Get to Know YOUR Body
There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to anything in life, so why would you accept a concept like that when it comes to your own body? DO THIS one exercise, USE THAT new tool, DRINK THIS new beverage, or EAT THIS one way and ALL your problems will be solved. I’m sorry, as many different things as I tried over the years I personally needed a combination of a LOT more adjustments to my lifestyle than any singular method and it all started with honesty and knowledge. I had to begin seeing myself more clearly and much more honestly than I ever had before, and then I was open to learning my true motivations, my own physical structure and my own needs. These factors are essential to the lifestyle you develop which should ALWAYS be changing, shifting and adjusting. Here are some ways to discover who YOU are, what YOUR body needs and how to deliver it to the NEXT level.
Respect Where You Are Now: My husband has always said that we all have different body types, body structures and natural ability and there’s beauty to value in each. Before I really understood this myself I would look at other shapes and sizes and wonder, “with ALL the work that I do every week, why don’t I look more like that yet?!?” Now I understand more than ever, my physical needs and the way my body adapts are my own. What my body does for me is directly related to how I choose to treat it every single day, and the choices I make not only depend on how well I know my body but also understanding the fact that it is never going to take on the structure of a Victoria’s Secret model (nor do I or my husband want it to!). I have curves and I have to work hard to maintain my metabolism and stay lean and that’s just ME. The ways our bodies burn fat, store fat, build muscle and build strength (how long it takes and where it’s distributed or built, too!) are specific to each of us individually. We all do the best we can with what we have and there’s no reason to judge, we just choose to be okay with that. If you’re not feeling your best, you’re not happy or you’re not healthy then appreciate what you can now and respect what your body does do for you so you can MOVE ON and LET GO. Only then will you be able to take the necessary steps to see yourself honestly enough to learn YOUR own body’s potential and not waste your energy focusing on anyone else’s.
Learn Through Injury: Going through an injury (or two…) can be one of the most frustrating occurrences whether you are active and it’s slowing you down, whether you just started to be physical or whether it just worsens an already sedentary lifestyle. No matter your condition prior to an injury, begin to look at this period as THE BEST way to really learn you, your body and even your approach to any new or regular activity.
Nydia’s Yoga Therapy is the first studio I recommend for anyone who has gone through an injury and “needs to do something.” There are so many people who truly want to move again but are afraid to and it’s important to know you do have options. In my experience with Nydia’s guidance and personal assessment of my own issues, I was able to learn what I could do and what I shouldn’t do as well as what really brought me to her in the first place. For me, the overuse of certain muscles with improper form caused most of my injuries and by helping me to slow down and relearn basic movements and postures with perfect alignment, my practice improved a great deal and I became stronger than I was before the injury. Now I know whenever I need to pull back or readjust when I’m doing ANY activity so I can keep building strength without injuries happening again.
Try New Methods: I’m a big advocate for trying new things because you never know how well you’ll get to know yourself in the process. Stephanie Carter is another wonderful, multi-talented instructor and friend I am so blessed to have and, to this day, is incredibly helpful with the random challenges I personally come across. Whether it’s my hip flexors flaring up again or a new arm balance I want to try, she has a wonderful way of teaching with particular attention to form. She always takes the time to research what she can to help her students and offer different methods to approach any new or existing challenge. With Stephanie’s guidance, not only have I learned different ways to adjust while working through an injury but I’ve also developed strength and confidence while working on postures I never imagined I’d be able to experience. For me, learning new techniques to manage the old and attempt the new allows me to really understand my body and reach my own potential.
We all have so much to offer and we owe it to ourselves to discover all that entails. When we appreciate who we are and truly care for our bodies with the appropriate nourishment and activity it needs, it gives back to us strength, energy and endurance. The beauty is, rather than being the initial focus, the shape we want, the number on the scale, and the clothing size, etc., becomes the BONUS, the residual benefits that occur as a result of our own optimal health.