Trade fitness fanaticism for serenity with the Yoga Wall
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on February 11. 2014. Posted with permission.
“No pain. No gain.”
So who told you that?
Meredith Musick and friends hang on the great yoga wall in Naples, FL.
A fitness cult is running rampant in the United States.
I recently attended a spin class, and the instructor wasn’t riding the bike. With a smile, he pointed to his bandaged knee and announced his upcoming surgery.
“But I’ll be back at it soon,” he said. I predict he’ll also be back under the surgeon’s knife.
Blowing out knees and backs, tearing tendons and ligaments, and exploding biceps do not make you a sexy beast.
It is amazing what people are doing to their bodies in the name of losing weight or looking fit.
Good yoga teachers observe the fine line between pain and sensation. Exercise is not supposed to hurt nor is it supposed to exhaust you. Collapsing post-workout, panting and bathed in your own sweat isn’t ideal. Remember that breathing through the mouth is a sign that you’re pushing too hard, and you are likely moving into fight-or-flight.
If your workout keeps you on a steady diet of anti-inflammatories and pain killers and cutting out body parts and replacing them seems reasonable to you, it’s time to change your workout.
Good yoga teachers will also address the difference between ego and curiosity. You can be curious about trying that tricked-out yoga pose, an ultramarathon or nailing 20 burpies. But if you’re doing it to satisfy your ego, the monster has emerged. Vanity is one of those seven deadlies.
Some people appear to have discovered their life passions in athleticism. They belong to running groups, compete in body building competitions and hang out and train with fellow triathletes. Their workouts are synonymous with their social lives and pastimes. More power to them.
But for the rest of humanity, exercising itself should not be the goal; fitness is the means to a full, happy and active life. Contrary to popular opinion, a six-pack of abs is not proof of health. It’s vanity.