“I’ll go to the gym tomorrow” that’s basically my health regimen. There are times when I’m “good” I’ll go to the gym four or five times a week for a few months; then I’ll take one day off, which turns into two days off, and eventually snowballs into four months of “I’ll go to the gym tomorrow”.
We all know what being healthy takes. A simple Google search will give you dozens of ways to stay healthy in a manner that suits your lifestyle. Start small! Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get out of bed and exercise for 20 minutes, it’s better than doing nothing. Eat vegetables, eat fruit, be mindful of your carbohydrate, sugar, and junk food intake. Don’t smoke or drink in excess. We get it.
I am very much aware of both the long- and short-term benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. Long term heart, lung, and mobility benefits as well as short term increase in attention span, productivity, and overall feeling of accomplishment. I just can’t seem to do it. Or at least not in it’s entirety
In a society that thrives on immediate gratification, what if we got the healthy ball rolling with some exercise and immediate reward. It’s a start, right? It was with this mentality and a confidence in my past yoga experience that I headed to Bend and Brunch on a sunny Sunday at Tribe Hotel. Cheloti of the Africa Yoga Project was the instructor that day who took us through an hour of Power Yoga. I’ve practiced yoga before, the longest stint being for about a consecutive year, but now, after six months of living like a sloth, this was intense.
Cheloti guided us through various poses and a variation of Salute to the Sun which got the blood flowing and sweat dripping within 10 minutes of the word “go”. As Cheloti squared my hips and lowered me further into warrior one my chest burned with anger. In that moment I hated him. I hated him for thinking he knew my body’s limits better than I did. I wanted to quit, fall out of chair pose and lie on the ground for a moment. Just one moment. But I kept pushing on, mostly because Cheloti kept encouraging me to bend deeper into the stretch or attempt the next position. Every time I thought we were close to wrapping up we’d be in the next position, targeting a different set of muscles.
“Lie on your back, lift your legs, bend your knees towards your ears, grab your big toes, and come into happy baby” Cheloti gently instructed, “breathe deeply into the pose, and thank your body for its strength and work today”. I sighed with relief, I was incredibly thankful our workout was over and as I lay there, knees by my ears, I gained a deep appreciation for what I had accomplished. Cheloti was right, I could stretch deeper and go further into the pose than I initially believed. I could kick ass a yoga. It’s an incredible feeling to walk away from. A sense of strong accomplishment and strength washed over me. The second a workout is over, your mind and body seem to forget that you were ever in pain. “I could have done 30 more minutes” I thought to myself. I had really enjoyed it! I immediately began mentally planning my next workout.
As we walked out of the studio, I knew I deserved the brunch spread and (bottomless) cocktails that awaited me. I bee-lined for the desserts: mocha mousses, chocolate chip cookies, macaroons, cakes, and more. After a plate of desserts washed down with a mimosa, I explored the rest of the brunch offering. There was a salad bar, soups, hot plates with main dishes from pastas to spare ribs, and an outdoor grill with shrimp and tandoori chicken. It was glorious. If this is what it means to work out, count me in. I now know what motivates me (immediate gratification with delicious food and drinks) so I’ll work on incorporating it into my workout regimen ‘tomorrow’. What motivates you?
If you follow me on Snapchat, you’ve probably already seen the photos above.
Note: the yoga pictured is actually acro-yoga which we got into after the workout was done, turns out it’s a lot of fun and I can actually do it (I surprised myself)
Thank you: to Tribe Hotel for having us, to Cheloti for being an amazing instructor (I promise to call you soon for another work out!) and to EatOut Kenya for organizing our day out.
This article was published in the April edition (CHOCOLATE ISSUE) of Yummy Magazine. Check it out! 🙂