The concept of willingly deciding to exercise used to be utterly foreign to me. My friends would go to Flywheel or some sort of boot-camp-torture-chamber every morning and I would lie in bed wondering why they would choose to be in physical pain rather than getting that extra hour of sleep.
Over a month ago I had to start yoga (as a mandatory class to graduate from Emory) and was completely dreading it. How would I muster the motivation to do yoga at 8:30 am every day for six weeks? It didn’t seem possible.
As the weeks went by, something clicked in my mind.
I used to associate exercise with negativity because I didn’t realize that there is no “right” way to fit fitness into your life- you have to do what works for you.
I suffer from chronic panic attacks and anxiety, so the thought of a fast-paced cycling class or trainers yelling at me in boot-camp sounded like my worst nightmare. Yoga centered me, it cleared my mind, and most of all it made me believe in the power of meditation.
When my yoga class ended, I wanted to try another type of exercise that would be accommodating to my lifestyle, but slightly more intensive.
A little over two weeks ago I started Pure Barre and it has changed my life in ways I didn’t think possible. I could not recommend this class more to people who suffer from any type of anxiety or panic disorder. The instructors push you to work your hardest and perfect your form, but they are upbeat, gentle and create a relaxing and non-intimidating environment. The class works every part of your body, but you aren’t focusing on physical pain because you are able to shut your eyes, listen to the music and really feel the mind/ body connection.
So, to those suffering from anxiety, depression, panic attacks, etc.: I know this post sounds obnoxious and you are all probably rolling your eyes. It definitely took me a while to come around to the idea of incorporating fitness into my lifestyle, and if it takes you a while too then that’s cool.
Just know that it’s not about achieving the toned Lululemon thigh gap… it’s about achieving peace of mind.