What If Your Appearance Was Not Your Why?

By Emily Dahmer

Let me ask the question again.  What if your appearance was not the reason you showed up to an exercise class?  What if it was about everything BUT that?!

Are you still with me?  Annoyed already?  Wherever you are, welcome!  Writing a blog post with a title like this one felt overwhelming to me at first.  People have such strong feelings surrounding health and wellness, which is understandable and fair- I do too!  I wonder if today I might present one of the ideas that has deeply changed my exercise the last couple of years, and it starts with finding your WHY.

I’ll begin with my own Why story.  For years, my Exercise Why was to burn calories and look good.  I filled calendars with logs of my daily workout stats: calories burned, miles logged, and pace.  My motivation was to look good post-babies, and I was able to carve the body I wanted with this Why.  My appearance-focused Why led me to exercise when I was sick, hadn’t slept in weeks (thanks new babies!), or injured.  My old Why left me injured and bruised on the inside.  None of my efforts were ever good enough, nor did the target ever stop moving.  It was a sad mindset, looking back, and it did nothing to improve my quality of life.  Here’s the truth, friends- when your Why is based solely on your appearance there is always work to do, and you will never be satisfied.  Fitness is a commitment to caring for your mind AND your body.

Transitioning my mindset toward kindness to myself has truly changed my life.  Movement now is about honoring my body first and foremost.  My Why today is rooted in self-care, and I view time spent exercising as a gift to myself.  When I’m taking a Sculpt class, choosing a different exercise option if I need to (i.e., taking out jumps in jumping jacks) makes me feel strong. I give myself permission to be where I am without negative self-talk, this keep me safe in my body, and I rarely struggle with pain/injury anymore. I still exercise nearly every day. I still care what I look like, I do want to be honest about that. The physical side effects of exercise are nice, it’s true. That said, my new Why leads me to care less about appearance than I ever have before.

My New Exercise Why:

I want to feel good in my body. When I move often I feel strong, mobile, and less stressed.

I want to model body kindness and wellness for my kids.

Getting sweaty with a group of other people makes me feel connected and part of a community.

In closing, can I just tell you today that you have permission to rest? You have permission to enjoy your movement, whether that looks like pushing yourself a little harder or pulling back.  There are no downsides to moving your body, especially when you choose to move in ways that feel fun, exciting, safe, and motivating to you. Here’s a suggestion: Try changing your focus from your appearance to your efforts. Notice how hard you worked or how you gave yourself permission to take a different option during class. Feel empowered to find a Why that is life-giving to you, and notice how your mindset around exercise shifts in positive ways.


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2024 Power Life, All Rights Reserved.
Built with 🤍 by Blink Wellness

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About Kirk: 

Kirk was working 80-hour weeks and wearing his shoulders as earrings when he found yoga in 2005. Forever the competitive athlete, he loved the physicality of yoga. When the spiritual and philosophical side of yoga were exposed to him, Kirk was hooked. Yoga provided him with what other activities couldn’t -- the ability to foster the benefits of practice both on and off of the mat. Yoga was something that Kirk could bring into all aspects of his life. 

Kirk knows that yoga can be intimidating, so he crafts a class that is playful and inviting, while still being challenging and safe. His creatively planned classes build strength and flexibility in your body and mind while establishing clarity, giving you more confidence to overcome obstacles in your life, and keeping you injury-free. His classes are themed with a message that is relatable and will inspire you to take it with you off your mat. Kirk has been teaching yoga since 2008 and lead his first teacher training in 2012. Where Kirk truly shines is in coaching, developing and bringing out the best in others.  

Kirk enjoys traveling (40+ countries to date!), snowboarding, and cherishes time with his wife and two daughters. 

About Christen: 

Christen Bakken’s yoga journey began in 1998 in a Bikram studio that provided a safe and secure place to practice. She saw the yoga mat as a place to remember her purpose and a place to play. As she continued her studies and began her journey to teaching in 2006, Christen infused yoga classes with devotion and the yoga mat became a place of personal transformation and healing. Her classes are filled with laughter, song, sweat, and usually heart openers. In 2013, Christen began training yoga teachers. This is the place where she finds the most joy - in community with folks looking to grow and be of greater service in their homes, on their mats, and in the world. Over the years, she has led trainings in Denver, the Midwest, Florida, and now abroad. She has trained in continuing education modules, 200-hour, 300-hour, and 500-hour programs. Beyond the mat, Christen is a passionate adventure seeker - she loves to bike, snowboard, and spend time with her husband and pups. She sees each day as a blessing and hopes to remind all who interact with her of this truth.  

Two Light Studio Parking Information

We validate parking for THREE garages in the area!

  • Two Light garage located directly north of the studio. Please bring your ticket inside for validation.

  • Three Light garage at Main and Truman. Garage entrance on Truman. Please bring your ticket inside for a validation sticker.

  • Power & Light garage at 13th and Grand. Please ask for a parking pass at the studio front desk. (Hot tip: the Power & Light garage has a ton of space! But be sure to give yourself a little extra time to walk to the studio.)

If you find that you are running a couple minutes late due to parking, please call the studio to let the instructor know to wait for you before locking the doors.

Blackstone Studio Parking

  • We have partnered with our friends at Greenslate to provide 1 hour and 15 minute validated parking for Power Life students in the lot at 36th and Harney (just south of the Cottonwood Hotel). Read below to learn how to take advantage of this perk:

    • Step 1: Scan the QR code located in the lot.

    • Step 2: Select your destination (i.e. “yoga studio”).

    • Step 3: Ask for the validation code at the Blackstone studio front desk and enter it on your phone.

    • Step 4: You are all set! Have fun at class!

    Please note:

    • The validation provided by Power Life and Greenslate is for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Need to add additional time to your parking space? You can do that conveniently from your phone!

    • This option is valid once per day per license plate.

    • Please do NOT park in the Crescent Moon lot − you will be towed!

East Village Studio Amenities

  • There is a paved lot and gravel lot on the West side of the building.

  • Meters on Court and 4th (by Peace Tree) for $0.25/hour, 9am-9pm Mon. – Sat. 12-hour max

  • Meters on 4th (to the North) for $1.25/hour. Mon – Sat. 4-hour max.

  • All meters are free on Sundays and major holidays.

What If Your Appearance Was Not Your Why? Info