As we spring in to the change of the season and head towards summer many of us think about the changes we want to make ready for summer. It seems so many of us hibernate through winter, wait till spring hits and then decide its time to get in shape, change our diet and create new habits for a Healthy summer.
As part of the Health and Wellness industry we see it all to often, many gyms, studios and fitness instructors play on that too. Running bootcamps in preparation for summer with some cheeky slogan that may inspire you too “Get that Bikini Body” or “6pack for summer”.
By all means if this motivates you to move more and take better care of yourself, I think that is awesome and I congratulate you on that.
My question is how long does that last??
Do you see it out for the summer? For the 90days of the challenge you have taken up? Maybe you push through for 12-18months. Maybe it becomes a new lifestyle you embrace of being healthy, active and feeling amazing.
Either way, again, I congratulate you on making the choice for a Healthier life and no matter how far you made it through, you started to make a change in your life. Be Ok with the choices you have made and the efforts to change for the better and keep growing.
We all make choices in life to change something, sometimes it sticks and sometimes we allow things to get in the way and we go back to old habits.
My life has been filled with many of the same challenges. I have often been challenged by injuries, surgeries, work commitments and poor nutritional choices. Others may have barely noticed, to me I was on that ever changing merry-go-round. You would find me starting new gym memberships, committing to walks with friends and family, going on alcohol FREE months and more.
What changed? Yoga!!
Now obviously I’m an advocate for yoga and may suggest it will work for anyone, anyone with the right frame of mind that is. That is more the point actually, if your resisting yoga (or any activity for that matter) the benefits are limited. On the same token it can also be argued that if you persist with your yoga practice you will begin to connect with your inner soul and let go of the resistance.
For all of us there will be something that will work. It may be yoga, crossfit, running or group fitness sessions. It may be the Paleo Diet, Vegetarianism or being Vegan. The key is to keep trying till you find what works. When you find what works for you, that thing that makes you feel good inside, keep doing it. Do it so long as it serves you, if that changes then change with it. Adjust, learn and grow.
For me yoga was the thing that changed my way of living. When people ask me “How do you stay so Healthy?” my answer is “YOGA”. Now Yoga certainly started out as a challenge for me and really took me a good 6months to get into the swing of it. Once that happened, once I found that moment when I connected with my yoga practice I knew it was about to change my life. Since then my practice has certainly gone through some highs and lows with a few short breaks from yoga. Overtime I kept finding my way back to my mat and embracing all that was on offer.
As I continued on my yoga journey I came to wonder “WHY” I was so attracted to Yoga? For most of my life I’d played competitive team and individual sports as a form of exercise. This thankfully keeping me active enough to be able to eat just about anything, so I thought. Whilst asking myself why one day I considered what Yoga offers me, what needs does it meet within me?
There are many studies that look into the psychology of human behaviour and identify a number of reasons why we do the thing we do. One that resonates with me, and I find easy to explain, is that of Tony Robbins 6 Human Needs ( https://youtu.be/hhwfoNjEzrg ). Tony’s study of people and our behaviours has identified that there are 6 Core Human Needs, LOVE/CONNECTION, SIGNIFICANCE, CERTAINTY, VARIETY, GROWTH and CONTRIBUTION. When 3 or more of these needs are meet by an activity, person, job or interaction, we will be drawn to them. Each of us have 1,2 or 3 key Human needs that resonate with us more than the others, when these needs are met we are more likely to be drawn to such a person or interaction.
Back to yoga…When I looked into what needs Yoga meet for me I realised that it met almost all of them, in fact feel it does meet all of them. Here is how I see that Yoga meets these needs for me…
Yoga gives me time to connect with myself. To look inside and love who I am, what I’ve become and the challenges I’ve faced. Honouring myself and appreciating my inner spirit.
For me this is one of the least relevant needs to me, though yoga brought a level of significance when playing another sport, activity and even at work. For when I started to get into Yoga everyone knew about it and that would bring conversations about Yoga and stretching etc, which gave me confidence and made me feel somewhat significant.
This was one of the first needs I noticed being met, simply I was CERTAIN the yoga class was going to make me sweat and feel good afterwards. Every time I went to a class, even on those days I felt like doing something else, yoga guaranteed a good sweat, energy flow and feeling great after class.
Much like certainty this one was easy to pick up, every class was different. Each teacher had a different way of expressing themselves, different sequencing, different queuing and most of all I found different ways to Move.
The GROWTH aspect was HUGE!!! For me I spent a lot of time in my own head, worrying about what people thought, hoping I was being nice to all, preparing for conversation that may not even happen etc etc etc. Yoga gave me time to switch off, to be still, to be with myself and let my thoughts go. From this came my own acceptance of who I am and a calmness about everything else going on around me. From this point I was often known for my ability to just Cruise through challenges at work and life.
Contribution took a little while to figure out. This need was met by the fact that I was calmer, more at peace in myself and able to give back more. For me contributing to a cause, to a club, workplace or anything I’m involved in is high up on the importance chart. Yoga enabled me to do this more often and with greater enthusiasm.
If your about to embark on a new activity, diet, habit or lifestyle change I encourage you to consider which needs they are fulfilling. Embrace the opportunity to learn what and how you resonate with aspects of your life. Keep learning and growing. For you it may be Yoga, it may be Paleo or even Crossfit. At the end of the day Move, Eat well and enjoy the journey of life.