#OutrageousOctober: Group Fitness to de-stress

31 Oct

Anyone who knows me knows that getting regular exercise into my schedule is not my forte. Ever since starting at the U of A, I have wanted to try out one of the group fitness classes that the Campus Rec offers. So why has it taken me over two years to actually go? Working out with a small group really freaks me out. Whenever I go to the Rec, I make it a goal to get in, get out, and run into as few people as possible.

The class: Vinyasa Yoga

The challenge: I have not taken a yoga class since having surgery on my back five years ago. Who knows if I’ll even be able to do half of the stuff they’re asking me to.

The experience: I took this class with one of my good friends to help settle my nerves about taking the class in the first place. Throughout the class I was surprised pretty much every step of the way:

  1. The Rec has yoga mats for us to use
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    When doing research on different classes around Tucson, usually there was a disclaimer that you had to bring your own yoga mats. But they had a huge stock of supplies, which is awesome for people who are just starting off and aren’t ready to make the investment in equipment. It was also super handy for me because then I didn’t have to awkwardly carry a yoga mat around campus all day until my last class.
  2. I started breaking a sweat?!
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    In the past when I’ve taken yoga classes, the movements were really slow and it really didn’t feel like exercise. This was NOT the case. We were literally moving non-stop. The. Whole. Time. So when I started breaking a sweat I was like wow, okay I’m actually getting a workout. My goal was just to relieve stress and get over my fears, but this was an added benefit.
  3. My shoulders were holding so much tension
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    After about 5 downward dogs I realized pretty quickly that my shoulders have been holding so much tension from my stress about midterms. They definitely loosened up over the course of the 45 minute class, but it hurt to put my backpack on afterwards.
  4. My body was surprisingly strong and flexible
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    I really was expecting to get tired pretty much right away but I made it through almost the entire class without needing a break. I surprised myself with how long I could hold planks because it has been a LONG time since I last worked out (last fall’s finals week?!). I also thought I was going to have a hard time with the twisting portions and the flow from one yoga pose to another.
  5. Everybody was really nervous about what they looked like. But nobody cares what you look like
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    For the first few minutes I felt really self-conscious about how I looked- Was I bending the right way? Did I move fast enough? Did the pose make my body look unflattering? But then my glasses started sliding off my face, so I took them off and then couldn’t see myself in the mirror anymore, so I found myself not thinking about how I looked anymore. I briefly glanced behind me and realized that other people really worried about themselves too, no one was noticing  what I was doing.

The verdict: Group fitness classes are really fun, they are a great way to challenge yourself. Even if you are nervous about how others will perceive you, they honestly are probably not too concerned with what you’re doing. After going to this class, I am definitely going to invest in a group fitness pass for the rest of the semester!

-Gabriela

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