My foray into yoga

I've been a runner now for about ten years, and I've been fortunate to not have any major injuries. This year, though, my body often feels tight when I run, and I feel like I've lost some range of motion in my right leg. This could be my mind focusing on nearing 30, but I think this tightness is largely due to not supplementing my running with any other exercise---it's my body's way of protesting. My good friend and running partner, Kristin, has practiced yoga for awhile now and has enjoyed what it's done for her body. I trust Kristin more than I trust myself sometimes, so I decided to give this yoga business a try.

After doing some research, I found the Yoga with Adriene series on YouTube.  I started with her beginner videos and have expanded to her videos on strength, focus, and lengthening. Her weight loss videos are also great to tone the pesky mid-section. I'm not great at yoga yet, but I did hold the crow position for roughly .8 seconds today...so, that's progress, right? I'm not totally in love with the new-age feel of it; she uses a phrase, "Find what feels good for you," a lot and while I understand the implications for doing this in yoga (especially for beginners), this mantra has become one of our modern culture and is problematic in many ways....and rant over....ANYWAY...the Yoga with Adriene videos are not as new-agey as some of the other yoga videos I've seen. She's not burning incense and chanting odd things while turning her body into crazy pretzel shapes.

There are a few things I'm really digging about this new yoga adventure. First, I love, love, love the mindfulness piece of it. Because I'm so new to the practice, I have to really clear my head and focus only on my body and what it needs to do. It allows me some distance from the everyday chaos. When the closing music starts playing, I sometimes lay in the corpse position extra long listening to it. Next, I appreciate how my body feels after yoga (not always during!). I usually do yoga the day after a long run, so it allows me work out the kinks. I'd like to incorporate it more often into my weekly workout routine to see how it changes my range of motion especially in my right leg. When I do engage in a weekly yoga habit, I am able to see noticeable improvements in my flexibility and strength. The last reason I'm digging yoga is that it mixes up my workout routine--it keeps me from getting all crotchety about working out.

I'll leave you with a few short yoga sequences that I especially like. This is the first time I've ever had a "desk job," so I find my body just feeling terrible halfway through the day. I wouldn't be able to do this video ("Yoga at Your Desk") in its entirety since I work around lots of other people and they'd find me even more odd than I already am if I started doing this business in the tutoring center. However, I find myself modifying and doing a few moves in my seat when nobody is looking. I love the music and even the typography that comes across the screen--it just feels peaceful. This last one is called "Quick Stress Fix- 5 Minute Sequence." I seem to be stressed often  everyday, so this is a totally doable sequence I can do when I got home from work or even with my kids. If I were teaching full time, I'd do some of this as brain breaks. If you're looking for a way to mix up your work outs--give the Yoga with Adriene videos a try (or just try the two shorties I linked) and let me know what you think....

1 comment:

Kristin said...

I don't know if you should trust me, but I am glad you are enjoying yoga! I have been focusing more on strength lately and need to add more flexibility into my routine. Maybe next time we get together we can do handstands together or something, lol.