I consider myself a fairly healthy person. I am thin, eat fairly well, take vitamins, keep my mind fit but I lack in getting my body moving. I’ve been watching my daughter dance it up this year in 5 classes a week and decided to start taking my lead from her. She is a girl who given a plate of broccoli beside a mound of chocolate, will eat the broccoli.
I have an office job so most of my day is spent sitting in front of a computer screen. I live too far from my office to walk to work so I take public transit. I debated starting to ride my bike in until I mapped it out and to avoid major roads, the pathways take me a mere 25 km one way. I’m not quite that ambitious. Plus I’m not about to try to bike unless the weather is perfect so that eliminates all but about a week in our uncertain mountain climate 😉 I try to go for a walk over the lunch hour but that often falls by the wayside as I sit and eat at my desk while working to deadline. After work I think I will walk the dog and during the spring and summer months that does happen, but once the weather turns cold, I use the excuse that it is too darn cold out for a poor boxer. I did solve that with a coat and boots for him, but then I find other excuses like being tired, doing laundry that can likely wait until the weekend, making lunches, and so on. Finally one day, I simply decided I had run out of excuses. I’m encroaching the 4th decade in my life and thought now is as good a time as any to get moving, quit just writing about it (I have kept a journal since I was 20 for repeated attempts to get fit) and actually stick to it, not just this once, but for the rest of my life. Here my adventure began, in early February, on a road to finally being the physically fit and happy person I know is buried somewhere.
Something I have tried in the past and always admired the concept of is yoga. I will never be the stereotypical yogi that lives the extreme minimalistic life and only wears hemp clothes and becomes a Vegan (although I admire their discipline and will tremendously and acknowledge that is likely a misinformed stereotype). I decided I wanted to become the yogi that can actually take an hour out of the day and completely dedicate mind and body to opening up to silence and ignoring the hustle and bustle of the day. Thankfully I live in a city with a very eclectic population that lends itself to finding a perfect yoga studio. To my delight, they are all very different from each other and although the concepts may be similar, I learned very fast, it is important to find a studio that is not only convenient (so I will not have the excuse of it being to far away, or not enough time to get there and back around the class times), but is comfortable and patient for the beginner. I tried studios that had a set class once a week and generally I am a person who lives for routine, but I thought I would try something a bit different this time since the last didn’t quite stick. I found a studio 3 blocks from my office that offers unlimited drop in classes for a flat rate. The beauty is there are 2 different classes on each day of the week over the lunch hour, plus others in the mornings, after work and even weekends. It provided me the freedom to try many different types of yoga (to my surprise yoga was a looser term than I realized) as well as seeing what time fits best to ensure I will keep going on a regular basis. To my happy surprise, I have fallen in love with it thus far and have tried several different types of practice. I have found a few time slots that fit into my day but discovered the motivation was not so much the routine of the time as once I found classes that I couldn’t wait to attend, I found myself making the time in my day to go and support from a company that doesn’t clock-punch and stands behind employees who make the efforts to have wellness as an important part of the day. I have broken free of my need to control my schedule and learn that wellness is as much a priority as getting that letter done a few hours earlier in the day.
It has only been a few weeks, but I already consider myself a yogi. I have my own yoga mat (carefully selected with help from a die-hard yogi that enlightened me to pick a colour that would truly relax me – I chose pale lavender), a very cute bag that not only fits my mat, but my very cute yoga clothes (it is important to feel beautiful and comfortable while doing yoga), and am now considering buying a bolster for home practice. I have a lot to learn and am still not so great at balancing in most of the poses, but each time I go, even if I don’t feel the physical benefits right away, I come back to work a very happy girl.
(A noted side benefit of yoga is I now also have a very chatty Muse that is just as excited to write as I am to get to that next yoga class – Namaste 🙂 )