A couple months ago I shared that we go through seasons of fitness, which often reflect our season of life. It is important to recognize what season we are in and how we think about that season, or our mindset toward that season. It matters! Our body and our minds go hand-in-hand. When we can recognize how the two are connected, we are able to make changes in our minds that affect our bodies – and we can make changes that are better for both!
Before I share my experience with mindset, let me start by saying I am incredibly fortunate to have had such a great pregnancy (I am at the start of month 9 as I write this). I have really enjoyed my pregnancy and this chapter in my life! But I did have a hard time adjusting mentally to the physical change in my yoga practice once I was into my second trimester (months 4 and after). Not only did I stop doing quite a few poses that I had incorporated into my daily yoga practice (think twists and more intense inversions), but many poses that once came naturally were a lot harder for me to get into. Of course, this had to do with my ever-growing belly and our sweet baby, neither of which I was mad about! One day I realized that I hadn’t practiced yoga in a couple of weeks and that my fitness had only been cardio and light weights. I can’t tell you the last time I hadn’t practiced in that long. I didn’t feel drawn to my mat or to my practice. I was antsy and annoyed. One day I forced myself to practice a prenatal-specific series and I’m glad I did. That short session made me realize why I had stopped practicing – my practice didn’t feel like my practice anymore.
My mindset around my practice had changed. Yes, yoga is a practice and its always changing because we’re always changing. But this time, the change was different for me. My practice changed because I’m quite literally growing a human! Yes, our actions always matter, but it isn’t often in life when they matter in this manner. I could put our growing child at risk by continuing the practice I had established pre-pregnancy. I realized that this season of my yoga practice wasn’t my own; rather, it was mine and my daughter’s. I couldn’t have been happier at that moment. What an incredible thing, and time, to be able to share with our unborn baby! My mindset changed from “my practice isn’t the same” to “this is our practice,” and what a difference it has made. I’m back on my mat everyday and I love every second of it.
My practice looks substantially different than it used to and it continues to change as I grow with our daughter, and I’m OK with that now. I know my practice will change again after she is here, and that it will more than likely be different than my pre-pregnancy practice because my body, mind, and experiences will be different! This is why mindset matters. If I had kept my “this is MY practice and I can’t do everything I used to do” mindset, I probably would be miserable rolling my mat out. But with my “this is our practice and a special time to share with my daughter” mindset, I am enjoying my practice to its fullest potential and really having fun with it!
Maybe you have experienced, or are experiencing, this with an injury. If you find yourself struggling to accept this season of your fitness journey, maybe a shift in mindset is just what you need to help get yourself over this hump! If you feel like the problem is that you aren’t motivated to practice (yoga, running, weight lifting, or whatever it is that will help you reach your goals), try shifting your mindset around motivation! Instead of waiting for motivation to find you, try to find it yourself. Roll out your mat, put on your running shoes, lift a 3 lb. weight, or take whatever that first step might be. You may find that motivation was waiting for you to make the first move!
Our bodies and our minds are always changing, whether we want them to or not and whether we realize it or not. How can you shift your mindset to help navigate the new seasons that you find yourself in?
We would love to hear your experiences and any tips that you would like to share about how mindset matters! Feel free to share in the comment section or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Namaste (in good mind),