My chiropractor recommended yoga to me as a way to help with my lower back pain, so I decided to try a class. I’ve actually done a little bit of yoga when I tried the P90X workouts in my living room, but I wanted to go to a class and take a crack at yoga with an experienced instructor and other students around me.
While I know a ton of people who enjoy yoga and do it on a regular basis, I’ve always felt that it’s not really my type of workout, which is why I haven’t tried it before now. I like workouts that get my heart pumping and the sweat pouring, where I’m out of breath at the end (for the record, P90X yoga does make you sweat and I’m aware of hot yoga where of course you’ll be sweating). I’m not saying yoga is not hard. It definitely is! But it’s hard in a different kind of way – namely, balance.
I bought a Living Social voucher for 5 classes at Pilates of Boynton Beach (http://www.pilatesofboyntonbeach.com/) and tried out yoga as my first class. I was a little nervous, as it was my first time, but once we dimmed the lights and put on some oriental music, the relaxation kicked in and I didn’t worry about it. My teacher, Ken, was fantastic. He instructed our small class on the physical moves to strengthen our bodies as well as the spiritual and mental aspects to strengthen our minds. I didn’t find the physical part particularly difficult, although my balance and flexibility have room for improvement. I also realize that there are much more difficult poses than the ones we did, but those are something that you would work your way up to, not something you would tackle right away. As for the spiritual or mental aspect of yoga, I did find it relaxing and nice. I know that “nice” is not a very descriptive adjective, but it’s really how I felt about it. I wasn’t blown away by how amazing I felt, but I did feel “nicer” than I normally do. I’m not a particularly stressed out person in general, so the effects of meditation and relaxation aren’t as pronounced to me as they might be to someone who is more stressed out.
All in all, I did enjoy my yoga class, but I also confirmed my first assumption – that yoga does not really fit into my regular physical fitness regimen. Maybe I need to think of it more as a stress-reliever rather than a workout. I definitely think it’s something I will do occasionally for relaxation and to help stretch out my back muscles. I certainly see the benefits of yoga as something more mental with a little bit of physical rather than the other way around. That said, I would definitely recommend it to everyone to at least try it once and see if it’s for you!
By the way, my favorite pose in yoga is corpse pose, where you just lay on your back and relax every single muscle. What’s your favorite pose?