Saturday, January 14, 2012

Yog-ahhh....

That is a relaxing "ahhh" not a frightened "ahhh!!" Just thought I'd clarify.

This morning I did some yoga for the first time in quite a while.  I know the last time I did yoga was when it was sunny and warm outside. Maybe last spring? Or even the summer before? I honestly cannot recall.  I do however recall it being the same DVD, and I was in my living room trying to figure out what the heck I was doing.  The poses were difficult. I think I only did the workout twice before switching to kettlebells.  I honestly thought yoga just was not for me.

I've been reading  a bit more about different exercises like yoga lately and thought it would be good to give it a try again. I'm glad I did. I would say that this time was a success! First, I caught on to the poses much better than the first time. I've not done or studied yoga since the first time, but I seemed to pick it up better this time. Also? I liked it - a lot!! I think that this will become part of my routine, just because it made me feel good. I could feel my muscles working and stretching, and that's a great feeling. It's good for the body too.  It works the muscles in a different way than I usually work them and variety is always good for your body.

My routine was the JM Yoga Meltdown DVD.  It was only about 35 minutes long, including a warm-up and cool-down.  I was able to keep up with either JM or the girl doing the advanced poses the whole time. No beginner moves necessary.  Some of the poses felt difficult but most of them weren't too bad once I got the moves down. At any rate, I did it with much less difficulty than the first time I tried it out.

Yoga can be considered body weight ST for some, depending on the level of fitness.  A body builder will likely not get any ST benefits from it. However, a beginner (or someone who doesn't do enough ST) is more likely to get some gains, at least for a while.  As the body builds muscle then exercises like yoga will be less effective for ST, mainly because your muscles will need a continued challenge that yoga will not provide. However, even an experienced athlete should consider yoga (in my opinion).  It it a good form of stretching and any exercise has benefits.  Also, some say that yoga is a very relaxing practice and most of us can use relaxation from time-to-time!

For me I didn't get a sense of relaxation but that's because I was very focused on getting the moves right and maintaining my balance.  My muscles shook in some of the poses (pretty sure this means it's a form of ST for me! Yay!).  I could feel the stretches and they felt good.  JM likes to mix it up with cardio though, so instead of holding all of the poses, some were in and out so that the heart rate could rise a little.  I didn't burn many calories during this workout. In fact, my heart stayed in the fat burning zone (which means my heart rate was lower than it is in the calorie burning zone).  You know what though? I'm okay with working in the fat burning zone!! I wasn't really doing yoga for the calorie burn. My plan was to use it to get some additional fitness time while doing something different than I usually do. I highly suspect that I was able to achieve some ST benefits. 

I felt really good after the workout. My muscles felt (lightly) worked but I also could tell they had been stretched which was awesome.  I think that I will do yoga on when I'm home on weekends.  It's kind of a nice way to ease into the day after coffee and breakfast! My run this evening was much easier than it has been and I felt more energized.  I know this is because I'm getting back into the routine and back into better shape. I can't help but wonder though if yoga helped with that. It's definitely a possibility. 

I may also use yoga on my "rest" days from working out.  It's a feel good type exercise that doesn't burn a lot or make the body work super hard.  I think it's a good way to spend 35 minutes of my day too. I don't like rest days and even doing something light like yoga will help me feel as though I achieved something on those days.  Any movement is better than no movement, and I'll still be giving my body a pretty decent rest.

I'm not typically a morning exerciser. The idea of getting out of bed 45 minutes early to run is not appealing to me. I've been able to get up and do some other JM DVDs in the morning, but I know what those workouts are like. Most mornings it is much easier, and probably more pleasant, to hit the snooze button and stay in bed instead of getting up to put myself through some mild torture. I go in streaks with how good I am about getting up. Sometimes those JM workouts get me out of bed. Right now I'm in a time frame where the idea isn't thrilling. However, this yoga workout was not nearly as intense as her other workouts. I can see myself getting up to do this. I found it to be very enjoyable, which I don't find other exercise.  I love how I feel after but I have moments of horror during some workouts.  I've yelled at the TV, myself, and I have cried, but I've gotten through them. And after? I felt amaaaaazing. I think that with this particular DVD I can get up and do something I enjoy and that I feel is a good way to start the day, and also feel accomplished after. This just might be the solution to my morning workout struggle, although it is dependant on me sleeping well the night before which, at times, is a challenge.

Overall? I like yoga now.  I'm excited to do more of it! It's light, fairly easy, and it makes me feel good. This might be a perfect exercise for me!

Lesson to be learned from this? If you try something once and don't like it, give it some time and then try it again. You never know, you might end up liking it the second time around. It's worth a try!

Namaste.

XOXO

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