Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mental Discipline

The last couple weeks I've been working out really hard, trying to get in shape a bit before my trip in May. This evening I went to hot yoga for the first time in months. I expected to be pretty dizzy. One of the rules of Bikram yoga is you are not supposed to leave the room for the entire 90 minutes. Partly it's an issue of discipline-- you are getting used to the heat, even if all you do is lay on the floor. The other reason you aren't supposed to leave the room is if you go in the bathroom and pass out the instructor won't know. It was especially hot tonight and there were a lot of new students. I surprised myself by getting through the entire standing series without having to lay down. Usually that's the part of the class where I get dizzy or feel bad. I don't know why, but it seemed to get hotter as the class went on. People kept getting up and leaving the room-- less than half the class actually finished. I was so hot that toward the end I was fighting an anxiety attack-- but I kept breathing and focusing on each pose and made it through the entire class. (No laying around at the end though-- I got out of that room quick!) It was definitely an exercise in mental concentration. I was sitting near a group of teenage girls afterwards who had left the room talking about how they felt like they were going to DIE in there. I think sometimes we give up too soon on things because we think we can't do it. I'm sitting here watching the Biggest loser-- all of these people thought they couldn't do strenuous workouts, and here they are 9 weeks later working out 6 hours a day and having lost as much as 100 pounds already-- they have had to break down their own mental barriers and found that they actually could do more than they ever have before. What if we stopped setting up road blocks for ourselves and worked to our potential instead of to our expectations?

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