"I’m not a yoga witch that will curse you, and your children’s children for not taking yoga" // Guest Post by Elisa Jordan

   

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This piece was originally posted on Elisa's blog, but she gave me her permission to repost it's amazingness here.

 

"Oh you teach yoga?! Yeah I’ve done it, but I haven’t gone in a long time. I know it's so bAAAAAaadd. Even though I love how I feel after class.”

 

I hear something like this a lot as a yoga teacher when I tell people what I do. People feel like I’m going to judge them for not coming to a yoga class. That I will karmically curse them, or something. Guess what…I won’t! It’s OK if you haven’t attended a yoga class in a while. I’m not a yoga witch that will curse you, and your children’s children, and your children’s children for not taking a yoga class. ;)

 

But I understand. I feel similarly towards other forms of movement and exercise, such as lifting weights or HIIT training. We feel guilty that we’re not doing what we’re “supposed” to do. For me, I feel like I’m “supposed” to “workout.” Even that word “workout” is now a trigger for me to go to my restrictive and obsessive place in orthorexia land. I feel guilty. Perhaps we feel that “should be” guilt because we don’t feel like we’re a part of the pack? Or not investing in a community that we once did? There are many reasons, but the end result usually comes in the form of guilt in which we need to defend ourselves from possible judgement. However, oftentimes we defend ourselves by defacing ourselves.

 

The example quote above exemplifies how we place moral power, guilt, and shame into our actions to placate another’s possible judgement. We acknowledge and call out how “bad” we are for not doing something that we “should” do. Furthermore, we do this usually without any awareness of what power we’re giving away by demoralizing and critiquing ourselves. As a collective, it’s normal.

 

Why?

 

In terms of exercise and movement, I think sometimes we get caught up and think that I will love this form of movement for the rest of my exercising career. It sounds silly, but I think it’s true. A primal part of ourselves loves routine and finds safety within that framework. So it makes sense that we don’t want to let that go when we “fall out of love” with that routine. When it no longer serves our body, or serves our spirit.

 

There is a season for everything. But why can’t we apply that to our movement and exercise? Maybe last fall, you felt empowered and joyful from HIIT training, but now it exhausts you physically and emotionally. Perhaps it doesn’t make you feel joyful anymore and you want a break. But that fear and guilt in the back of your head prompts you to not try something different and stick to the routine.

 

Well friend, acknowledge that fear is there to primally protect you from change, but take the steps that will serve your new season of life. What makes you feel EMBODIED, joyful, happy, empowered? Swimming? Belly dance? Pole dancing? Weight training? Tennis? Running? Karate? Yoga?

 

It takes courage to step outside our routine and face the fear judgment. But honestly, no one really cares except ourselves!

 

"YOU DO YOU BOO!"

 

Do what makes you happy TODAY, in this season. Remember and recognize that you can always come back to something you previously loved to do and it will be there. We shift and change every day. Be ok with that, and honor that today.

 

So how will you choose to move today that honors the season of life you’re in now?

 


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Elisa Jordan is a certified Eating Psychology Coach, Yoga Instructor, recovering perfectionist, and writer of everything at www.wellnesswarriorprincess.com. Elisa infuses her coaching practice with lightness and empathy from experience as a yoga teacher, opera singer, and in her personal journey with body dysmorphia and orthorexia. Originally from San Diego, she now lives in Seattle with her puppy Darcy.

Connect with her on Facebook or head over to wellnesswarriorprincess.com

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PS. If you think it's time to give yoga another go (guilt free!) head on over to my latest program Yoga for Healing and get started today. I'm not a yoga witch either! Even as an instructor I have struggled with having my practice morph, shift and wane.  I get it, but let's do this together! - Tera

3 Steps To Create An Effective Exercise Routine

3 Steps For Exercise Success In order for any exercise you do to truly work, to give you the results you want, it has to be consistent and lasting.

 

You can buy as many magic programs, try all the latest lose fat fast fads (say that 4 times fast!) in exercise you want….if you can’t stick with it, it won’t work. Period.

 

So the absolute most important part to starting your new fitness routine is to make sure you keep going.

 

When we are just starting out and trying to create a new habit, to build a new exercise routine that sticks, these 3 things are essential.

 

 1. Keep It Simple! Don’t Over Think It.

 

This rule is important for multiple reasons. For one if you hurt yourself you definitely won’t be able to create a consistent routine.

 

Simple exercises can be just as effective as the more complicated ones.  It's all about how you perform them, and how hard you push yourself.  As you build strength you can add more complexity. Don’t underestimate the power of push-ups, lunges and squats.

 

By keeping it simple you can build a solid foundation and focus on form. Doing an exercise correctly will keep you safer, be more effective, and you’ll see results more quickly.

 

Second when you are just getting going, like I said before, you just need to make it stick. It needs to become part of your life, part of your routine.

 

It’s easy to get caught up in what is the BEST way to work out, what’s going to get me there fastest. "This expert suggests this, but this person recommends that…which is better? My friend got results doing this other thing."

 

There are so many strategies of exercise it can get overwhelming. Again, the goal is to just start moving on a regular basis so don’t bother yourself with the details yet. Once you build that foundation in your form and technique, routine and habit THEN you can start tweaking things if you want.  It's then you can figure out what is most effective for your body, what exactly you are wanting to work and build.

 

First things first. Move. Whatever that means for you.

 2. Make Small Goals and Work Up.

 

One of the most common mistakes in making this shift is creating goals that are way to big. For instance, “I’m going to work out every day for an hour!,” or “I’m going to lose 20lbs in the next month.”

