Many of us expect too much of ourselves in general; and when it comes to physical activity, disappointment is very common. At Neighborhood Barre we pride ourselves on being a judgment-free environment. In fact, our mission states that our goal “…is to offer all clients, whether beginner or advanced, a quick and effective way to transform their bodies. The studio will evoke a sense of comfort and encouragement in our clients’ quest for improvement, free of judgment and comparison.” However, sometimes outside judgment is not the problem, rather it is the judgment from within that holds us back.
Classical barre is an extremely challenging workout that can often feel even more intense by week 2 or 3 than it did in week 1. This is because our bodies start to adjust and become familiar with the positions, and over time we work deeper in the pose and movements become smaller, transforming from swings to contractions. This scenario is NORMAL and only proves that you are growing in the technique. On the other hand, some of us feel intimated from the start. Take it from me, don’t let this stop you.
I know all too well how daunting a new type of class can be. I recently tried hot yoga for the first time. Oh.Em.Gee. You would have thought I was hydrating for a hike through the Sahara with the amount of water I consumed that day. I had thoroughly convinced myself that I was either going to throw up, pass out, or both at some point during that 60 minutes of 105 degree heat. I worked myself up to the point of being so nervous that if my friends hadn’t expected me to be there, I probably wouldn’t have gone. Mind you, this is coming from someone who is, in fact, a certified yoga instructor… yeah. Bottom line, I loved the class. No one fainted. No one threw up. And I felt silly for being so nervous on the front end. Sometimes we need to just embrace a new experience and a new type of workout, and not expect ourselves to be the best. Embrace the struggle, the nervousness, and the new challenge before you, rather than loathing the thought of being the worst or not being able to make it through the class.
So what have we learned? DON’T BE AFRAID to try something new. The fear of the unknown can prevent us from finding things in life that we truly love, even if it’s just a new way to work out. DON’T GET DISCOURAGED! Remember that the barre SHAKE is a good thing – something we never want to lose. In fact, when you stop shaking, you need to start working lower and deeper. DON’T EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM YOURSELF! Go into a new situation with no expectations at all. If you need to stop, then stop. If you need water, then go get some water. If you need to sit down and rest, then sit down. No one is judging you, but you. So drop the self-judgment and the high expectations, and concentrate on what’s important – your health!