#MayIBeginYoga2015 Challenge

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I’m just going to say it.

I’ve never been a fan of yoga. Well, maybe I was in college when I took the Monday night 9 pm yoga class at the fitness center. Although maybe it was just because I could still rely on my history as a dancer to get me through it. No such luck anymore!

After running my third marathon and realizing how much flexibility I’ve lost, specifically how tight my hips have become, I decided I needed to make an effort to get yoga in my life. And… to figure out how to enjoy it.

You’re probably thinking, how can you not enjoy yoga?

Well, over the past few years I’ve tried taking a yoga class here or there. I always left the class feeling worse than I did when I went in. It felt like a workout or it hurt and ultimately the frustration discouraged me rather than motivated me.

Well I finally said enough was enough and that I would go into this adventure with an open mind and a positive attitude and just strive to improve. Ultimately it’s going to help my running and overall fitness. That should be and is my motivation!

So two days after my marathon I headed to a Restorative Yoga class at a local studio. This studio offers a variety of classes from aerial yoga to power yoga to hot yoga and more. They even have a combo class where you do 30 minutes of cycle and 30 minutes of yoga, a class called X-ploga that combines yoga and pilates, and much more. I have often taken cycle classes there, but have only sparingly tried the other offerings. I’m currently too intimidated to try the full on yoga classes.

The restorative yoga class is excellent. According to the website description, it focuses on lengthening postures and strengthening asanas. What I really love is that the last 10-15 minutes of class is spent rolling out using yoga balls. It really does wonders for my muscles. Another thing I’m trying to do is the yoga workout on the BeachBody 21-Day Fix dvds. I did the 21-Day Fix last year with my dear friend Anna over at Charmed Wellness. The yoga workout is only 30 minutes, but I find that it’s a great way to get in some yoga.

In addition, I decided to join in the #MayIBeginYoga2015 challenge on Instagram hosted by @BeachYogaGirl and @Kinoyoga.

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While I haven’t committed to daily practice, I am trying the poses each day. I’m learning a lot about my flexibility, or lack thereof, especially in my hips. It’s also giving me an opportunity to look at my form and where I need to put some more focus. Here is a look at the first couple days.

Day 1: Downward Dog

Day 1: Downward Dog

Day 2: Plank

Day 2: Plank (pardon the cat toys)

Day 3: Chaturangadandasana

Day 3: Chaturangadandasana

Day 4: Upward Dog Day 5: Warrior I

Day 4: Upward Dog
Day 5: Warrior I

Day 6: Warrior II Day 7: Lotus

Day 6: Warrior II (this was a #tbt)
Day 7: Lotus

Keeping up with this has been fun, along with seeing all the other participants on Instagram. It’s nice to see other beginners like me.

One final thing I plan to try to take advantage of is the yoga/pilates video classes at Anytime Fitness. The gym has a studio that you can reserve as part of your membership. They have a variety of video workouts that are projected on a big screen and it’s almost like you’re in a live class. I was checking out the listing and they have several yoga and pilates videos of varying lengths.

So there you have it! My foray into yoga has begun. I’ll keep you posted on my progress and if I manage to develop a love for it along the way.

Do you practice yoga? Have any advice to offer a beginning yogi?

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