I’ve tried yoga numerous times and have never fallen in love. I’ve left classes feeling worse than when I went in at times. Other times, well a lot of times, I’m just not into the meditation, breathing, introspective aspect of it. That’s just not me.
It’s not because I haven’t wanted to like it. I believe in the benefits. For some reason though I just was having trouble finding the right class or experience for me.
I’ve been having some issues with my foot recently, which is really poor timing because I’m in prime training mode for my October marathon. I should be running 18-20-milers in the next two weeks before tapering. The problem is that while I can run with only minor soreness in my foot, I then can’t walk the rest of the day. That’s not good. I have an appointment with a sports therapist, but the earliest I could see him is two weeks from now. Not exactly what I had in mind. So in the meantime I realized I needed to keep my fitness level up. I’m continuing going to the gym, just not running or jumping. I’m also adding in Cycle to keep my cardio fitness and leg strength up.
Anyway, I noticed the local yoga studio, where I also do Cycle, added a new class called Yoga for Sports to their schedule. I read the description and thought this might be exactly what I need to enjoy yoga finally. It’s intended for any level yogi and athletes of all kinds. I attended class last night and thought I’d review it here for you. Maybe there’s a class similar at a gym in your area!
It was a smaller class of about 15 people so we set up in two rows. We needed two blocks, a strap, and two sets of yoga balls, one large and one small. While we waited for everyone to get situated, Lori (our instructor) suggested rolling around on the balls, especially if we hadn’t used them before.
We started out simply relaxing lying on our backs before doing some simple lengthening and stretching moves while seated. Nothing too complicated. After moving to our feet we did some yoga flow, but again nothing to complicated or taxing. While she said she wants us to build strength, she also wants the class to help us release tension we have developed from our other activities. We did some downward dog, three-legged dog, planks, warrior pose and warrior 2. For someone who doesn’t do yoga, it was a bit challenging, but also felt quite good. We moved back to the floor and spent some time in the frog pose to stretch out our hip area. That was definitely a good stretch. We also used the strap for some hamstring stretching.
We moved back to standing to start work with the yoga balls, first working our feet, then our hips, lower back, shoulders, and neck. Those things work like a charm! I’m betting a tennis ball would work well if you don’t have a set of yoga balls on hand. To close out the class, we just relaxed like a typical yoga class.
Overall I really enjoyed it and I felt good after it was over unlike other times when I’ve taken yoga classes. It was only an hour, which proved to be not too long or too short. We went a bit over time, but I appreciated that there wasn’t a rush to get us out on time. We were the last class of the day anyway. Since it wasn’t a hot yoga class, the temperature was lower, but still warm to keep our bodies warm. The lights were also dimmed, which she adjusted lower as it got darker outside. Another nice touch.
I wish I had pictures, but who takes a phone into a yoga class?!?
I think it can be challenging to find a gym or a specific type of class that you enjoy. I’ve found a great gym that I’ve been going to for 4 years, but it’s been nice to be able to supplement that with Cycle at PYP. It’ll be nice to add this yoga class to the mix. Now that my foot is giving me some issues, I’m probably going to add a bit more from PYP. I’ve signed up for Cycle and Restorative Yoga later this week. I haven’t done Restorative yet, but hopefully it’s another positive experience!
Question: Do you like yoga? How often do you practice?