I woke up this morning trying to recount the night before as I was overcome by this feeling that I had been jabbed in the ribs… Was I mugged? Did I try wrestling some kind of wild animal? Perhaps I was hit by a bus? As my sleepiness wore off I realized that I had been defeated, yes defeated by YOGA!
Okay so it’s been awhile since I worked out. Those of you that followed earlier posts know that this is a constant struggle. At one point I strove to do yoga or Pilates once or twice a week during my lunch break at the gym on campus. I’ve lost track but it’s been at least six months since my palms touched that mat in downward facing dog (quite possibly my least favorite yoga position, btw). I’ve been dealing with extreme fatigue and while the past few months I kept telling myself I needed to boost up the physical activity, I fell into my usual stance of making excuses. As I’ve mentioned before, I loath exercise. I really, really do, and quite possibly more than most people, but I really feel so much better afterwards. And it usually has a positive impact on my blood cell counts. You’d think that’s be reason enough to be motivated, sadly not.
When I realized why I hurt EVERYWHERE today my first reaction was screw this, who wants to feel like this? I mean even laughing was painful! Thankfully reality set in and the pain I was feeling accompanied the realization that I was feeling so bad today because I’m not doing this enough. The class was brutal. First of all I do like yoga, though admittedly after about 30 minutes in I’m constantly checking the clock to see if it’s over yet. Hot yoga on the other hand is just not my thing, and low and behold the community yoga class I signed up for was also a hot yoga class in disguise. My eyes darted to the door, urging me to make my escape. But it was paid for, I was there with friends and decided to stick it out. My thought process during that one hour was as follows:
-OMG this is awful
-I thought yoga was supposed to be calming. Why does this instructor keep yelling “inhale” and “exhale” like an army drill Sargent?
-If we do one more downward facing dog I swear my wrists are going to break off
-Okay this is getting a little bit better but I’m hella sweaty
-Oooooh Savasana, why couldn’t the whole class be like this?
-Oh hey, I feel pretty damn good (and completed the whole one hour class)
As my friends and I left the studio feeling pretty zen, we recounted the class and had similar sentiments but had all decided to make a weekly habit of returning. That was before we all woke up the next day, but no pain no gain right? And sometimes pain might just give you the determination you need to realize, “hey, this is good for me!”.
P.S. If you are like me and struggle to motivate yourself to exercise I have two tips:
1. Find a gym buddy – it’s always better to hold each other accountable
2. Find something you actually ENJOY doing. I learned long ago I’ll never be a runner, but biking works well for me. Keep trying new things!