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I have never been someone who was very athletically inclined. When I was younger I tried so many sports and activities – ballet, gymnastics, t-ball, soccer, even track and swimming! I never found anything that really stuck, and I have always felt kind of awkward in my body.
I have tried so many different workouts and routines over the years, and what I am drawn to the most, over and over, is yoga and yoga-inspired workouts.
I think for me I need something that’s challenging so I don’t get bored, but that isn’t so fast-paced, because I do have trouble keeping up with workout classes that have complex moves (again, uncoordinated and awkward in my body!). Yoga always seemed to check off the right boxes, and I always loved the mindfulness moments at the end during the cooldown phase.
One thing, though, that took me a while to realize, was how mindfulness was necessary during a workout. Because I feel awkward moving my body in workout classes, and because I’m a recovering perfectionist who is very hard on myself, I used to get so anxious before and during workouts to the point where I wouldn’t work out.
For example, while I was in grad school, I worked part-time at a fitness studio where I was provided free classes, for over a year, and I attended a whopping 15 classes. In. One. Year.
And here’s the kicker: I loved the studio, I loved the work outs when I actually did them, and I loved the instructors who were kind, passionate, supportive and had become my friends. But I couldn’t get myself to go to class.
Finally, I figured out that I hated working out, not because it was hard but because I was SO hard on myself during workouts. While others felt a sense of accomplishment or maybe even pride in themselves for working hard, I would beat myself up mentally for not being strong enough, for not being disciplined enough, for being so gangly in my moves. I wouldn’t work out to help myself, I was working out to hurt myself.
That realization was shocking and upsetting, and I set out to help myself. One way I began to refocus my fitness was with mindfulness moments, which I try to do every morning. Even if it’s just 5 minutes, I sit quietly on my bed and breath deeply, telling myself how loved I am and how I can do anything, even if it’s hard, and it’s ok that I don’t do things perfectly.
I have also incorporated a stretching routine every night before I get ready for bed, and one way I make sure to remember is by leaving my yoga mat out in my living room. Usually after I stretch I will do a few sun salutations and feel good (and calm!) before I head to bed.
Focusing on my mindfulness and my intention has helped me in so many ways, but one of the most shocking ways it has helped was to break down the barrier that kept me from working out. People, I have found myself craving RUNNING. WHO AM I?
I am someone who is learning to love moving her body and it feels so, so good. And as I have been getting back into fitness, I’ve been using
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Here are a few of my favorite
les mills Mindfulness moments: les millsMINDFULNESS – Mindfulness of Breathing les millsMINDFULNESS – Labelling Thoughts les millsMINDFULNESS – Boxing Thoughts les millsMINDFULNESS – Noting Thoughts les millsMINDFULNESS – Four In Four Out
I highly recommend giving these Mindfulness moments a shot – no matter what your preferred workout is!