Fitness and Health: Learn to embrace the morning at Roxy Fitness

Hiba Khan - Writer 19:06 10/05/2017
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  • People often draw up inflated hyperboles to express their intense dislike for the early morning hours; unfortunately I am part of this very lot that is guilty of making such overstatements.

    I remember attributing Tai Chi in helping me transform in to a morning person, but I say, not

    being a thorny tempered, bleary-eyed zombie is one thing and charging into fitness activities early in the morning is another.

    In all honesty, I always thought that nothing in this world could change my sentiments about early morning workouts.

    So when I got to know about Roxy Fitness event, in my excitement and eagerness to accept the invitation it completely slipped my notice that it was scheduled to start at 06:45.

    As much as I was groggy and bitter for hauling myself out of the snug cocoon of my blankets, never have I ever been happier for passing up on extra sleep.

    We started off with a beachside yoga with Kathleen Swalling, who guided us through the sun salutations to warm us up for the paddle boarding session with Krissy later on. After an extremely relaxing yoga session by the beach, the entire group was just bursting with energy.

    The ladies were divided into two groups; one that had seasoned paddle boarders and the others who were trying it out for the first time.

    I on the other hand got to be the lone member of a very special group that had neither paddle boarded nor knew how to swim.

    So while the advanced group did burpees on a paddle board and the other group focused on perfecting their balance and steering, I was all by myself with Kathleen learning how to survive in the ocean and paddle boarding from scratch.

    However, under the vigilante eye and firm instructions of Kathleen, a fantastic yoga instructor and a tri-athlete, I tried getting the basics of paddle boarding down without knowing how to swim.

    She was a constant source of comfort and confidence throughout the whole experience, and eventually I was able to stand on the paddle board and steer my way around.

    She even coaxed me in to getting off the paddle board and diving right in to the water, to help ease my fear. As a precaution, I was instructed to stay as close to the shallow side of the beach as possible, but even then I was required to at least try to stand on the board and steer it around.

    Kathleen pointed out that the sport requires the same techniques used in yoga that help maintain our balance and the key to becoming good at it was just to remain calm and breathe.

    “You just need to breathe and stay calm, so the breathing exercises that you were doing in Yoga applies perfectly here in paddle boarding,” said Kathleen, as she guided me in to the water.

    “Tuck your navel closer to the small of your back and keep the knees slightly bent at all times to help stay stable on the board,” she advised.

    She also mentioned that it is important to always keep your eyes looking in front rather than down at the water.

    Paddle boarding is a great upper body workout and is a real test of strength.

    Moreover, like all sports and fitness activities, excelling at it is really all about one’s mental sharpness and focus.

    This aspect became even clearer when I noticed that I was paddling better, when my mind was not racked by the constant fear
    of falling over.  As my mind was just focused on staying balanced and paddling, I realized the only time I actually lost my balance was when I became aware of my surroundings.

    I was neck-deep in the ocean as I tried to haul myself back on the board with Kathleen’s assistance, so unlike everyone else I reached the shore completely drenched, but I felt as energized as ever.

    The yoga and paddle board seemed like a strange combination, but once we started doing these activities, it was clear as to how relevant and similar both of these activities are in essence.

    Yoga is about relaxing and helps the mind concentrate better, while paddle boarding is mostly about staying focused and maintaining your balance as you surf the waves.

    Before today I never thought I’d ever consider going for early morning fitness activities, but with the energy and the positivity I gained from today’s session, I am more than willing to reconsider.

    WHAT: Roxy Fitness
    WHERE: Various events throughout the year
    VERDICT: The perfect way to stand your day