Stretching Yourself

Well hello strangers!  It’s been a while.

Life has been busy with many things, one of which is my new  yoga class at our local Crossfit box.  It’s been fun to learn something new that I’m really not that good at.  Historically,  if I found something to be difficult, I didn’t want to do it. That’s not a quality that I’m pyogaroud of but it is what it is.   Growing up with two older brothers created pressure to be good at sports and physical activities.  They did NOT want me to be a lazy, weak, whiney girly girl. I think they accomplished that because  I don’t know how to be a girly girl even when I want to be. But, that pressure also means that I get easily frustrated and embarrassed when something doesn’t come naturally to me.  One of those things would be Yoga.

In high school I could have busted out those sun salutations and asanas like nobodies business but, 30 years later, let’s just say things are a little stiff.  Finding videos that I enjoyed was a “stiff” process as well because most yogis seem to be a bit on the stiff or serious side. I’d find myself following along with an hour-long DVD that was composed of music that made me want to fall asleep and a person that looked about as excited as I do when I have to go to the dentist.  Then I found Erin Motz’s page and I love this girl. (Find her link below)  She’s funny,  doesn’t take herself to seriously and wants people of all backgrounds to experience the benefits of yoga without all the pretense. I’ve found her blog to be encouraging and funny.  I love funny writers and I love blogs that are a bit unexpected.  It’s like yoga for the brain when someone surprises me with a thought, makes me think about something in a different way, challenges me or opens my mind up to something new.

But when it comes to physical activities, trying something new is difficult.  Honestly,  I’d rather stick with my same old routine; but,  I know the benefit of shaking things up  both physically and mentally so I try to stretch myself when I can and at a pace that I know won’t frustrate me.  Doing something… anything, is better than nothing.

It’s true that it takes much more effort to get an item at rest moving than it does to keep an item that is moving in motion.  Being in a rut or being inactive is difficult to change but the benefits are worth it.  Some people don’t like to sweat,  they don’t like the pain of exercise, they’re embarrassed to try something new in front of other people or they just don’t see the benefit of strenuous physical activity.  I get it.  This yoga thing has been a stretch for me. (Pun intended).  But it’s made me feel less stressed, it’s given me a sense of pride in doing something new and difficult, it’s allowed me to meet some wonderful new people and it’s actually made me better at things that I’d previously been doing.

So, I challenge  you to try something new.  Put in the effort to get going and keep it up for at least 2 months before you decide whether it’s worth it.  Some of you may benefit from turning the TV off and  reading a few books over the next few months.   Some of you might be amazed at what would happen if you talked to some people and invested in new friendships.  There are countless new things that might enrich your lives. However,  for the sake of this blog, I want to focus on the fact  that our culture is far to stressed and far to sedentary.  Some of you may need to put down the computer or book and make yourself sweat for 30 minutes or an hour a day over the next 8 weeks.  Contrary to popular belief,  exercise isn’t about fitting into a certain size of jeans.  It’s about being healthy and strong.  For me, exercise is about living the fullest life I can live by  minimizing stress, preventing and improving physical problems and enhancing stamina and strength in order to live an abundant and exciting life.  Just a few of the other side benefits are those feel good endorphins that you get when working out,  the pride that comes with becoming a disciplined person, making new friends that will encourage and motivate you, feeling good about yourself and having more energy than you ever had before.  So, challenge yourself and try something new.  Give it a few months and see how it adds to the quality of your life.

And while you’re here,  leave a comment and let me know how you get your exercise  and what new activities are out there for us to try.


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