Taking Back My Twenties

Yogi

Posted on Sep 29, 2011 | 13 comments

For the first time ever, I tried yoga. The verdict?

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I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. I was really worried I would hate it, so that is a good thing. I realize the class was only one type of yoga and there seems to be quite a bit of variation between the types of yoga. A couple of thoughts from the experience:
  • It was a beginner’s class, but it was power yoga, so I had hoped to at least break a sweat. Nope – just when I was on the verge, we rested.
  • I’m still not sure how I would feel about yoga as a regular workout. I really liked the strength stuff, but am horrible at exercises that involve flexibility. It seemed to be great for my arms, but a lot of the positions just made my joints hurt. My back was dying and something locked during one position – it hurt so bad I thought I might have to leave. Today my back and neck are killing me, but not in a good muscle soreness kind of way, in a whiplash kind of way. I got a bad headache this evening and it’s moved into my jaw, so I hope it’s not related.
  • The spiritual part reminded me of church. I had my eyes closed and my head bowed and the instructor read a passage = just like prayer.
  • Both the instructor and an extra person walked around the room and helped people stretch and corrected positions – I loved this! At the end, we did the corpse pose and they gave a little massage!!! I love being touched. I was a little surprised by this part of the class though, because I just laid there for 5 whole minutes. This was obviously a piece of cake for me, given that I practice just sitting on the couch every night, so I found it humorous that some people had trouble with this. I mean who has trouble just laying around?
  • Despite how my body felt, my mind did feel at peace after the class. Many of the relaxation techniques were the same ones I used as a school psychologist when practicing anxiety-reduction with students, so I definitely believe in the calming power of yoga. However, I was super sleepy after class and could barely put myself to bed. Not sure I could do the class at 6:30 and feel energized for work.
  • I really liked what the instructor had to say at the end of the class: be grateful for the life you’ve constructed that has allowed you to be here. My body has really been getting on my nerves lately (headaches, tiredness, moodiness, ect), but I sure am grateful that it’s capable of physical activity,

And lastly, speaking of bodies, check out my Mom’s new menopause blog.

Any advice for a beginning yogi?

13 Comments

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  1. Cait's Plate

    I think finding a yoga type that you like is the most important. For me that made the biggest difference. I found Iyengar and absolutely LOVED it. An hour class flew by for me.

    That and start slow – I would do 20 minutes until you find one that grabs you and then from there you can build up :)

  2. Miranda

    Speaking of your qualifications and how you didn’t really like school psychology – does your degree allow you to practice other types of psychology? Cause I was just thinking we use clinical psychs in my field ALL the time to do expert reports on children + families to the Family Court and it’d be interesting as hell…if you can even do that in the States!

    I don’t like yoga. I like stretching but it’s all a bit too slow for me.

  3. Kath

    Sounds like you found a great studio! Was it hot?

  4. Lindsay

    This post comes at a great time! I’m similar to you – I’ve only tried yoga a handful of times and i dont love it or hate it, still unsure about it. I like to break a sweat and I don’t like any chanting etc. However, just last week I found a groupon for a place near me that offers hip hop yoga! (vinyasa flow set to pop/hip-hop music) I tried it yesterday and while I still don’t love it, it was definitely more my style. I liked it enough to use up the rest of the groupon and I’ll try to sprinkle it in with my usual workouts to switch it up now and again.

  5. Kristen (inspiredbydooce)

    If you’re looking for something that will make you sweat- try hot yoga! (I actually blogged about yoga today as well)

    My advice to a newbie is to try it for a few months before you really decide what you think. It takes awhile to get comfortable with the poses and yoga in genera. Also- try the different styles. One might be more enjoyable for you. I know that I like to try different styles depending on how my body is feeling. That’s something I love about yoga- there’s a type for every occasion :)

    Good luck! (but if you end up not liking it, there’s nothing wrong with that)

  6. Amy

    YOUR MOM IS HILARIOUS.

    also — try vinyasa flow? my studio offers hot vinyasa flow with weights — the best strength/cardio i’ve ever encountered. i sweat my face off and my arm muscles look great.

  7. Stephanie C

    I agree.. vinyasa flow was the right fit.. for me, anyways! Try a few different styles and instructors.. they really make the difference. I live in L.A. and have never really had a bad yoga experience – except when they’re super crowded.
    Yoga really helped my back when I was doing a regular practice. I have some stress related back issues (as well as clenching my jaw!) and this helped me SO much.
    One word of advice: I worked at a chiropractic office and we had ladies coming in all the time from hot yoga. This is not always that great for people with injuries (not sure if you have any) and can exacerbate it. Hot yoga encourages you to stretch more because the heat makes your muscles more loose and those with injuries can further injure themselves. Specifically this was mostly for hip issues. Good luck and have fun :)

  8. Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)

    I just started yoga in June and I’m loving it. I do it 3 times a week and have different teachers each class. I like the variation of the teachers because it makes each class different.

    I would say give it a try a few more times. If you’re not lovin’ it then maybe just do it once in a while? I find it to be very peaceful and well as a great workout.

  9. Kat

    Yoga isn’t intented to be a major workout. It is meant to improve strength and flexibility :)

    If you want a workout, try hot yoga (Bikram or Barkan style) then you’ll be burning!

    It isn’t for everyone. And I definitely had the SAME reaction as you when I first started!!! So trust me on this one, try a few more classes and different teachers :).

  10. Mitra

    I take Body Flow which is the Les Mill’s yoga/pilates class. I really enjoy the class and the balancing poses are my favorite. A friend once made me take a free-form dance yoga class where we had to prance across the room multiple times making up dance moves … sooo not for me!

  11. Mom

    Thanks everybody, for checking out my blog!

    Barbara

  12. ashleigh

    I’m on my 4th year doing yoga & currently in a teacher training program, yay! My advice: try all types of classes, I’d say Iyengar and Vinyasa are good beginner classes, then leading up to Ashtanga and maybe even Bikram. If you want to sweat, try Bikram, but make sure you prepare hours before hand with lots of water and an empty belly. Iyengar will teach you the proper alignment of a pose so you don’t hurt yourself. But there are so many types out there, don’t get discouraged by one, and don’t think of it as a competition. If there are people in a room doing advanced, high flexibility poses… they’ve been doing it a while and they were once in your position. Don’t get discouraged by the lack of your flexibility, that comes with time. just like everything else, learning to ride a bike or being able to play a piano. Hope that helps.

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