Why do we let other people's perceptions define who we are and what we should or shouldn't do?

Written by our Coach Ansku Kangas

This subject of course carries through to all aspects in life, but I'm only going to look at it from an athlete's perspective.

So why do we let other people's perceptions define who we are and what we should or shouldn't do? Or is it that they define us or do we define ourselves first?

Before this gets too philosophical, I'm going to open it up a little bit more. So I do not like defining myself as a runner. That might sound bad, as I'm a running coach. But labeling myself as a runner, for me, would feel like putting myself in a small box. In a box where I'm putting myself in a position where the common perception of a runner defines me. So what is a runner and what SHOULD a runner do.

By labeling ourselves as a practitioner of a certain sport, we also search for reinforcement to our own beliefs. We spend a lot of time with others that are just like us and think alike. We share the common beliefs, so our beliefs tend to become stronger. It gives us the insurance that what we are doing is okey. Because who would want to hear that what they were doing is not okey? Or want to have somebody questioning us? But that's actually exactly what we should do. Spend time with people who practice a different sport, the less alike, the better!

So let's play with the idea a little bit. You ran 70km last week. Then you go and chat with other runners. The conversation could be something like this: 

How was your week? How much distance you covered?*
”I ran 70k’s. My lower back feels a little sore now, but I think a 10k warmup run will make it feel better.”
”Dude, that’s impressive! I had my old achilles injury warning me again, so I needed to take it a little bit easier and only did 50

A CrossFitter or a weightlifter would probably say " Are you crazy?". Not that what the CrossFitter or weightlifter does would be any better, but just that they can see it from the outside. Outside the little box called "a runner".

For me, labeling myself as a runner, would only mean putting unnecessary chains on myself. As a runner I should probably be skinny, stay clear from big weights as I shouldn't grow unnecessary muscle mass, do only leg work and stick with sets of 15-30 reps as that's what a runner should do. Forget about upper body work and measure my own worth by the kilometers I cover within a week.

What if I want to be a runner who is strong, flexible and fast? Who doesn't take herself too seriously and actually grows doing things that are out from my comfort zone? While running, I'm at my comfort zone however hard it gets. Under big weights? Not so much. And that's why it's exactly where I should spend more time at.

Could a yogi benefit from a little weight training? Absolutely! Would it be good for a gymnast to relax a little, let the hips go loose and do some salsa? Absolutely! How about a CrossFitter, would it be good to kick off the lifters some time, not think so much and count so much and just flow where ever the body feels like going? Absolutely!

Whenever a someone says " You don't look like a runner" or "You don't look like a CrossFitter" you should only take it as a compliment! Your just doing your own thing and that's just fine!

Read more about our running coaching

How to link conscious breathing with movement?

 

How to link conscious breathing with movement?


So you already know how important it is to breath properly and how many benefits it can have on your health, but you still haven't quite figured out a way how to incorporate that into your daily practise?

For some of us, the most calming way is to just stop everything we are doing at the moment, sit down or lay down and only just focus on being present in the moment and in our bodies by focusing on our breathing. But then there are also those of us for whom that's just not working. There's a constant buzz in our heads and we don't seem to get that out without something else that we need to fully focus on. This is where Yoga comes into play.

Yoga itself is like "moving meditation". And it all comes back to the breath. Through conscious breathing (taking deep inhalations during specific movements and fully exhaling with others), you activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and trigger a corresponding drop in heart rate and suppression of stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, in the bloodstream.

Beyond inducing relaxation, yogic breathing can actually increase fitness. Studies have found that regular yoga practice with a strong focus on the breath leads to greater lung capacity, which is necessary for cardiovascular activities like running, biking, swimming and more.

Finally, when you focus on the breath, you tune out distractions. In fact, quieting the mind is a primary goal of traditional yoga.

When you are mindful of your breath and linking that with movement you will simply just not have any extra brain space left for worrying about your work or personal life. You just need to be fully there, present in that very moment.

Learning how to connect the breath to movement isn’t difficult,


.....but it takes practice.

Your breath should lead the movement through the poses, not the other way around. We've often so focused on the outcome that we don't let any room for the body to figure out it's own rhythm. Once you master the rhythm, you can fully relax and have confidence in your body. If you are tense, then your body will be tense.

 

Stadi Fit Yoga Courses

The Stadi Fit Health Center Yoga courses are lead our RYT-200 Yoga teacher Elina Gustafsson.

In the course, the time is spent breaking down Sun Salutations and other poses fundamental to the Vinyasa practice. The focus is on linking conscious breath with a mindful flow. 

10x Yoga Course Thursdays at 19-20 30.3-8.6 (no class on 25.5)

The 10 times Flow Yoga Course starts on the 30th March, lasting 10 weeks. The last class of the course will then be held on the 8th June.

The course will be held in the Stadi Fit Health Centre every thursday from 19-20.

10x Yoga Course Sundays at 14:45-15:45 2.4-18.6 (no classes on 16.4, 30.4)

The 10 times Flow Yoga Course starts on the 2th April, lasting 10 weeks. The last class of the course will then be held on the 18th June.

The course will be held in the Stadi Fit Health Centre every thursday from 19-20.


One course 10x 60min 150€

Sign up for both days ( thursdays and sundays) 20x60min 200€

*Both courses will start with a minimum of 6 participants

The difference between a goal and a dream

On the verge of a new year, many of us are looking back on the year behind us thinking; What did I learn? Where am I now in my life? Where would I like to be in a year from now?

Mirroring the past is a good way to start setting goals for the year ahead as quite often do we realize that the goals are a lot similar to what we set for the past year too. So if this is the case, why are we not there yet?

A dream is the big picture, the final destination. Something a little bit blurry sometimes, a feeling, a fulfillment of some kind. A dream doesn't have clear lines, its not measurable nor can it be tracked in defined metrics. It's quite often a place of happiness; how we'd feel if we had something, or if we were something.

There's nothing wrong in dreaming, quite much the opposite; dreams are the driving force behind us, that something that keeps us going through tough times. But for dreams to come true it requires GOALS.

A goal is the plan to our dreams. The footsteps that guide us to the final destination. A goal is measurable, clearly defined and timed.

A goal has an action plan that answers to all of the questions:

HOW?

WHEN?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IN PRACTISE?

" My dream is to be 10kg lighter, because I'd feel better about myself if I was. So my goal is to loose 2kg/month by reducing my habit of comfort eating. How I'm planning to stop this cycle of eating when I'm unhappy is to call my friend at times I'd usually eat to drown my sorrows. My friend has agreed to be my support through my journey. Staying accountable to not just to myself, but to her too, will help me with sticking with my plan."

After the Goals has been set, you work your way to your dreams!

We wish you an excellent year of 2017! May you fulfill your dreams and dream new, bigger dreams next year!

- Stadi Fit Health Center Team