There is a poem I read in my Yoga classes, and it relates to balance in our lives. Just like in Yoga, there is a Yin and a Yang to life. Sometimes in a Yoga class, you are holding a very challenging pose, and other times, you are in a completely relaxed and rested state. Each is equally important. The poses where our bodies are still and we try to quiet our minds are just as important as the poses when the muscles in our entire bodies are working to stabilize, balance and lengthen. The challenging poses benefit our physical bodies, but the recovery poses benefit our mental and emotional health.
Likewise, in life, sometimes we push hard and challenge ourselves, and other times, it’s ok to relax and let loose and not be so strict. When we strive for ‘perfection’ that can lead to shame, guilt and a sense of failure which can stumble us on our journey to long-term, optimal health and fitness.
Examples of how you might strive for balance in your life that will promote long-term health and fitness:
Lift weights throughout the week but hike the forests on the weekend.
Dance Saturday night but then take a yoga class Sunday morning.
Workout hard one day, then do nothing but relax and recover the next.
You are scheduled for a Bootcamp class, but you decide you would benefit more from a sauna and hot tub today.
Workout for a long time, and other days you just move your body for 10 minutes.
Eat chocolate when you’re really craving it, but eat kale salad when your body needs it.
Drink green juice to benefit your gut, but sometimes, you drink a glass or two of wine because you enjoy the social component (unless you know that having 1 glass of wine doesn’t benefit you at all!)
You might dress fancy one night and walk barefoot in the sand the next day.
Socialize with strangers one day at a charity event, then find comfort in solo time the next.
Sometimes you move, and sometimes you’re still and strive for silence.
Sometimes you go fast, and sometimes you go slow.
Take a walk along the waterfront or on the trails and enjoy the views.
Spending time with friends or family can sometimes be more important than getting to the gym.
Time with your gym buddies can sometimes be more important than staying home.
Sometimes you get up early to get your workout in, and sometimes you sleep in because the rest is more important to your overall health.
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When you are striving for long-term, optimal health, you are faced with decisions throughout every day. You have to ask yourself:
‘What will serve me best?’
‘What will bring me the greatest joy in the moment?’ a
‘What best aligns with my overall health and fitness plan?’
Sometimes the decision to do what would be considered the ‘perfect’ decision in terms of health and fitness, isn’t actually the best decision to serve you for the long-term. Be flexible and think of the big picture!
Yours in health and fitness,