So I haven’t joined a spin class in a loooooong time and I love spin but this class made me feel schizophrenic.
Google defines scizophrenia as a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements. Yup, this is how I felt.
Spin has always been my workout of choice but after giving it up 2 years ago due to having a major abdominal surgery, meditation and mindfulness took place of my beloved gym routine.
Now I am ready to cross train in meditation and spin. But am I? I went to a soul cycle-style class at TruFusion and felt so disconnected from my mind and body during it that I'm near positive I won't go back (**please let me clarify that this is not a smack down on TruFusion, the studio is beautiful and offers an amazing variety of interesting classes. Definitely check them out if you can).
All I could think of during was - this class is a metaphor for how we live life. We are no longer present to one task before we are moving on to the next.
In class we changed it up every couple seconds (I mean literally seconds), my body could not keep up with the instructions my mind was receiving or maybe it was mind that could not keep up with my body. I silently begged the teacher to take us on a long hill climb so that we could get into a rhythm and challenge our bodies through concentration rather than rapid and spontaneous movement.
We were up for 4, down for 4, right for 2 then left for 2, then doing double armed pushups, then single armed...then instead of repeating the sequence to get into a flow we were on to the next as if the single task of pedaling our legs with resistance was not good enough.
I thought to myself, our minds are working hard enough to transition between thoughts and tasks all day long outside the health club, this is the one place we could use a break from that. I stopped thinking and returned to presence.
At the end of class the teacher got mindful, she mentioned letting go and thanking 2018, setting intentions for 2019 and stretching open our chests and heart centre to release any worry and sadness lying there before closing space with a “Namaste”. It was a beautiful way to end.
Thinking back to spin classes of my past they were not dissimilar to this one. But I lived differently then. I did not value mindfulness in the same way and was always focused on moving on to the next thing. I lacked presence and concentration.
And for you hardcore gym buffs out there who think I just don’t get it because I am a meditation and yoga buff, I have news - I wasn’t always, I was about as hardcore a gym goer as they come and had no time for slowing down and going inward. The more dominance and faster pace a workout required I was in to it, but I realized that was not serving me and I invite you to consider that working our bodies without presence, concentration and a connection to our minds doesn’t serve anybody.
They say in yoga that how you are on the mat is a reflection of how you are off the mat. I guess the same could be said about being on the bike:)
In honour of presence and flow...