become aware and reigned in the habit, but it popped up again recently. Since yoga, however, I am more apt to say no to those extra TV munchies at night because I realize that I’m not physically hungry.
I’m feeling more toned, leaner, and stronger than ever! This is likely due to the combination of reconnection to my actual hunger and the more activity that I’ve been doing (classes are about an hour). In fact, people started commenting on it this week!
I’m not necessarily telling you to go hop into your closest yoga class if you have no desire to. What I am telling you to do is this:
Do something different that you’ve wanted to do for a long time.
I had been putting off joining a yoga studio for a while because of the time, money, and potential disappointment involved. I have a tricky schedule and can’t always make it to classes at set times. I didn’t want to pay $20 a class, and that’s usually what they go for around here. And most of all, I haven’t found a great yoga teacher since I left the corporate gym I used to train at, and have been hesitant to explore the yoga world in search of a new one.
Now that I’m feeling the way I am, however, I can’t believe it took me so long to give it a go. I am so passionate about this right now, and I can’t wait to go–for the 3rd day in a row–tomorrow morning.
This passion is translating into fervent writing for my projects, a depth of connection to the people around me, and an intense excitement about life and my future.
If I can feel this way, you can, too.
So today’s challenge is to do something different this week.
That kung fu class you always wanted to take? Go do it! Dying to dive into your local lap-swimming pool? Sign up tomorrow! Want to try a session with that awesome trainer you always see doing cool things at the gym? Give it a shot!
Ok, so there are a lot of other elements that go into making this decision to try new things. But guess what! I’m going to address them right here and now so you can’t argue them inside your head and let your inner defeatist win! Let’s go over the excuses you’re pondering out in the open:
Ok, this is a sticky subject for most people I know. If you want to try something new that you haven’t before, the likely culprit is the money issue.
So how can we get you to do that for cheaper/free?
Most studios, dojos, gyms, pools, trainers give you a free day pass to start if not a free trial period. Go see what it’s all about! Heck, try a new thing every week if you can!
This way, you can try it out first to see if it’s even worth spending the money on to continue. If you love it, you’ll find a way to make it work… or at least find a way to do it for free!
By simply going online and researching this yoga studio, I found out that they offer a 2-week unlimited deal to new clients for only $30. I’m averaging about $4/class right now. That’s most definitely worth it, and I found out that I love it so much it’s worth the investment… which isn’t even as high as I initially thought it would be!
Not ready to make a time commitment at this point? Try replacing one of your regular workouts with one of the other activities you haven’t tried yet.
Don’t worry, you won’t lose anything by missing one strength or cardio workout as long as you’re not training for something specific like a race or a competition, and you’ll probably do your body a world of good by getting it out of what it’s used to.
One reason I think my body is reacting so quickly to the yoga is that I haven’t done it in so long.
Whenever you start doing new things in your workouts, your body tries to adapt by building lean muscle and shedding excess fat. It is preparing you for battle with whatever this new thing is… in my case, my yoga mat. ;)
The time commitment works itself out if you love it enough. If you don’t, hey, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it! I found out that I was willing to schedule around my favorite classes because I know the effect the class has on me is so important.
How hard is it really to make time to try something ONCE? Is it truly impossible?
If you’re answering this with, “Oh geez, another thing to add to my plate,” back off of this post for the next couple weeks until your stress level goes down. Unless you are a master of channeling out that stress through workouts, trying something new might have to take a backseat for the moment. That’s fine. Just don’t put it off forever because of laziness, poor excuses, or fear.
Let’s address the two most common fears that pop up when trying new things:
1. Being bad at/looking stupid doing the new activities. Why would this be so horrible? Everyone has to start somewhere, right? And how are you going to know if you’re naturally good at it or not unless you try? Are you going to spend the rest of your life wondering if you are a natural at ballet?
This is what classes are for: to get good at things that you are not already good at! Take advantage and learn as much as you can!
2. Wasting your time. Try it once. If you don’t like it, that one time wasn’t a waste because now you know for the rest of your life.
I was scared of, well, both of these things. After trying it however, most of the fear from looking stupid is dispelled because you’re most likely in a beginner class, with other beginners. This is so that you can all grow together! Everyone else feels just like you do!
As far as wasting my time, I think I did more of that before starting yoga again: I wasted all that time making excuses when I could have been feeling like this.
Need that extra push out the door?
Think about what you stand to gain.
You could watch the people that do these activities for the rest of your life in awe, or you can take action and be one.
You can sit there wishing and wishing until you’re dying and regretting never having even tried, realizing how ridiculous those excuses are.
Change is good for your body, your mind, and your life. It’s going to happen anyway. Might as well guide it in the direction of your dreams by taking action.