3 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Group Class
Yes, I’m aware that if you follow this blog that you probably do so because you have watched my workout videos at one time or another. That being said, one of the goals of Man Flow Yoga is to give you the basics of yoga so that you feel comfortable entering a yoga studio for a yoga class. That’s why I’m writing this article in favor of group workouts. Also, I teach group workouts and retreats, so naturally I’m a fan of group classes.
I’m writing this to talk to you about the atmosphere that a group class creates. There is a lovely atmosphere of companionship and competition that helps you achieve what you would normally not be able to achieve on your own. The atmosphere of a group class creates whatever you need to help motivate you. It’s like having a workout buddy, and then multiplying it by 10.
I used to be the lonely workout guy (not in a bad way). I loved working out by myself and having nobody but myself pushing me. It was enough motivation for me. There’s also the unspoken “work out like a man” idea that means that you work out by yourself, and you don’t need someone to tell you what to do. I’m glad I had enough balls to not conform to what the “ideal man” has to do and started yoga, otherwise I never would have even tried.
Here are 3 reasons to attend a group class.
Reason #1: Create community.
Some yoga classes like to do “ohms” at the beginning and end of class, just to demonstrate that simply being together for an hour (or 45 minutes, 90 minutes… whatever the class length is) helps to establish a connection between everyone in the room. (That, or everyone figured out the right key to “ohm” in by the time class ended.) But truthfully, you could perform the same action, at the beginning and end of any fitness class, and you would have the same result. People are more in tune with one another because they’ve all gone through the same movements for the last hour. You’ve all shared the same struggle.
Ohming aside, community is built through struggle. You may have bonds with your workout friends or teammates that you won’t be able explain. Don’t worry about explaining it. Just embrace it.
Reason #2: COMPETITION.
This, in particular is my reason why I like going to group fitness classes. I like to go in, set myself up next to the biggest badass in the room, and then attempt to match him move for move. Now you might be thinking, “Wow, Dean, you sound like a dick!” But I don’t do it to be a dick. I do it because competition is how you push yourself to new physical boundaries. It’s the same concept of having a workout buddy. Training by yourself, the only motivation you have is whatever playlist is on your iPod, and the gym selfie that you’re dying to put on Instagram when you finish. Training within a group class or with a partner, you now have competition, and you have a natural instinct to BEAT that person, so that you can survive. Granted, if you do 60 push-ups in a minute, and your buddy does 65, you’re probably not going to eaten by a bear, but the whole primal instinct behind pushing yourself is that you must survive, and there are limited resources available (food, shelter, safety). Better be faster or stronger if you want to catch dinner and hide from the wooly mammoth by nightfall! (This is the original WOD.)
Reason #3: Motivation
While competition can be an amazing motivator, positive motivation and encouragement from people around you is also great. Having somebody cheering you on, telling that you can keep going, and keep pushing harder is great to have. It’s like having your own personal cheerleader, and it helps you go beyond what you think originally thought.
In conclusion, group classes are great. They help create a sense of community, generate motivation, and a healthy spirit of competition.
Now go last longer than somebody else in plank.