April 30, 2015 6:00 AM

Staying present – in all aspects of life – is no easy task. We often have hectic schedules at work, and at home, and we are pulled in a million different directions. Giving yourself 45 or 60 minutes to unwind at Flywheel can help you fully detach from the outside world and let all the stresses of your day go. Here, Boston Flywheel and FlyBarre instructor (and professional zen master, if you ask us) Jessica Latshaw shares her tips on how to stay present – whether you’re tackling the bike, the mat, or anything else that life throws your way. You may also be surprised at who she draws her inspiration from.

I have nine nieces and nephews. When we all get together at my parents home in Pennsylvania, they’re ripping around outside- jumping on the trampoline, swimming in the pool, looking for snakes in the stream, pranking my oldest brother, and generally wearing themselves out. They’re playing “so hard,” that they practically need to be dragged in for dinner. The reason I mention this is because nobody has to remind them to be present. In fact, they’re not even usually aware of what’s coming up (let alone multi-tasking or even worse, dreading what’s next) because these kids are so completely consumed with NOW. It’s a beautiful, connected, whole-hearted way to live–one that I find both challenging and inspiring in the Flywheel and FlyBarre studios – and my mindset for everyday living.

Here’s a list of some of the things I’ve observed from the youngsters in my life that may help our busy, pulled-in-a-thousand-different-directions adult minds relearn what it means to be present:

  1. Let It Go: Kids are fighting one second, and the next, hugging. They easily let go of the past and have little concern about the future. Maybe you’re not sure what you’re making your family for dinner tonight. Maybe you haven’t yet finished that presentation due tomorrow. Whatever it may be, don’t take it with you into the studio. If your thoughts aren’t helpful to you IN THAT MOMENT–whether on the bike or in the barre studio–let them go. Instead, close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Feel your heart beating. Actively practice gratitude for this moment you’ve been given and choose to make it a positive one.

  2. Appreciate This Exact Moment: Realize that, although you’ve probably been on a bike or in the barre studio before, this particular hour has never before happened, meaning you have the ability to create a new experience.

  3. Try Something New: Children don’t overthink. They are unafraid to try something new. When I’m doing something new, I suddenly become hyper aware of my surroundings and my five senses wake up, making NOW a more visceral experience. In Flywheel, maybe that means pushing yourself for longer intervals. Maybe it means that, when you’d normally tap out, you keep going. Maybe you try holding two bars during the arms track instead of just one. Maybe you sit on a different side of the room or try out a different instructor. In FlyBarre, throw yourself into dynamic arms, challenge yourself to learn the combo by the end of the three weeks it’s on the floor. If you normally stand in the back of the room, stand in the front. When you’re ready to put your arms down in isolated arms, count to eight before doing so.

  4. Change Up Your Routine: This will keep you from becoming complacent with your regimen. Healthy discomfort will help ignite a fire within and allow you to connect to the moment.

  5. Have Fun: Lastly, it’s no secret that kids are experts at having fun! You’re already doing this. You’re already giving some of your precious time to the bike and the barre so you might as well enjoy it, too! For me, there is nothing like a whole room full of riders pedaling to the same 808 drum beat and discovering their own strength and ability to not only meet goals, but surpass them. That is FUN. It’s transcendent. It’s when life gets it right. And again, there’s nothing like that feeling of actually making it to the end of barreabs, realizing that you ARE getting stronger. It’s an exciting thing to fine-tune your form, to learn about how the body works when lunging or in a wide second plié or a bridge. Realize your resilience and capacity — it’s the only way to live. This, of course, can be said for all experiences outside the studio as well. Next time you walk into Flywheel, leave everything outside. I promise you, you’ll be so occupied with the here and now, that you won’t even have time to think about anything else.w thigh and arm sections to get your heart rate up. Hitting studios Monday, April 27. Read about PROPER FORM on the bike and mat here.

For more Flywheel Blogs click here. Provided by Lori Klein with Flywheel Sports

Read It