Toning, shaping, anti-jiggling

Yes, swimsuit season is coming up.  So, you may be finding yourself standing in front of your mirror analyzing your “trouble” areas.  Just stop.  Seriously!

Bring your imagination and go on a little journey with me.  Okay?  It’ll only take a moment.  You are on your deathbed and thinking back on your life.  You are lying in the stiff bed, your body now failing you, cherishing your last breaths, and loved ones by your side.  Are you thinking about how you should have spent more time at the gym?  Are you thinking how your life would have been so much better if you just got those six pack abs?  If you are, then I’m sorry, but let’s not hang out.  It’s true that most of this “stuff” isn’t going to matter in those last days.  That is if you are fortunate to have those last, reflective days or moments.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t exercise.  It’s good for your body and your mind to work up a sweat regularly.  What I am saying is stop picking apart your body.  Stop labeling areas of your beautiful body as “troublesome.”

Also if you weren’t aware, if you look at today’s popular “workouts” they, more often than not, are yoga poses.  You may not find all of these in the yoga class you attend, but yoga has variety.  There are different levels.  You can find a yoga class that lulls you into a relaxed peaceful state the whole hour, or you can find a class that makes you sweat and make you want to curse your teacher, and that really challenges your body.

It bothers me when I hear the excuses about why people don’t practice yoga.  “I’m not flexible.”  “I’d be the only man in class.”  I’m too fat, old, . . .”  Bollocks!  Instead you set impossible standards for yourself and pick a workout that will kick your butt and leave you feeling tighter, and feeling as though you can never achieve your goal.   Yoga is about being in the moment.  It’s about approaching those areas that are tight or “weak” and bring kind awareness into them and maybe even eventually learn to embrace them.  You take a pose that challenges you, but while accepting and respecting your bodies true limits, not pushing.  (I don’t just do yoga, but I bring my yogic principles to other fitness classes.)

The greatest part of yoga is that slowly, over time it eventually changes the way you feel in your body and the way you see your body.  It’s not an instant fix. It doesn’t promise to be.  Your mat will be there waiting for you to move and stretch and eventually you just might learn to love and embrace the body you were given for this journey called life, and let go of the imaginary, future you.

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If you aren’t buying what I’m selling here, then check out these amazing, experienced yogis:  http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3674/6-Inspirational-Yogis-in-Their-90s.html  Perhaps they will sway you.

At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if this blog inspires or upsets you.  You will interpret it any way you want in order to validate your current mood or to meet your present line of thinking.  I am simply trying to challenge your thoughts on your body and the way you approach exercise.  After all, my favorite people aren’t always the ones that agree with me, but the ones that challenge old, outdated thoughts I hold.

So, get your jiggly butt and dimply thighs on the mat.  Let yourself be curious, and see what happens.  You might just fall in love with that body and person you just dissected in the mirror.

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