I don’t know about you, but sometimes I play the comparison game at the gym. “I’m running faster than that girl next to me,” or “That guy has no clue how to do that exercise correctly,” or even “Man, I wish I could do box jumps like that guy.”
If I’m truly honest, most of my comparisons lift me up and tear others down. I’ve become less like this over time. I’m trying to have a more positive attitude about my comparisons…comparing myself to others stronger/faster/better than me for motivation and out of admiration. Comparing myself to others that I see as less advanced as me by remembering that they are working hard at their level and they are trying, and trying hard. Reminding myself that as much as I think I know about fitness now, I used to know far less and I still have a TON to learn. Humble thyself, Lauren.
I used to judge the heck out of people that came to the gym just to do yoga. I used to watch girls enter the gym in their flip flops, carrying a mat and thinking “yeah, like they are gonna get a good workout.” I used to walk past the door to the yoga studio, watch them standing on their mats and thinking “that’s what they call a workout?!” I now know that that pose is Mountain pose and requires much more focus than just standing there.
One of my friends invited me to go to yoga with her while we were in the midst of training for Shamrock (half marathon for me, marathon for her). I only came with her because we rarely get to hang out. I also intrinsically knew it could probably help with my flexibility. I walked out of that 75 minute class with a very different attitude about yoga. Yoga is HARD.
Yoga requires so much physical and mental strength. It is challenging to clear your mind. It is challenging to hold a lunge position for 30 seconds, or a plank for 60.
So much of other areas of fitness borrow or use the same exercises as yoga. Squats? Do them in yoga – they just have a different name. Lunges? Yup. Planks? Check. Balance poses? You betcha. Stretching? Oh my goodness yes. Yoga is not “inferior” or “lesser” to other exercises, its just a little different. No shoes required 🙂
Just like any other type of fitness, those who practice yoga have goals. For running, we have faster times we covet. For lifting, its setting a new PR for your deadlift. For crossfit, it might be mastering a new workout. For swimming, it might be a new PR. For yoga, it might be finally being able to do a plank without modifying it. There is no “lesser” activity – we all work hard and we all have goals. Everyone just has their own preference of how they choose to work out.
I have so much more respect for those girls who walk into yoga with their flip flops and mats. I’m now one of them.
Do you play the comparison game? Do you practice yoga?