Workout in a Safe Space.

( As many embark upon the quest to improve life via health and fitness there can be roadblocks that are uncomfortable. Many of us expect to have adjustment periods to our new life of eating, and bouts of soreness after workouts that are new to us. Some are embarking on a fitness regime to help manage stress, depression, anxiety, and a number of mental states that are making life difficult. If you decide to workout in a gym there may need to be more consideration besides merely which membership is cheaper, or which is closer to home. Safe spaces are very important in as many aspects of life as one can find them. It is necessary to feel comfortable in the place you choose to workout. The same can be said for exercising outdoors. If you have anxiety about going to the gym or just don’t have time, then consider hiring a personal trainer who comes to your home.

Nature is beautiful, and parks can be soothing spaces, but you would want to be mindful of the surrounding environment. It is important to know what might make an environment safe for you. Some people need a more solitary environment, others look for the “judge free zone”, and there are those that need to see representation.

The need for representation is nothing to feel ashamed or negative about, and it doesn’t make you prejudice. Representation means you may have other people around you that would understand your plight or needs. There is nothing wrong with factoring this in when making a decision about where you will work out, because leaving it out might leave you feeling awkward and very uncomfortable. We tend to see this in the area of yoga. Many people are looking to yoga for its health benefits physically and mentally. For some that are unable to do different kinds of workout at the moment yoga can help get the body into a state of readiness for different kinds of workouts. Yoga is also helpful to those that have had serious injuries to muscles and joints. It can help stretch the body in a way that can release pain without undo impact.

For all the benefits of yoga some are turned away because, though the number is growing, there are not many black yoga instructors. For too many of us we might be the only black person in the yoga class. This lack of representation can be very uncomfortable for some making that environment and unsafe space for them.  Some black women, not all, have experienced different degrees of body shaming because they weren’t built like the women around them. Some women regardless of ethnicity feel isolated in the class where they are the only obese person. They might feel discouraged about if their body can get into certain poses due to their weight.  Granted yoga can help most people regardless of the previously mentioned concerns, but that is not always communicated.

For exercise to have its best outcome on your mind and disposition you must feel comfortable in the skin you are in currently. You want to be in a community that is safe, excepting, and encouraging. Every person’s definition of safe space is different so check out the gyms, parks, or yoga studios in your area to find one that meets all of your needs in a positive way. What you need to feel your best in a place that you are going to invest time and money should not be based on others. So, don’t feel ashamed if you need something such as representation in the space you plan to exercise. This journey is about you so make your needs a priority.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

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