Today I decided to switch up my morning workout: instead of my typical gym routine I went to a Pilates class.
The class I attended was billed as an intermediate/advanced reformer/tower class. Based on the description I expected it to be an intense class that would challenge me and push me to my edge.
I didn’t push myself hard in the six weeks I was in Panama, and I am ready to get back into peak shape. I wanted to feel the burn.
That’s not quite how it went down.
I didn’t feel like I pushed my limit either in exertion or in conditioning. I didn’t work any muscle to fatigue and I didn’t feel the burn. Also, I didn’t do anything to get my heart rate up.
According to my new Apple Watch, I didn’t even burn 200 calories.
It didn’t feel so advanced.
After class, I contemplated going to the gym to add to my workout.
But I am trying to train myself to do less. So instead of going to the gym, I sat for meditation practice.
It was a good opportunity to examine my thoughts about the class and lean into the feelings I had about it.
Was it true that the class wasn’t advanced? What determines whether it’s advanced?
I may not have worked up a sweat or felt the burn, but that in itself isn’t indicative.
The moves we did were subtle, and the teacher focused on our alignment.
Part of my practice is to trust that I got what I needed from the experience, even if it wasn’t what I expected or what I thought I wanted.
You can work up a sweat moving in big ways and end up with injuries because you’re moving without proper alignment.
The bigger muscles tend to take over for the smaller muscles unless you isolate the small muscles. This isolation requires subtle moves.
Doing subtle moves in proper alignment is the advanced practice.
Knowing this to be true, I considered that perhaps my feeling that I didn’t really workout “enough” is just the discomfort of doing less.
This concept of doing less is where I need the most practice.
It feels uncomfortable. And that’s part of my practice: to sit with that discomfort.
As it turned out, I had plenty of activity throughout the day. Doing less this morning was just what I needed.
I couldn’t have known that at the time. I had to trust.
Trust is also part of the practice.