Do you also force yourself to like things or is that just me?
Good habits can be hard to form, in fact, sometimes they must be forced.
When I was younger, I was not a big fruit eater. The first time I started eating fruits regularly (scarily enough) was not until high school. During this time, I would pack a banana in my lunch box every day and that was it — my one serving of fruit per day five times a week. In college, I joined the marching band and as a snack we would regularly receive an apple during the football games. I was never a fan of apples, but I tried my best to enjoy them (read: choke them down), because apples on a hot day were better than nothing. To better enjoy apples, I started to buy them and tried to force myself to eat one every single day. This was a challenge for me!
After a few weeks of forcing a single apple down my throat on a daily basis, finally, one day it just clicked — et voilà I liked apples! Since that time in college, I now eat apples semi-regularly and genuinely want to eat them.
While my twisted version of “fake it until you make it” worked for apples, it does not seem to work for all things for me. Most particularly — yoga.
The very first time I took a yoga class was in high school. After the final bell rang, once a week, the yoga club would meet in an empty classroom, push the desks to the sides of the room and follow a yoga routine. Yoga is not particularly strenuous, but I distinctly remember becoming sweaty. While others in the yoga club eagerly discussed participating in hot yoga at the local studio, I knew that activity for me would be a big fat pass.
I wanted to like yoga, as there can be so many benefits to the practice (increased flexibility, muscle tone, etc.), however, I don’t remember doing yoga even once in my four years of college. In the past two years or so, however, I again attempted to force my body to enjoy yoga. While I have never been a regular, I have attended a few different pop-up classes around Boston (more here) and have also followed videos (more here). On occasion, I am really into the yoga routine… however, mostly…. I’m just not. Today, I attended a 60-minute vinyasa yoga class and I fear it may be my last.
The instructor was extremely competent and easy to follow, but I found myself wanting to roll up my mat no more than 10 minutes into the workout. Try as I might, I just can’t force myself to “love” yoga. For me this comes as both a disappointment (I would love to love yoga), but also a relief — because why force something that just doesn’t work?
I guess I just prefer faster-paced workouts and I should embrace that. I am quite in the habit of going to barre class (more here), which is a low-impact fusion workout combining pilates and other methods, as well as Zumba (Latin dance workout interval training). We just can’t force ourselves to be people we are not (even if the results may be beneficial for us). I, Raven, am not a yogi and I may never be one… and that’s okay!
In this new year, let us all embrace more of what we love — plain and simple.