Are you one of those people who has to be in the same spot every time you come to class? …that’s not a bad thing, in fact, it’s a very nice start to establishing a routine.
You can make a habit of coming to class at the same time, on the same day, with the same teacher and, of course, the same reformer bed.
By creating this routine, you will start to form stronger neural connections from your brain to your muscles. When things are familiar, they become easier to navigate, movements become less strenuous and you will discover that you have less post exercise soreness, in psychology this is called habituation. A little bit like autopilot. You even learn to listen to the instruction from the same spot each time, where to turn your head, etc.
A great way to maintain this habit of doing regular exercise is to reinforce it by saying to yourself after class, “…I enjoyed that, I’m glad I came to class today…”, “…I worked hard today and my body will thank me for it…”, or “…I took it easy today, because I needed to and my body will thank me for it…”
So what happens if someone takes your spot? You feel disappointed or, maybe even, a little annoyed. Everything seems just a little off (it’s not all in your head), but all is not lost.
As you find yourself moving in a slightly different way, embrace it. You’ve made an effort to come to class, so make the most out of it. Start to notice how different your body feels. You might be moving better because you are a little unsure and you have to think more about the position of your body – you ARE moving mindfully!
Maybe the exercises feel a bit harder and you start to look at the exercises through a different lens. Maybe this is an opportunity for you to break some bad habits that you’ve developed while you’re in your favourite spot. Yes, setting is important. This can be compared to when habitual drug users overdose, typically it is the change of setting that tricks the body into thinking it’s having more than it’s usual dose. So when you pick a different spot, the exercises and intensity are the same but your body may think it’s getting a different or more challenging workout.
There are benefits to both. As the sayings go… Don’t change horses midstream but variety is the spice of life. So choose what is right for you on the day.
And, of course, well done for coming to class!