It continues to amaze and sadden me to hear people proclaim certainty about their inability to do yoga or Pilates even though they have never tried. Or maybe they tried many years ago but are sure that the interim time span has zapped their capacity. The time for these efforts has passed, they reason, it’s pointless to try now. In the next breath, however, I also commonly hear “but I have to do something!” Well, there you have it. You can either spend your time wishing you could do something and lamenting your perceived inability or you could spend that same time actually doing something. Granted, making the effort takes a leap of faith. It requires overcoming fear and venturing into the unknown.
One thing that might help is to remember those times in the past when you did manage to overcome your fears and venture into the unknown. We’ve all had those experiences. Think of a time when you wanted or needed to do something bad enough that you dropped your resistance and moved into it. No matter what the outcome, I think it’s safe to assume that you learned something from that experience. And chances are what actually happened is nothing like what you thought might happen.
Another motivation might be to consider the consequences of doing nothing. You will continue to feel bad about yourself both emotionally and physically. That negativity can produce a downward spiral. The mind-body connection between physical illness and emotional attitude is increasingly well-documented. Yoga and Pilates both work on strengthening that mind-body connection helping you to focus your mind, get to know how your body works and bring body and mind into better alignment. Why let yourself sink into a rut when all you have to do is take that first step in a new direction. The first step is the hardest, but once you take it and begin to move forward your confidence will grow and you may find your attitude changing. After all, others have done it and you can do it, too!
Finally, all of us have friends or neighbors who are doing those things that we wish we could do. I don’t mean your children or grandchildren or anyone who is half your age or pictured in a magazine. But others who are in similar situations to your own. You know who they are. Ask them about their journey. They probably do not have any special powers that you lack. But somewhere along the line they took that leap of faith and tried something new. Is it working for them? Will they support you in your effort to try? Having a system of support is a huge asset when you are trying to make a change in your life. That’s why classes can be so helpful. All the others in the class are working at the same thing. We all need each other to stay on track. Working in a group with the similar goals is powerful. Take advantage of that and let the group’s momentum pull you along.
So I would like to challenge you to try again to make that leap of faith. Take your fear to the limit: what’s the worst that can happen? If you move slowly and thoughtfully, paying attention only to yourself and how you feel, making movements only in a way that works for your body and stopping when you need to you are unlikely to hurt yourself. You may even surprise yourself by finding that it feels good. Maybe you won’t like it. That’s fine. Everyone has to find the form of movement that works best for then. But we all need to move, regardless of age or physically limitations. You’ll never be able to form an opinion until you try.
Hope to see you all in a class soon!