It seems pretty surreal that we’re hitting Life Lesson 18 but hey, the past year (and still counting) feels surreal. Like who ever thought we’d be hopping on calls with friends and acquaintances opening with “Didja get your second jab?” in lieu of “how are you?”
Anyway, that said, here we are with #18, for better or for worse (Hopefully for better lol!) …
Where to start on the fitness front … OK, here’s a truth arrow: With the dawn of Covid and quarantine and the closure of gyms I was forced to face a biggie: that I don’t really like group exercise, or the ritual of gyms for that matter, no matter how spectacular, well equipped, state-of-the-art, or talented the instructors/yoga masters/ juice bar gurus.
In fact, group exercise and fitness emporiums increased my anxiety: who needed the pressure to look good for classes in snazzy designer athleisure and make nice with gaggles of frenemies and strangers when all you really wanted was to move your body and escape the stress? And yes, the inevitable competition with classmates was a major buzzkill too. Why was I looking at Janie Schwartz’s upturned butt in a sleek downward dog when the whole effen purpose of yoga was to be “in the moment”, with myself and my own admittedly less perky bottom?!
Enter yet another lining of ‘19: Forced to find alternative modes of working out, I turned to the as yet largely unexplored world of You Tube (which my former work balance life had ironically left no balance for) where I happened upon – and promptly fell madly deeply for a handful of guides and regimens that changed the fitness game for me forever, bless their fabulous, generous, superstar souls.
While we’ll get to them and their individual gifts momentarily, the first big collective takeaway from the You Tube squad was that I was welcome, at last, to fitness and move as I pleased right here in the privacy of my own space, on my own schedule, in my rattiest tattiest sweats and thick glasses, with full focus not on schmooze and whether or not my new shorts were flattering but the workout itself; a liberation I never realized my body and mind needed so freaking badly. Anyone else’s downward dog – and butt upturn – were just distant cheeky memories. Though admittedly late to the You Tube party (hello millennium!), the fresh experience was exhilarating and freeing, not to mention literally free, requiring only that I like and subscribe to a channel if I enjoyed.
As for the individual gifts teased up there: Coupled with some of the wonderful takeaways my expanded quarantine reading had bestowed, it became obvious as well that I not only relished the nirvana opportunity to work out privately and anonymously with congenial instructors suited to my personal needs and, uh, unique personality (wink), but that I was a Yin Yang kind of exercise gal. Experimenting with different videos in Quarantine world had revealed that one type of regimen simply wasn’t going to cut it.
My mind, body soul situation (for which I had increasing awareness and appreciation for thanks to the ever-expanding band of spiritualists I was devouring in digital and print including Deepak Chopra, Michael Singer, Paulo Coelho, Eckhart Tolle and others), was craving more diversity and gratification on numerous levels.
And so, it was oh-so-right and next-level fulfilling to alternate daily practices with the spice of movement, initiating every second day of training with my power queen of yang, the inimitable CAROLINE GIRVAN, who from her elegant perch in Ireland, took my body on the hard-core weight baring journey it yearned for and adored. Always stunning in some of the best workout sartorials out there, this accomplished fitness professional, so well versed in a wide range of up to the minute styles and practices, never failed – or fails – to provide comprehensive and stimulating new workouts brilliantly and strategically designed to maximize results while keeping you (me) motivated and challenged on a whole other level of fabulous. I swear this goddess with the contagious positive energy and room brightening smile has literally sculpted me into places I frankly didn’t think the bod could go even decades ago, bless her bod building, shaping genius!!
That said, my yang needed its yin, which came in the form of both yoga and meditation:
On the yoga side, my gurus of choice were – and are – the gorgeous inside and out husband wife duo behind the enormously popular BOHO BEAUTIFUL: Juliana and Mark Spicoluk. Beloved by many for their natural backdrops around the globe showcasing some of Mother Earth’s most notable and unforgettable treasures (the kind of beaches so magnificent you think they’re computer generated), in my humble, the pair’s most valuable shares are the transformative sessions they deliver, brimming with the best possible opera of yoga moves and positions, accompanied by commentary and directives that, in and of themselves, could easily double as incredibly effective meditations. Talented doesn’t begin to cut it. And an important note to all: while I’m calling their sessions Yin (meaning they’re more targeted to the mind body combination), they’re anything but easy. The dazzling flow of stretches and positions will tone and shape in ways that will wow your mind (and bod lol) while having an equally impressive way with your cardiovascular system.
Finally, as noted, I have come to understand how profoundly my body mind connection needs and relies on its meditative moments. Though walks in nature and myriad other life experiences offer up plentiful opportunities for mindfulness (just taking the time to remind yourself to value the moments and exhale into them a few times a day is rather miraculous), incorporating more formal daily sessions of meditation has worked tremendously well for me. To that end, I’ll put aside time at least once daily to sit quietly with myself and surrender to the soothing and calming meditations of top tier pros I’ve come to consider friends lol like the aforementioned Deepak Chopra and Boho Beautiful as well as the magnificent Gabby Bernstein and Marisa Peer, all of whom can easily be accessed on multiple platforms, including You Tube and Spotify.
So there you have it, another day, another lesson lol. Hope it tickled/sparked something. Welcome your thoughts and shares. Meantime: much xxxxx. Should you want more, peruse the lessons on the site and complementary material on SM, especially Insta.