I hate to break a sweat! But, as my previous post suggests, I do it (sweat) spontaneously on a daily basis. As I write this I am dripping from blow-drying my hair. So why in the world would I intentionally work myself into a lather?
I know, I know, it’s good for me. But, for some reason, I just resent the intrusion into my life. I have, for intermittent periods, embraced exercise and the accompanying sweats. But I am not self motivated. My brother runs or swims daily. He’s moved up and down the east coast and he always seeks out a YMCA or club to meet his needs. My sister goes to a personal trainer. I tried hiring a personal trainer. When I interviewed her, I told her that I was paying her not only to get me in shape, but also to listen to me complain– LOUDLY!
I have sporadically played tennis, worked out at a gym, done aerobic dance classes. I even tried Zumba because I love music; I was totally intimidated, especially when I realized that it was ‘black light night’, everyone was in neon but me. I was in white. I stuck out like a marshmallow.
With a history of orthopedic problems, I should be embracing weight-bearing and aerobic exercise to prolong the quality of my life. I am a Wellness Coach. I know this! What’s up? For years I blamed myself; I am lazy, a couch potato, unmotivated. I mean let’s be honest, I’d rather watch a DVD than exercise to one.
About five years ago, a friend suggested I read a book called ‘The 8 Colors of Fitness’ by Shelley Brue. I took a quick look and was intrigued. Through a brief personality assessment you are matched with a color. That color indicate the type of exercise and setting that best suits your personality.
The most important thing I learned was that I am social (surprise) and therefore, will exercise more successfully with a partner or in a group. That explains why tennis was always fun.
Armed with this information, I began to explore. Do I invest in a club membership, try Zumba, personal training? What I came back to was yoga. I have practiced yoga on and off for about ten years. When I participate, my incredibly tight hip and hamstrings noticeably loosen, my sciatica is less bothersome and I tend to sleep better.
There are a wide variety of schools of yoga. and each teacher approaches the practice differently. In the end I chose to go back to the woman who has guided me for years. Olga(www.aligningwithgrace.com) believes that the practice of yoga is individual. There are a variety of body types and abilities in our tiny class. Once a week we set a personal intention for ourselves and spend 90 minutes working our bodies. She reminds us that we go only as far as our bodies PERMIT; that yoga is not about what other people do, it’s about what you can do.
Because I know that exercise for exercise’s sake is usually abhorrent to me and because an ulterior motive can often motivate me further (i.e. winning at tennis, enjoying music, socializing), I am continually drawn back to the practice of yoga. The quiet and concentration take me out of my mind and force me to concentrate on working with my body. I am probably the only one in class who breaks a sweat even though the temperature outside is below freezing, but I have given up on the idea that I can exercise without the ‘glow’. The positive feedback I get for my efforts reinforces my motivation and there is a relaxed camaraderie amongst us (and there’s not a lithe, Lycra-clad twenty something or a wall of mirrors in sight!).
What color are you? What does your experience with exercise or health tell you about what you do for yourself? Take a look at your own life pattern. If the current drive toward better health isn’t working for you, find a new one.
I’m here for you!