The Pulse


Are You Really Showing Up?

by Patrick Reynolds

Before launching Kenzai, I owned and operated a yoga & wellness studio for 7 years. I learned volumes about how people approach fitness during those years, all of which was poured directly into the philosophy and design of our online programs.

Like most gyms and studios, we had a lot students who would show up out of the blue, come to classes steadily for a few months, and just as suddenly disappear for half a year. Then they'd come back and resume classes like nothing happened.

I used to try to get to the bottom of these disappearances. When people would turn up after a long absence I'd try to ask leading questions, like "So... have you been busy?" or "It's been a while right?" hoping to learn more about why they had been gone for 6 months.

These inquiries were usually met with blank stares. The students didn't seem to register that I had last seen them in April and it was now October. This nonchalant dropping in and out for months at a time was a real puzzler for the first few years I ran the studio, accentuated by the fact that we really needed consistent students to keep afloat!

Gradually, I figured out what was happening. I was thinking like a teacher and owner. I was looking at my sign-in sheet and seeing that on the first Friday of March, Student A came to class, then skipped a week, then came back, and then skipped a month before resuming her practice in May. Three classes in 3 months.

But from the student's perspective, taking a yoga class or starting a workout program is more than the hour in the studio or gym. It's the taking up of a new identity. They are now the kind of person who "does yoga" or "works out". This sets up a kind of mental continuity that makes the gaps between practice seem much shorter than they really are.

From Student A's viewpoint, she took 2 classes in March, had a lot to do at the office and got back to the mat a few weeks later (in May). At no point did she give up on yoga or stop thinking of herself as a person who "does yoga."

Meanwhile I'm at the studio asking "where is everybody!"

There's nothing wrong with taking a break. The pace and demands of the modern world don't allow us to always take the best care of our bodies. Sometimes you have to miss a week or two.

The problem arises when someone who has been taking the "one week on, three weeks off" approach to yoga or exercise comes to me and says, "I've been doing this for a year now, and my body just isn't changing."

There's the hitch. Just because you internally feel like the kind of person who exercises every week doesn't mean your once-a-month practice will give you the results of someone who actually does the work every week. The mind certainly has some power to effect your health, but it can't do the physical work of stretching or building muscles.

"I've been doing this for a year now, and my body just isn't changing."

So if you're having trouble getting the results from your chosen physical activities, ask yourself,

"Am I letting the concept of how much I exercise cloud the actual amount of exercise I'm doing?"

Or, in other words, are you really showing up? Or just thinking it would be nice to show up?

(By the way, if you do this analysis and find that you're exercising a ton and still not getting results, then your diet sucks.)

People who do the Kenzai Body program can't believe how quickly and completely their bodies change. We'll get comments like "I've changed more in the past 6 weeks than all those years of going to the gym!" The reason is not that we have any secret formula, just that we make sure you show up. And showing up for 90 days, for the diet, for the cardio, for the workouts, will change a person on the deepest levels.

The magic is that when you stop making excuses and really start doing the work, not showing up just feels wrong. You'll know when you've missed a week and will usually have a pretty good reason for doing so. And when you look in the mirror you'll know why things look the way they do!




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