10 June, 2014
Historically I have had a strong aversion to gyms. Their predominantly male, Arnold Schwarzenegger’esque clientele, hundreds of bodies pounding away on grey running machines day dreaming as Fox television blares up ahead, that wall of personal trainers, blonde hair, blue eyes, size six.
If you’re familiar with the TV show ‘Gladiators’ where mere mortals offer themselves up to ‘run the gauntlet’ of gladiators, then you’re familiar with my gut reaction to walking through the doors of a smelly old gym.
However, I’ve come to understand in the last few months that my body does not require further yoga asana. I am stretched quite nicely thank you. After chatting with a few of my teachers and a body worker, the advice I was given was to strengthen muscle, and these results are going to be best achieved with a regime of TRX or weights.
Ugh dear, the smelly old gym seeming more appealing.
So! What gym to choose and where? This is a saturated market, and a yogi should have her choice of stomping ground. Of course just by popping your head through the doors of a gym you open yourself up to a barrage of sales force.
A nice boy named Shane will offer to ‘show you around’, politely asking your goals and introducing you to a few PT’s on the floor, before slamming you with the hard sell at the end asking rhetorical questions like “What have you really got to think about?” Seriously! Makes a yogi want to vom!
In the end I have chosen to test Virgin Active, Pitt Street Mall, Sydney. I say test, because gone are the days of long term memberships, one can simply sign up fortnight to fortnight. Ah yes, living the generation Y dream, no commitments, total control.
Here are the key reasons I chose this gym over other contenders for my business like Fitness First, Anytime Fitness, and personal PT in the park (boot camp etc):
- Highly qualified PT who will focus on my specific needs
- Brand new facilities, immaculately clean and limited bad boy smells
- Yoga & Pilates classes
- Spin classes (terrified, but trying)
- Swimming pool
- Rock climbing wall (terrified, but trying)
- Fancy hair dryers in the bathrooms (key)
So here’s A Yogafied Life’s advice for Yogi’s wanting to get to the gym!
Tip 1: Do not waste time indoors on cardiovascular machines. This will bore you to death! If you want to become a runner, go running outside. If you want to get in to cycling, buy a bike. The gym should be about focusing on specific fitness goals and supporting a sport/exercise you do outside the gym.
Tip 2: Avoid watching TV while exercising. This is the laziest of laziest! Thrashing your body out while you disconnect from your mind, it’s seriously worse than The Matrix! If you want lasting results with your body you are going to have to pay attention and connect with your mind. Be fully present in your exercise.
Tip 3: You are not your body! No matter how hard your mind has fooled you, you are not your body. This container is transient and will one day expire. Look after your temple but don’t get too attached.
Tip 4: All the single yogis, put your hand up! Gyms are a great place to meet people, hot guys and gals in particular. Ones that care about their wellbeing and health! Different to a yoga studio where people are zoning in to themselves and oming out, gyms are very social places where you can strike up a conversation. Get those hot lulu lemon butts out!
Tip 5: Employ a PT. A personal Trainer is an excellent way to achieve the goals you want in a short amount of time. They will help educate you about your body, where you are weak, where you are strong and build you down from head to toe. This will definitely improve your asana practice, as you become more aware of your bodies abilities.
Are you a gym yogi? I’d love to hear about your experiences! Please share below.