Deep breath in… hold it… lengthen the spine… lift the heart… roll the shoulders back… and exhale.
2 weeks ago, I joined the yoga studio 2 blocks from my house and have attended 4 classes since starting.
In November, I’m getting back to prioritizing my health and wellness. One of the goals I set this year was to lift weights 3 times a week, but this has been quite the failure.
In May, I dropped my gym membership, started biking to work a little bit over the summer, and started pursuing other ways to stay fit and healthy.
Now that I’m seriously prioritizing my exercise schedule, I’ve decided to choose body weight exercises and yoga over weight lifting.
In this post, I want to discuss my plans for my exercise, talk about the balance between mind and body, and touch on some other things health-wise which I’ve found to be true for myself in the past few years.
Personal Exercise is Personal
Just like personal finance, personal exercise is personal and depends on your goals, wants and dreams.
If you don’t want to become the next famous body builder, that’s okay.
Maybe you want to be able to walk and run around doing errands without getting tired on the weekends.
It’s possible you want to look good for dates when you go out on the town.
What ever the reason you want to become healthy, it starts with asking thoughtful questions on what you want your dream life to look like.
I want to become more healthy because I’m a weirdo who is on the pursuit of an overall life mastery.
One of my wildest dreams is to push my body to the limits in some sort of high performance training system (which would cost a ton of money, but could be fun and interesting).
But, in my life today, I want to become more fit and healthy because if I’m healthy, then I will be able to push myself mentally in my hustles and not get tired. I’m also looking to find a future wife, and in theory, I should have more options if I become more attractive.
My Experiences with Exercise
Growing up, I played organized baseball and basketball, and would always be open to playing pick up football, soccer, hockey, or really any sport or physical activity.
I love being outside and am pretty competitive, so playing sports was a natural outlet for my energy.
Playing baseball for my high school, I lifted weights during the winter and spent a lot of time training to become faster and stronger.
Going into college, I joined a few intramural teams (volleyball and softball), and lifted weights 2-3 times a week.
Around the time I was 20, I started experimenting with a bunch of different exercises and diets, trying to figure out what would work for me.
As I started down the path of eating 3,000+ calories a day and working out 4-5 times a week, I was making great gains but something was still missing.
Also, at the time, I weighed about 170 pounds, and was lifting weights well above 200 pounds – which may or may not have been great for my joints.
After college, I definitely relaxed on the heavy lifting, but joined a gym near my house and stayed fit with pick up basketball and lifting weights 2-3 times a week.
I described above to you what I’ve been doing in the last year, and that brings us to today.
The Powerful Connection between Body and Mind
Something so commonly ignored when thinking about fitness is the powerful connection between body and mind.
As someone who is constantly trying to learn and push mentally, I’ve only just started to recognize and adjust my habits to try to tap into this powerful connection.
What is this connection?
The body and mind connection is the connection between our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and our biological functioning.
This means that we can positively (or negatively) influence these thoughts through what we eat or do with our bodies (and vice versa, we can positive (or negatively) influence our body with our thoughts and feelings).
Everything is connected inside of us through a similar chemical language and the nervous system.
If we ignore what we put in ourselves, then we might not have the optimal mind state. Garbage in, garbage out.
Likewise, if we perform negative self-talk, then our body will feel a little worse.
At the same time, with activities like positive affirmations, we can feel better and perform better.
Why I’m Choosing Yoga and Body Weight Exercises over Weight Lifting
Now that I’ve decided to take my exercise and health more seriously, I had to make a choice. Would I go back to my old habits and do weight lifting? Or, would I try to tap into something more powerful and discard some of the thoughts I had around having strength?
I’ve decided to go with the latter, and have chosen yoga and body weight exercises over weight lifting. Specifically, I’ve been doing Kundalini Yoga, a yoga focused on mediating to release a spiritual energy located at the base of the spine.
The goal is to become more self aware through different exercises and meditations, and to help remove blockages which are restricting me from being my best self.
I feel this yoga ties in amazingly with my purpose and goal with The Mastermind Within. I’m looking to tap into my full potential, also, I want to help you become the best person you can be.
With this yoga, it is surprisingly quite physically demanding, and has pushed me to become more flexible, work on my breathing and lung capacity, have better posture and work on muscles I haven’t focused on before.
In addition to this new practice, I’m doing push-ups, squats, rows, and planks to become stronger in the more traditional sense, but all without needing a gym membership. These body weight exercises I’m doing every other day, but maybe start to ratchet up the heat as I get more comfortable doing them.
For now, I’m going to look to do yoga 2-3 times a week, and do the body weight exercises every other day to get my physical goals.
Getting to Your Dream Self through Fitness, Diet and Exercise
Personal exercise is personal. I’ve figured out a plan for myself to get in to great shape and I’m excited to pursue this path.
Something I didn’t mention here is clean eating and how what you put into your body is so critical for success physically.
Drinking water and staying hydrated (8 glasses of water a day works for me) has made a HUGE difference for my mental state and how I feel on a daily basis.
For me, mixing in fruit and greens with most meals has proved beneficial, as well as having a diet high in protein and fat.
All of this has worked for me, and may not work for you – you have to figure out what’s best for you (except the water recommendation, that’s a must try).
I’m excited to continue down this path of pushing my body, both physically and mentally, and will share with you the results over time if this interests you.
Thank you for reading!