My Facebook group Happy Place – Fitness Community in English in Quebec City is well on its way. There are 30 members now and we are getting to know each other. I started the group after joining another group earlier in the summer, created by Mary Ann and located in Seattle. I wanted to have something local. A chance to get together from time to time in real life.
The anchor of my group is the workout class that I am teaching on Saturdays. This year it will be a mix of zumba and power yoga. We will be doing half an hour of each. There will also be some other cutting-edge fitness techniques thrown in like Pilates and Barre in the course of the year. I’m excited about sharing my fitness knowhow. I used to teach aerobics and work as a personal trainer at a gym so this is in a way going back to my old love.
Creating a group like this can give the founder and the participants a great boost. You make connections with likeminded people and they can pull you higher. We are all on this journey together. No one has the ultimate answers, nor is everyone the same. We have to figure out what exercise routines and eating habits fit our unique bodies and lifestyles. Learning from other’s experiences can provide precious inspiration.
I had flirted with yoga before but it is only this summer that I’ve really delved into it. I took yoga lessons back in Paris which left me dubitative. I craved sports and didn’t find it in that particular practice. But now either I or something else has changed, and I really see the interest in yoga. I still feel that it is a lot like my twenty years of ballet – a discipline based on strengthening and lengthening the muscle all within the same practice – and what is more precious than that.
I enjoy yoga outdoors and with music. I also like the mental side of it. Sometimes the instructor will encourage you to set a certain goal to our practice like finding peace or energy, or even an answer to a question. I like the emphasis on being thankful and also radiating the love you have sparked when finishing your session.
I recently discovered a beautiful girl – inside and out – who teaches yoga lessons online. Here’s a link to Boho Beautiful if you also would like to try working out at home with her. She will take you to do yoga on the beaches of Asia. You find differently focused lessons: core, shoulders, morning wake up, digestion and so on. I say let’s go find peace and power…
I’m done bashing my body. I’ve decided to stop complaining once and for all. Yes, I’ll never be perfect, but does that really matter? I don’t expect perfection in others, so why in myself. I believe that many of us will be freed to truly live, not just to get by, when we uncover the key to unconditional body happiness.
I read an article talking about three points leading to body wellbeing. Let’s start. The first point is the most powerful. Focus on what you love about your body, not on what you don’t. Let’s stop wasting our precious time on complaining about this and that. The tummy that isn’t as flat as I’d like or the shoulder bones that don’t define themselves as clearly as once before. Is my body functional? Does it enable me to truly live, to go where I wish and pile up on activities that I long to engage in?
The second point is about stopping negative internal talk. Practice and learn how to talk to yourself like you would to a dear friend. I would never ever tell a friend that they don’t look their best today or that their cheeks look too chubby to be cute. I don’t even notice these things in others. According to my values, I’d find that small-minded. So, why would I pick on myself in such a way?
The third point banishes our damaging habit of comparing. We compare body weight and firmness of tummy but also jobs, finances and success. This leads to what. Deep dissatisfaction, ungratefulness and general lack of motivation. Let’s appreciate our lives, bodies and doings to their true value. I am unique. So are you. Let’s do “us”. I believe that practice makes perfect. Once you catch yourself in the comparison game, snip it off right there and then.
What do you think? Are you game?
The Canadian end of winter has been acting up. On our recent journey, we ended up booking a hotel in Montreal just to spend the night. The ordeal wasn’t planned, yet it turned out fun. We enjoyed what the bar and cuisine had to offer, along with my complementary Starbucks fix. Nothing better to paint a smile on my face upon wake up.
I’ve really been mindful of cultivating a positive attitude towards the weather, among other things. I can’t change nor shorten the Canadian winter. So I will simply accept it, work around it. I’ve been roasting veggies – mmm, the yummy smell spreading across my place as I’m writing this – and just enjoying the freezing air walks. Happiness radiates from within. It has very little to do with the temps. But finding your sparkle is the hardest.
Before I headed out to Starbucks to savor writing this post, I watched Donald Trump take his first steps down the inauguration parade route in Washington DC. Prior to that, I had watched Barack Obama say good bye to his staff and supporters at Joint Base Andrew. My emotions are shuffled. I don’t quite understand how my country got where it is today.
Nevertheless, I’ve always been a huge believer in positivity. In general, I try to accept the facts as soon as possible, and then see how I can find my happy place within the defining factors I cannot change. Future remains to be seen. Within that, I feel that my place is to keep shining the light of multiculturalism and inclusion. I think that a great deal of our societal problems of today stem from the fact that a part of our society, be it in the USA or elsewhere, doesn’t find their true place in it.
If I on daily basis spread the message of respect to everyone I come across, be it the barista, cleaning lady or bus driver, if I reach out to them with a friendly smile, a few words to acknowledge them being a part of my day, that will help everyone feel like their input is valued and needed. I know that this takes energy. The day isn’t always opportune to breathing out positivity. Yet, if I challenge myself to this task, I am the first one to reap the good fruit. A smile blesses the smiler first and foremost.
Today I inaugurate a mandate of daily positivity. I swear in with a desire to be the voice of encouragement. I am in control of my life. My individual actions matter. They are my precious daily doings – nothing counts more than that. I hope you’re down with me…
Fall is finally slowly starting to kick in here in Quebec City. It’s been such a great summer with lots of warm morning jogs in Central Park and coffees on the Grand Allee terrace. I’m suffering from a sinusitis. It’s forced me to slow down and take time to rest. I try to see lesson in everything so now I’m tending a listening ear to the message this quieter time can deliver me. It’s definitely about trust. Believing that my company will continue its happy life even though I’ve had to cancel a few days.
When feeling physically low I go to things that soothe me. I start wanting to take baths. I walk in the city and pay more attention on details. I write to friends that I haven’t connected with in a while. I study some Bible, pray and mediate on the verses I read. It seems that just as my body is weak, my heart is ever more open during these days. All distractions are gone. Just the essential – the lesson in learning to accept life as it comes.