Fitness

Yoga.

As you may have figured out by now, I have decided to do a series of posts dedicated to critiquing various exercises. I am not a personal trainer, so all of these posts will be my own opinions, and personal findings.
So far I have outlined:
Cycling
Row Machine
R.I.P.P.E.D. 

Today I will be focusing on yoga.
Description: Yoga is not an aerobic based class, it is focused on stretching, posture, breathing, relaxation, and meditation. In ancient Sanskrit yoga means union. This makes sense because practicing yoga is based on your mind and body coming together.

Duration: Typically 55-90 minutes.

Level of like (10) or dislike (0): About a 7, but I really wish it was a 10. Yoga is something that I want to love, that I want to crave, but I don’t. For the most part yoga is too slow for me. I like intense cardio classes, or lifting heavy weights. I have a problem with turning off my thoughts, and I find that I zone out more with a cardio class than with yoga.

I make it about 20 minutes into a yoga class and then I start thinking about dinner, or applying for jobs, or what my weekend plans will be, or what I should be for halloween. And then I have stopped focusing on my breathing, and it’s hard for me to reconnect with my body. But I know this is a reason that I should keep practicing yoga. I need to improve on my mind/body connection, and with that said, I have now been attending more yoga based classes. I still keep my cardio routine, but I have just added in yoga, it makes for a long week at the gym, but I love it!

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Benefits:
There are sooo many benefits to yoga that I could never list them all. So please do further research. I figured that I would share the benefits that I am hoping to achieve when practicing.

-It helps with managing stress.
-It has been helping my lower back pain. I told the instructor that I was having back issues and now she is able to cue me to on adjustments I can make.
-It’s suppose to be a sleep aid. I haven’t found this to be true yet, but I still have hope.
-Flexibility. Because I love weight lifting I tend to get stiff, yoga has helped keep me limber.
-Strengthening my core and stretching my hip flexors.
-It helps with menopause, not something that I am having troubles with, but my mom does. In some studies it has been reported that yoga can help decrease hot flashes.

Advice for first timers:
-Find an instructor that you like. There is a yoga instructor at my gym and I just don’t mesh with her. She is a little too sporadic for my taste. Luckily people convinced me to try other classes, because now I have found an instructor who I really like. She is encouraging, knowledgeable, and great at explaining poses.

-Don’t let your weight discourage you. I was at my heaviest when I first tried a yoga class. I couldn’t properly do a lot of the poses. Instead of feeling defeated or discouraged, I wish I would have asked the instructor for adjustment ideas.

-Don’t go on a full stomach. I once went to dinner with my mom before attending a class, bad, bad idea. Not that any class would be pleasant on a full stomach, but having to hold downward dog was miserable.

  • I want to like yoga so much. I used to do a DVD that had a morning and evening yoga session and it was really relaxing but I got bored. Maybe I should try it out again! How is your back doing these days? Still doing ice and heat?