Hi everybody! It’s been a few months since my last blog post. Time really does fly. But speaking of time flying, I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to talk about a big birthday that I had a few weeks ago. I turned 50! So many people dread turning 50, but I honestly wasn’t seeing 50 as an unpleasant milestone. Instead, I found myself reflecting on my life and realizing how amazing my life is at 50 and looking at 50 with complete gratitude and thankfulness for so many reasons, and here’s why!
First off, I can honestly say I have never felt more balanced in both body and mind. When I was in my 20s and 30s, I was trying every different workout I could find. Some workouts were enjoyable, but most were not. I found myself being injured quite a bit. In fact, my husband commented to me, “You are the most fit injured person I have ever seen.” I attribute most of my injuries to my lack of mind-body connection. Did I push myself too hard? No doubt. I wasn’t “listening to my body.” Always in search of an enjoyable exercise, I decided to give yoga a try. I thought, well, what do I have to lose at this point! And I am so thankful I tried yoga because yoga changed my life! Most people think that because I am a yoga teacher I walked into my first yoga class and was able to do everything. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I was completely lost in my first yoga class and, to my surprise, it was hard! I didn’t know what the instructor was doing, and I didn’t understand the names of the poses. But I will say when I left my first class, I was very intrigued by this “yoga thing.” With consistent class attendance, things started to click, and I knew I had found something that was amazing. This “yoga thing” had a significant impact on how I was feeling, and I looked forward to my next class. I was consistent with my yoga classes because I was seeing changes in both my body and mind. Yoga taught me how to make the mind-body connection that I was missing and how to “listen” to what my body was trying so hard to tell me.
About four years ago, I discovered barre. Right away, I loved the challenge of barre, and I immediately knew that barre was the “something more” I wanted to add to my yoga practice. I loved the toning effects I was getting with those darn little three pound weights, lots of repetitions that fatigued my muscles and those tiny isometric movements! The cardio bursts were an added bonus because the cardio was low impact and sustainable for my body. l no longer had to do cardio because it was already included in barre. Toning, strengthening, cardio and stretching in 55 minutes – that’s a total win for me. I loved the lean muscle I was seeing. I quickly realized barre was a form of exercise I could do that was as sustainable for me as my yoga practice had proven to be. With consistent practice, yoga and barre together have made me stronger, leaner, more flexible and more mentally balanced. The combination of yoga and barre work best for my body. I truly love this duo.
Some days I am not sure how I got to this point, but yoga and barre led me to opening The Yoga Barre. Owning a studio was not what I initially set out to do, but here I am! LOL! And, as much as I love The Yoga Barre, I will say that running a studio is a lot more work than it appears to be. Small, new studios require a lot of time and effort to build. During the past two years, I have been quite busy and had unintentionally let my nutrition slip a bit. About six months ago, I knew I needed to re-focus my attention on eating better. I didn’t eat terrible before, but because of my new, busier lifestyle, I wasn’t providing my body with the “optimal fuel” it needed to keep up with teaching more classes and running the day-to-day operations of the studio. But due to this beautiful The Yoga Barre journey, I am blessed, yet again, to have a wonderful barre teacher and friend, Christina Pike, who has recently embarked on a new business, Nourish with Christina Pike. I had talked to Christina about feeling tired. Like many busy people tend to think, I thought, “Well, I am busy and being tired is just part of it.” Christina knew what my typical day looked like and knew I wasn’t eating enough. Like so many people, I was “grabbing and going.” She looked over my diet and set me up with the proper percentages of macro nutrients and educated me on the importance of planning my meals ahead of time. And, I will tell you, making small tweaks to this 50-year-old’s diet has made a huge difference in my energy level, stamina and muscle recovery! And the best part of it all – it was easy. If you’re looking to make sustainable, lifestyle changes in your diet, whether big, small or somewhere in between, I highly recommend contacting Christina because she will get you on track.
For the past few weeks, I have been repeatedly asked, “So, how does it feel to be 50?” Wrapping this blog post up, I can honestly say it feels amazing. I was blessed to have been able to spend my birthday with wonderful friends and family. My mother and some amazing friends put together a celebration for me at the studio after our morning yoga class, and I had a delicious birthday dinner and cake (those of you who know me know I love cake) with my family. Now that I have a couple of weeks of “50 years old” under my belt, I can certainly say I am happy, healthy and feel amazing. By God’s grace and choosing to live the healthiest lifestyle possible and fueling my body with nutrient-rich foods, I hope to still be teaching yoga and barre for another 50 years.
So, for those of you who think, you are too old, too out-of-shape, “too whatever,” please let all of that negativity go and join us at The Yoga Barre. Myself and the amazing staff of teachers at The Yoga Barre would love to share the gifts of yoga, barre and health with you.
(Photo Heather Gillich)