Over the past couple of months, I have been trying a couple of new exercises to see what else is out there besides running on a treadmill (which is my idea of a workout). This past winter, I sought out some Pilates classes. Although they were earlier mornings than I was used to, I enjoyed the combination of stretching and core strengthening. Pilates became very natural to me once I gained an understanding of the different names for the moves or positions my hands and feet should be on the machine.

A session begins with you laying on your back and throughout the class, working your way to more engaging exercises. This was especially nice when attending the early morning sessions since it felt like I was gaining some sleep back. With various levels and types of classes, Pilates can keep you on your toes while still engaging any and all of the muscles you want to. I would highly suggest Pilates for anyone looking for a unique and mentally challenging way to work out!

Another new exercise I’m attempting is yoga. Luckily for me, my final semester class schedule has allowed me to take yoga as a college course. Even just a couple of weeks into the semester, ending a long day of classes with yoga has already begun to pay off. Starting at 9:30 in the morning (early for a college student!) and going nonstop, having yoga at the end of the day has allowed me to let go of the stress from my earlier classes, like financial management and data science. 

The relaxation refreshes me so I can end my day strong, whether I have meetings from extracurriculars or homework to finish. So far, my yoga class has taught me various ways to gain energy and let energy go through non-traditional ways. I thought that my yoga class would simply be going through moves, but it is so much more.  We are learning the why and how of each position we practice. Not only have the positions been useful in my day to day life, I slowly feel my stretching abilities strengthen. I feel less pain in my back and strive every day to have better posture.

Another unique aspect of this yoga class is the Wellness Journal we are required to keep. With the Wellness Journal, I have been given the opportunity, every night, to look back on my day and write down how much I exercised and how my mind was feeling. This has enabled me to slow down and truly remember all I’ve accomplished in a day and how I can improve the next.

Overall, I am grateful for these new experiences I have been given to try and hope to continue moving forward as a part of my long-term wellness journey.