THE BLOG

How I Learned to Embrace Yoga

01/21/2014 07:57 EST | Updated 03/23/2014 05:59 EDT

I'm beginning a new journey. This Instagram picture should sum it up. Love for you to follow as I practice yoga and expand my comfort zone.

My goal is to continue to perfect my health journey, and find balance. Health is a process, not a physical ideal or pounds lost.

If you have been following my writing, you may remember that I just got back from a life changing trip to Thailand with Contiki tours. That travel experience changed my life. I'm searching out things to expand my vision, push my limits and as Contiki says live with #NoRegrets. It was a conversation, well a series of conversations, with "Tour Leader Luke" that has brought me home looking to be a better version of myself.

As you read this, keep in mind one important fact: I was nervous and awkward in a new setting. It's what held me back from really trying Yoga and giving it a fair chance previously.

Keep in mind I have played sports my whole life, and been training in a gym of some kind for nearly 20 years. I also have a Kinesiology degree, a radio show called the "Weigh In" on TSN 1290, and I write for Inside Fitness Magazine. I'm not new to fitness.

The basis of my gym life, diet and eating routines, as well as sleep patterns is to be healthy. It was what had me thinking yoga. Everyone I met in the yoga world over the last decade had that same philosophy. The culture is to treat the body like a temple. I love that. It is more evident in the yoga culture than in the "typical" gym experience.

I honestly wish more people went to the gym for their well-being, not weight loss. Your body and its health are the only vessels that you have to reach your dreams, love your friends and family, and fully enjoy life. How the body looks is not nearly as important as how it functions.

It would be fantastic if most of the population didn't view the gym as "punishment"or their diet as "what they're missing out on."

So why have I not gone and committed to Yoga before now? I was intimidated. My flexibility and balance are good, but when I tried yoga a few years back, I didn't excel. My head space was still overly competitive, and results based. I tell my clients all the time to do their best, and grow into fitness over time. I know it's what I should do, but it is far from what I do. Ladies and gentlemen, I love to win. When it comes to physical things I get frustrated if I don't excel. I made the mistake most people do. Instead of embracing the challenge and potential to learn and grow, I quit.

Now I'm embracing a new thought pattern. It will lower my stress, and be present in every moment. I'm setting out to learn, and enjoy.

I went to Moksha Hot Yoga in Winnipeg having not done a yoga class for almost 4 years (I went 3 times 4 years ago, its on my file). That's a lot of time for mental growth, career growth, and some priority changes. I know the benefits of my weight training, sleep patterns and always working to perfect my diet. Those benefits are what keep me on track.

As with every health journey, as life changes and priorities change, so does the focus of training. Attention to longevity not competition has become my main focus. Bettering myself, and working towards attainable and sustainable goals are now my reason for training.

I have a passion for martial arts, and circuit training. That will never change. Nothing beats high intensity training, but it needed to be offset with something that focuses on my body being stabilized and my mind being worked on.

It was time for a change.

So, I have made a commitment to yoga, specifically hot yoga. I want more mobility, stability, and I want to increase my peace of mind and presence in the moment. These are all part of the yoga experience. It is my New Year's resolution to get four classes a week done until the Power of Movement hits Winnipeg and raises awareness for Arthritis Research. I want to be part of the "Power Of Movement" and inspire people to get involved in something unique.

Always remember that fitness and health is a process. Cover your bases. Eat well and with the purpose of gaining energy and boosting immunity. Sleep with the purpose of resting and resetting the body. Hydrate knowing that water is the backbone to most of the functions in the body. Exercise to add strength, movement, and energy to your life.

Make it all fun, find the things that appeal to you, and change it up to make your body the best body it can be. Being healthy is the best currency you have. Go get rich.

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