Day 21. I decided to practice on the opposite side of the room today. It’s a little hotter on that side and I have to say it altered my practice a little. Not in a bad way. Just different.
It’s interesting when we shift out of our comfort zones–changing up the usual route to work, sitting in a different desk at school, trying a new seat at church. Turning off our autopilot can revive us from the monotony. It’s funny how much we depend on our routines and how thrown off we are by little alterations to them.
I wanted to mix things up today but it wasn’t without initial hesitation. I walked in, headed for my familiar area, then stopped to check out the foreign side of the room. I began to walk towards it, then back, then finally to a spot in new territory.
It’s not like I’ve never practiced on that side before, the studio isn’t a huge space, but I’ve only ventured over there a few times on weekends or early mornings. I had a lovely experience. I was happy to see how the other half practices.
As much as I’ve been enjoying Bikram, especially the challenge experience, I’ve been missing my gym routine. Old habits die hard.
I miss the freedom to sneak in unnoticed, work out for about 45 minutes and call it a day. I miss searching for a decent Pilates class. I miss walking on the treadmill listening to my latest playlist creation, heavy on the Beyonce. It was not intense. I didn’t have to follow anyone’s directions. I could wear makeup and still look presentable when it was over. It was just a little “me” time.
The problem I had with the gym and what propelled me into Bikram full time, was that it wasn’t challenging. I stopped seeing results despite putting in five days a week at the gym. I was frustrated and lacked confidence.
The only thing that challenged me at the gym was Pilates. I love Pilates. It was the most effective workout for me. I especially like the long, lean build you attain. No bulk, just muscle definition. It was easy on my leg condition and gave me great abs.
I was a contemporary/jazz dancer in my teens and early twenties so practicing Pilates as an adult felt like an extension of my early dance years. My first memory of Pilates, is being taught the basics by one of my dance teachers when I was 15. We go way back, Pilates and I.
I found an excellent Pilates class at the gym about four years ago. I went religiously four days a week for a couple of years. I credit this exercise for getting my body back into shape after my accident. I lost weight and gained a fit physique. My love of Pilates runs deep.
After a while instructors changed, the gym canceled a class here and there, and it became increasingly more difficult to find a good class. (I’ll be the first to admit I’m picky about my instructors.) So my Pilates enjoyment had come to a close. I still work out with Pilates DVDs at home but it’s not the same.
I thrive in a class environment, where I can see people every day who treasure their workout time to the same degree as I do. I need an instructor to correct or compliment me. I need to leave the house to exercise.
Now, Bikram meets all of those needs and then some.
Except the killer abs. Not sure if I’ll ever get those again.
Sadly, these do not belong to me