Yesterday, I completed a survey for Ganesha Yoga Studio. They were doing a business analysis and I was happy to help. I’ve been practicing yoga there for over two years. And learning yoga at Ganesha is the impetus for completely changing the way I view my body and embracing an entire new fitness philosophy. Because yoga teaches me what my body needs and wants, I’m aware, I’m engaged, I’m thriving. I’m coupling yoga with personal training. The combination is a focused investment in optimizing my quality of life.
The first three questions in the survey were…
What are your fitness goals? To be healthier and fitter… especially as an overweight 51 year old.
What would you like to be able to do or be able to do again? I’ve never been an athlete. I’m transforming myself to be stronger, more limber and centered in my mind-body-spirit connection.
Where you do you see yourself with these goals in 5 years? I see myself healthier and fitter. I imagine redefining myself as an athlete.
I’m no longer in that mode of answering a goals question with ‘lose 40 pounds’ or ‘lose 60 pounds’ or ‘lose 80 pounds.’ It would be a lovely side effect but it’s not my primary directive. I spent over 4 decades in that mindset. I’m letting go of thinking losing weight is the ultimate achievement. I’ve shifted.
Yoga introduced me to my body. I had to figure out how to move my body to hold a pose. It sounds elementary. It’s not. It’s balance, coordination, familiarity. It’s learning to engage muscles to support my body. It’s listening to what my body is telling me. Initially, I couldn’t do anything with any ease or elegance. I fumbled through it. I fell out of it. I kept going. It’s a practice and I continue to practice. Yesterday in class, Jane led us through a half moon salutation sequence. I performed each pose with a fluidity that stretched my muscles and awakened my senses. It’s this kind of mystical dance that grounds me in my life and gives me a serenity of spirit.
For the last six months, Josh’s personal training has accelerated me beyond My Body 101 freshman elective to advance placement in my anatomy major. His curriculum is this guided quest to find the athlete within. Yoga has a gentleness. Personal training is hardcore. The pairing is oddly perfect. In yoga, I learn to modify and adapt poses to fit my body. Although Josh also does modify exercises in personal training, he challenges me to get over the physical and mental barrier to do the exercise as intended. And I’m working on the holistic transformation. One of his fitticisms is ‘you’re either getting stronger or you’re getting weaker.’
I love that. It’s a process. It’s a choice to do something or not do anything. I AM getting stronger. I’m choosing to work on becoming an athlete. And no I don’t aspire to run a marathon. Or join the senior women’s division for body building. I want to be athletic to ensure my body is in optimal condition. I want to do everything in my power to ensure I’m at my healthiest as I continue to age. Debilitation is a natural progression of getting older. I’m going to counter attack! There is still so much I want to see and do. And my journey requires me to have the stamina to go the distance.