by Sherry Eckert
As we move through the new year exploring things we would like to change or improve and seeking new ways to invigorate not only the body but the mind as well, we can find ourselves feeling hesitant to actually step into a space outside our comfort zone.
Take yoga for instance. It isn’t just for the young and bendy, or any other preconceived notions we may have. Yet it can still be intimidating to walk into a yoga class (or any class) for the first time.
Why try yoga, you might ask. One of the biggest reasons is that it goes beyond just moving your body. Yoga is one of the few physical practices that emphasizes awareness and connection to your breathing. Yoga combines both breath and motion, and allows you to stay present in the moment by turning off the mental chatter we so easily slip into. Yoga provides a way to be ‘in your body’ and release self-judgement and shame. You slow down, meet yourself right where you are in the present moment, accept yourself as you are, and learn to listen to what your body has to tell you. The practice of yoga is a way to build strength, stamina, mental clarity, and balance.
Learning something new allows you to focus on what you are doing and gives you the opportunity to leave everything else at the door when you step in, but anything new also requires a learning curve.
We all started at the beginning. We all wondered if we would be able to find our way, worried that we look funny while learning, and hoped that no one was judging us. It can be intimidating to take that first step, to cross the threshold into a group class. It is all too easy to tell ourselves stories that keep us stuck where we are instead of expanding and learning something new.
At Island Fitness we strive to provide a welcoming, inclusive environment for you to work on your physical fitness. There are several ways to ease into any new group class:
- Speak with the front desk or membership staff about what class options there and who the instructors are.
- Contact Beth, our group fitness coordinator, for more detailed information about classes, instructors, content and a possible buddy that would be available to greet you before class, introduce you to the instructor and help you get set up for class. Email Beth at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ask a friend to join you! It always makes it more fun to have someone you know to work out or take a class with.
- Contact the instructor before you take a class to ask questions, and share info about yourself that will help the instructor know about you and ease the sense of ‘newness’ before you walk through the door.
We offer over 50 group fitness classes every week that are included with your membership. We also offer several small group classes that are fee-based as well. Island Fitness has a wealth of talent and inspiration housed right in the heart of Bainbridge Island, we welcome you try something new—you just might surprise yourself!