makeshiftloveballerina.jpgInspired by WorkoutMommy (because if someone with kids can find the time to work out, then surely someone without them can find time too) , I scheduled a workout on Monday. And that worked out so well that I scheduled one for Tuesday and then another for this afternoon.

You see, I finally learned how to do yoga in a way that works for me. I’d never had the time, money, or good location to take classes before, so I’d tried books and CDs. Well that didn’t work because I never got “into” it. I wanted to stick with yoga, however, because it’s mostly what I’m interested in…gentle stretches (I should really do more cardio, but I’ve never enjoyed it as much).

On Monday, I suddenly felt like doing plies instead of yoga poses. Next thing you know, it’s tendus, degagees, frappes, etc. I ended up doing the entire bar warmup that I’d done for years and years back when I was taking ballet classes.

From that I moved into yoga and everything worked like a charm. I was warmed up, so I went straight into the warriors, triangle, and such, then the inversions, then a series of floor stretches to cool down.

Unlike before, everything flowed. I transferred the energy of dancing into the poses. It was amazing. I realized that all along I had all the things I’d needed.

Dancer’s Body

I don’t have the ideal dancer’s body—far from it. However, I have a body that’s programmed with all the steps and routines that one learned in 10 years of classes. I have a body that is still fairly flexible even though I stopped formally dancing years ago.

I also have a body scarred from all that dancing. One that developed bunions from pointe and genetic factors. One that suffered an awful back injury when I was 14, one that left me unable to dance for a time and in physical therapy. The latter finally ended me dancing career. It’s one of the reasons I doubt I’ll ever take formal lessons again, I need to be able to control how much or how little I do.

Dancer’s Tools

I still have my leotard, tights, and slippers (pointe shoes too, but you wouldn’t catch me in those!) in a drawer. So on Tuesday, I formally put those on to feel even more in the spirit. I felt even more energized and got a great workout/stretch/etc.

They all still fit, so more points for the body.

Dancer’s Spirit

I couldn’t get into yoga as yoga itself. The stretches don’t quite warm me up enough. It’s partially a matter of flow and probably a matter of getting my muscles and joints literally warmer.

So there you have it. The next step is for me to make a habit of this. I’ve finally found something that works, that I enjoy on the exercise front. It would be a real shame if I neglected it.

Have you found a way to “hack” your exercise workouts? Might changing your assumptions help?

photo by makeshiftlove

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remodelingthislife March 19, 2008 at 2:08 pm

That is so awesome!!

I have a dancers body but am way too uncoordinated for it πŸ™‚


Looby March 19, 2008 at 3:14 pm

I did something similar when my friend used to drag me to work out with her. I would do my entire ballet warm up exercises in the uni gym before hitting the treadmill etc. It was the only way I could get into it. I still do it occasionally before I go for a run or to play tennis.
My aim this year is to be more consistent in my exercising, maybe I should get my mum to mail me my old shoes and leotard? Great article!

workout mommy March 19, 2008 at 3:15 pm

I am so proud of you Mrs. Micah!!

Shanti @ Antishay March 19, 2008 at 7:21 pm

This is great! I know exactly what you mean about getting into the “flow” – where all the energy seems to be carrying you and opening you up, as opposed to you forcing it out of you.

I like to run, but I hate it. I hack this by deciding just to walk. I tell myself, “OK, we’ll just go walking today,” and inevitably after walking for about 10 minutes I get all jazzed and start running. If I just tried to warm up and then run, I would never even get my butt out the door πŸ˜‰

Way to go, you!

Susan March 19, 2008 at 8:08 pm

Yay! Great work!
I’m so glad you found what works for you! πŸ™‚

Funny about Money March 19, 2008 at 10:41 pm

What a great idea!

The only way I manage to exercise is by going on a fast hour-long walk with a friend as many days a week as we can work it into our schedules. I’m just too plug-lazy to get up and move the body unless someone is expecting me!

The best deal I had, though, was when I opened my home to a friend to give yoga classes for some women in our church group. Yoga is awesome! Every couple of weeks, my voice teacher would show up four or five hours later…she could always tell when I’d been doing yoga that day.

It’s really effective at staving off back pain, too.

Hilda March 20, 2008 at 4:27 am

I love yoga, too! I’m glad to hear you’re doing it on your own. I still have a hard time doing it all by myself so I only do it when I’m in class. Good job!

Hilda March 20, 2008 at 4:27 am

I love yoga, too! I’m glad to hear you’re doing it on your own. I still have a hard time doing it all by myself so I only do it when I’m in class. Good job, Mrs. Micah!

A March 21, 2008 at 2:05 pm

I do a frankensteinean version of yoga with a foam roller to warm up / warm down from runs.

I get a lot of weird looks on race days.

Haylee, a yoga teacher March 24, 2008 at 12:06 am

many yoga styles have the “Sun Salutations” as a warm up before going into the poses- I wouldn’t like to go straight into triangle either. Have you tried doing a few rounds of Sun Salutations before starting the other poses? If not, you might find it has a very similar effect to starting off with the ballet movements

mrsmicah March 24, 2008 at 9:19 pm

@Haylee, Sun Salutations did pretty well for getting me a bit more stretched, but they didn’t really get my energy flowing or my spirit engaged. I don’t know why…

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