 

You may very well be able to do those things, but if you don’t chances are you will give up on it all together.  Creating habits is hard, especially in the wake of everything else going on in life.

 

By making smaller attainable goals it keeps you going, moving forward. We would all rather do something that we succeed at. Setting huge goals and then not being able to achieve them will only cause that feeling of failure and then we just throw the whole idea out the window until we get inspired again (who knows when that will be!).

 

All of that yo-yoing isn’t going to ensure you get a lasting result to your goal. So just avoid it. Make the goal smaller and something you KNOW you can do like, “I will work out 2 times a week for at least 20 minutes.”

 

If you do more than 20 minutes, great!  But if you only get those 20 minutes in, celebrate it because you did it! Success.

 

Once you do that for a while and it starts to feel super easy you know you can set an incrementally higher goal. Remember not to get too lofty! The goal here is success and longevity.

 

As humans we like feeling successful, so set yourself up for it.

 

(guess what?! I have a video on goal setting success!  Check it out here)

 

3. Keep Your Mindset Positive.

 

Easier said than done.  Yes, I know.

 

It’s easy to get caught up in the negative self-talk. Instead focus on what you have done, or can do.

 

Avoid getting down on yourself because maybe you lifted less than you want, or you ONLY worked out for 20 minutes.

 

Allow yourself be joyful for you accomplishments.

 

When we get caught up in negative thoughts and talk around an activity we will begin to see it negatively. It will become something we dread.

 

If your thoughts around working out and exercise are constantly negative you won’t want to do it. It will bring up a yucky feeling and so you will make every excuse not to go.

 

Positivity will keep you progressing. Negativity will only hinder your results and progress.

 

Buddha said, “What we think we become.” If you think you suck, if you think you are weak, if you think you aren’t making any improvement. Guess what? YOU PROBABLY WON’T.

 

Change your mind, change your life.

 

There’s so much more to developing an effective workout routine than WHICH one you pick.

 

Developing new habits is a mind game. So get your head in the game and start moving.

 

With [icon icon=icon-heart size=14px color=#800080 ]

--Tera--

 

P.S. Which one of these 3 things do you struggle with most?  Do you have any other good advice for everyone else? Share it in the comments below!

A Hike Of Sweat and Tears

Sorry I have been so MIA!  This past week has been crazy.  The love of my life came to visit me from Florida last week, which means everything gets put on hold.  The same week my best friend got married, so there were a lot of wedding activities.  I love weddings and had such an amazing time with my friends!  I laughed and I most definitely cried.  To top it all off I had an intensive Yoga Sculpt training.  So unfortunately sitting down to write has gotten pushed to the wayside. 1150873_10102306314509138_817591230_n

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While Spencer (who I earlier referred to as the love of my life) was visiting one thing he wanted to do was go on a hike.  We've been hiking together while in New Zealand , but for some odd reason hadn't made the time yet to hike in our own beautiful Washington woods.  So we set aside a day to take a trek, and a trek it surely was.

He suggested a hike called "Mailbox Peak," so we did a little research and read that it wasn't for the faint of heart.  We are both fairly fit so we scoffed at this and basically said, "Challenge accepted!".  It started out moderately difficult and since this was my workout for the day I wanted to make it count.  So we jogged up the steep trail for awhile...until it got too steep to safely jog and we could barely breathe anymore.  We then realized we probably should have saved our energy.

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Then things got tough, and the steep climb seemed to never end.  By the end I was having an intense inner dialogue.  Telling my legs to keep moving, that I could finish this, it's always when you want to quit most that you make the most progress.  I was using any positive reinforcement I could muster to continue upward because I was getting close to collapsing into tears.

Being naively confident I didn't anticipate this hike taking so long, and so we did not bring enough water or food for the amount of exertion we were outputting.  Needless to say not only were our bodies tired, but they were dehydrated.  Not a winning combination.  When we finally reached the top and got the pen and paper from the mailbox my hand could barely write and all I could think to say was "That was emotional." Not the wisest of words or deepest of thoughts, but honest.

We made it!  Now we have to go back down...

Going down was just as tough, and we were both over it.  It was a relationship building experience, that's for sure.  I wouldn't have wanted to do it with any other person.  Starving and thirsty we forced our legs to trot the majority of the way down.  About 5 hours later we had finished. It felt so nice to be on level ground once we reached the bottom, and to fill our bellies with lunch that was waiting in the car!

One thing I have been struggling with is viewing 'play' or recreational activities as my workouts.  If I do something active that isn't a 'workout' I still feel like I have to go do a traditional scheduled workout.  Exercise has been so black and white in my mind.  This proved that it does not have to be that way and it is probably a good thing to mix it up.  Although we both are fit and healthy, hiking 4,100ft in 3 miles is not something our bodies are conditioned for and so we were using different muscles.  Leg day had a whole new meaning for me and we both felt it for a couple days afterward!  So remember, exercise can happen anywhere!  It doesn't have to be in a gym,  a set number of reps, a class, a routine or anything organized at all.  As long as you are pushing your body in a new physical way, it counts!

We stopped for quite a few stretch breaks

Spencer loves photography and so he snapped some photos of me on our hike.  After several years I'm still trying to get used to being the subject of his photos, so there aren't a whole lots of me actually looking at the camera.

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After the hike we talked to several other people who had done it and none of them acted like it was quite as tough as we thought it was.  Or maybe they just knew exactly what they were getting themselves into.  Either way I think Spencer and I need to go on more hikes!  Have you ever hiked Mailbox?  What did you think?

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