Yoga Love

12 May

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to start regularly practicing yoga. Previously, I’ve had love-hate relationship with yoga. I love the benefits it can have, especially for runners, I love the way it makes you feel, I love that it improves your posture, balance, etc. But I found that I usually ended bored in most “traditional” yoga classes. They moved to slowly and I was too easily distracted. I didn’t feel like I was getting a workout and frankly I felt like I was wasting my time.

Running photo

What I would rather be doing

Last year I gave hot yoga a try, which I really enjoyed. In the space of six months though, I think I only attended two classes. Not a great track record. Hot yoga also tends to take a lot out of me. I feel amazing when I leave, but I can’t do hot yoga on a regular basis.

I had nearly given up on finding a style of yoga that I liked when I randomly attended a Vinyasa class after joining my gym a month ago. I loved it! The class moved at the perfect pace; I never felt bored or distracted. The instructor starts with a few breathing exercises to get you focused and then you start moving.  The class is tough and challenges me without ever pushing too far. I always feel like a got a workout and a good stretch. The instructor ends with a few minutes of relaxation and reflection. Usually 5 minutes or so, which is just enough time for me to focus without ever getting bored.

Gettin' mah stretch on!

I’ve started to attend the class regularly and I can already feel a difference, especially with running. I’ve been having major issues with shin splints the past couple of months and lately my hip flexors have been aching the day after a run as well, but even just a few weeks of regular yoga has helped to ease much of this pain. Over just a few classes I’ve also improved my posture and several moves I couldn’t complete during the first or second class have become much easier. I don’t struggle with Tree or Eagle pose anymore and last week I successfully flipped-my-dog (yes, I’m aware of how dirty that sounds, but it just means I flipped over my Downward Dog).

Flipping my dog...on the balcony!

Now that I’ve found a type of yoga that I enjoy it’s easy for me to regularly attend, even though the class requires me to wake up at 5:45 AM two days a week. I’m challenging myself to try other types of yoga in the coming months, but even if I don’t find anything else that quite suits my needs, at least I have my beloved Vinyasa

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