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inspiration of the month - jim bittner

September 1, 2016

  I am 56 years old and have been practicing at Burn Within for 8 months.  Up till 8 months ago my opinion of yoga consisted of the below perceptions:

  • My knees won’t take it...especially the one that requires 90 day cortisone shots. 

  • Yoga is for young fit people most of whom are women.

  • The other people in the class will take notice that I’m older, male and overweight.

  • I’m not into meditating and “self-discovery”.

  • I lack flexibility and balance.

  • I work out with weights so what’s the added benefit.

  • I’ll get kidded by my male friends.

  • What if I accidentally pass gas!

In an effort to impress my girl I thought I would give it a try once I saw the Burn Within 30 day unlimited special for $39.  After the first 30 days my perceptions changed to:

  • The majority of the class is indeed younger and female, however, the older 40 crowd has been represented at the majority of classes I’ve taken.  And I’m rarely the only male in the classes.

  • The instructors begin class by asking about any body parts we would like to focus on so they can customize the stretches and moves to those particular areas.  The classes I sign up for focus on improving flexibility and strength.

  • The only one being critical of my age, weight, gender and coordination was ME.  I even caught myself laughing at how awkward I felt during the postures.  But the rest of the class was so focused on adjusting their own postures that nobody was taking notice.  I was surprised how after only a few session this perception of “standing out” in class was not the least bit a concern.

After the next 90 days:

  • I’ve learned that many of my male friends have tried or are practicing yoga.  Since being in the construction industry I do get the occasional ribbing from some friends…but it is good natured and often hilarious.

  • The increased flexibility in my legs and back from yoga has vastly improved my weight room work outs.

After 8 months:

  • I haven’t had a cortisone shot since practicing yoga.  I used to get night leg cramps a few times a month…they have stopped as well.

  • My practices have been flatulent free for 8 months…knock on wood.

 

If you ever considered yoga but are hesitant due to perceptions your peers or movies have given you I urge you it a go for a weeks to validate or not validate your perceptions.  I sure am glad it did.

 

Jim Bittner

 

 

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