If it’s Not Hard, It’s Not Hard

No, not that, get your mind out of the gutter, this is a posture and exercise blog.

Recently, I wrote about habits; the need to correct bad ones while developing good ones, and how to use them to your benefit. I even teased an upcoming post on how you might go about changing and developing your habits. This is not that post.

A couple of days ago, I pleaded for you to include resistance training in your exercise regimen. From there I went on to riff on the idea of taking something hard, like exercising regularly, and making it easier by choosing exercises you enjoy.

Well, yesterday was fall-return-to-yoga-after-taking-the-summer-off-day. I’ve really got to come up with a better name for it, that one’s a little wordy. Anyway, after taking 2- ½ months off, I returned to the sweat box for a motion flow yoga/Inferno Hot Pilates double class.

Being nobody’s fool, I chose that particular double for my return because, while the motion flow class isn’t particularly strenuous, it has proven tremendously valuable to me. It was in this class that I learned

  • how to move within the limits of my personal history and physiology
  • many of the exercises I used to repair my back and fix my posture
  • how to determine if a yoga posture serves me or not
  • how to modify a yoga posture if, as taught, it conflicts with my body’s physiology or needs so that it will serve me

So important has this class been for me that it was the foundation and inspiration for this little blog’s tag line:

Overcoming Pain, Regaining Mobility, Learning to StandUpRight.

Of course, being a smartass I joked with the teacher that I was returning from my summer hiatus to her class because I wanted to ease my way back into practice, not do anything too hard. Seeing as she took this as a challenge, it was really more of a dumbass move than a smartass one.

Anyway, long story short, I sweated more in movement flow last night than I have in a year. And made myself tremendously popular with the other yogis because the teacher made sure to let them all know why things were dialled up a bit (and by “a bit” I mean “a lot”). “Welcome back Andrew, this one’s for you. You can all thank him after class.”

Moving right along, I survived, took my ½ hour rest and went into the Level 2 hot Pilates class. What is level 2? Basically, it’s level 1 with longer sets and shorter rests. Instead of 20 seconds on and 20 seconds off, it’s more like 30-35 on and 5-10 off.

I was, umm, a little tired when I got home. And by “a little tired” I mean “I could barely keep my eyes open to eat dinner.”

And today, wow, did I wake up tired, and stiff, and sore? Well, no.

Wait, wut? All that lead up, telling us how beat up and exhausted you were, and you aren’t even sore today?

Not really. I can feel where the muscles were worked, but I’m not in any way debilitated. The changes persist. Maybe I should write something about that.

Anyway, today is posture story Thursday, wherein I tell a tale about how going through postural correction has rippled out into the rest of my life. Well, that right there is one of the great benefits to my exercise routines.

I use the summer to recharge body and mind. I do different exercises, with lower intensities. I dial it back a bit to play with the kids, go fishing, read a little more. And when school’s back, and the days grow short, I go back to the Bikram Yoga/Inferno Plates hot box, and do so without suffering.

So, then, what exactly did I mean by, “If it’s not hard, it’s not hard?”

I regularly challenge my body with hard, strenuous exercise. Bikram Yoga, Inferno Hot Pilates, running, kayaking, hockey. In years gone by; rock climbing, alpine hiking, mountain biking, tennis, competitive martial arts.

But, every I did every single one of those exercises/sports because I enjoy them; it wasn’t hard to get into them, and it wasn’t hard to get out to do them, because they were fun. And once you’re into the activity, ramping it up, turning the dial up to 11, that’s not hard either. Because it’s fun.

In other words, its wasn’t hard (to get going) so it wasn’t hard (to do).