Every Sunday, Arti Kashyap-Aynsley drops by to discuss all the many things we may be facing, feeling or going through in our day to day lives. Share your questions and / or requests for topics with Arti anonymously at firstname.lastname@example.org
I thought it would be appropriate to focus this weeks’ blog on a follow on from our founder Emma’s that was written earlier this week that focused on all things body confidence, exercise, personal experience and so forth post our SoulCycle experience together. So here goes…
In earlier blogs I have wrote about evolutionary moments that caused me to question and alter how I lived my life including my relationship with all things health and wellbeing. For me my journey’s have been personal and independent. I have had friends and family on the side-lines but whatever I was facing, I dealt with on my own. The gym, my exercise routine, my nutrition patterns, my workings on changing my self-talk, have all been my own journey to experience. And it’s not because I didn’t want anyone on it with me or the help. It’s because often times I was / am so overtaken by self-consciousness that having someone by my side only grows those brewing feelings.
Growing up as an overweight kid engrains thoughts of just feeling like you don’t belong, you stick out like a sore thumb and you were made to be made fun of / picked on in your head, And no matter how much weight I have lost / regained or how comfortable I have started to feel in my own skin, the feeling of putting on some spandex like outfit and heading to a gym class to put myself in a zone of complete and utter vulnerability and uncomfortableness only freaks me out. It’s the perfect formula / platform to bring me back to gym class days, where I looked for excuses to not exercise in front of people so I could avoid all the giggling and name calling and the uncomfortableness I felt as I felt the rolls jiggle under my oversized t-shirts and bottoms that I wore in an attempt to cover it all up.
And it’s not that I like torture that I continue to live the gym class life, but it’s because I know deep down that often times a lot of what I - like many of you – am thinking is in my head and in fact not really real. I know that when people are working out, they are too focused on surviving the workout and are dealing with their own thoughts and insecurities, but for some reason the logical side of my brain can’t seem to fully comprehend that. So instead I spend parts of classes wondering if I will be the person that someone makes fun of in their stories or IG posts and / or if I will be ridiculed in the changing rooms.
Unhealthy thought patterns I know, and for someone who preaches on changing our self-talk, I can openly admit to being a constant work in progress in this department. I am taking the advice I dish – I PROMISE – but just like for others some days are better than others.
However, one thing I will say is that irrespective of my relationship with my self-talk, the positives that I have experienced in my life thanks to my relationship with exercise around both my physical and mental health and my character building is undeniable. It is these positives that continue to lead me to classes with music so loud that I can’t hear myself think, vibes so strong that no amount of negativity could break it and a community so strong that you can feel them carrying you through every exercise and movement pattern. It is this environment, vibes and all-around sense of belonging that led me to want to train as a personal trainer and is the reason why I continue to coheres people into joining me for classes.
For me it has never been about the aesthetics it’s been about creating and finding that safe space that allows you to feel and be what you need and that leaves you feeling completely empowered about your life, your path and your way forward.
My experience with Emma this week at SoulCycle was a complete and utter reminder of just that and the magical impact it can have on someone. When she left me in the changing rooms and headed to work, I had no idea what she was thinking. I wondered if she walked away regretting ever met me, but by the time I got to the office and opened up my phone to her messages, I was completely overtaken by emotion in hearing just how she felt post our morning session - she seemed to feel all the things I wanted her to, but in her own magical space and way.
In a world where we are filled constantly of images and views on what we should and should not look like, be or stand for, we need to find spaces that allow us to drown it all out and remind ourselves of what we actually stand for, feel and want to do. And that space will look different for everyone – for me it is being in those wild, crazy and often pocket draining studios, which seemed to have the same impact on Emma.
My mission isn’t to encourage you to spend a fortune finding that space but to open yourself up enough to try it and see if that space is what moves and serves you.
There is no right or wrong way – and when I look at the new and infamous mannequin perched inside @Nike London, that’s what I see, a monument of recognising that we are all different and as a result need, feel and want things in a different way. There is no one size fits all strategy and approach. All we need is a level of inclusivity that gives us the permission to let us find what serves us.
This week as you read my weekly rant, my hope is only that you walk away recognising that it is okay to see and want things differently for yourself. Embrace it and find the space that allows you to come back to that unique you when things seem to get to chaotic and you forget.
Until next week and our next event. Sending lots of love, gratitude and open invitations to join us for some soul and / or any other workouts we embark on.
Arti aka The Wellness Chief xx
Have a topic you want me to address in the weekly column and / or are keen to look at the idea of coaching in general and / or coaching with me, please drop me a note at email@example.com. I offer free taster sessions and am always open to hosting exploratory calls as a starter.