Thursday, October 9, 2014

Strike a Pose

I'm conflicted about yoga.

I've tried it several times over the years and never stuck with it. Yoga has always taken a back seat to other types of exercise that involve cardio and strength. I want heart-pounding, calorie-demolishing intensity. And, face it, it's just more fun for me to dance at Jazzercise then twist myself into impossible poses at yoga class. At Jazzercise, I feel like I'm on Broadway. When I do yoga, I feel ungainly, inflexible and, well, silly.

I also have trouble quieting my mind and yoga demands focus and concentration. When I'm supposed to be focusing on correctly holding a pose, I'm likely to notice my chipped manicure and wonder when I'll have time to do my nails again. When we're in Savasana, or corpse pose, at the end of class, I start to think about what I need to pick up at the grocery store.

Recently, I decided to go back to yoga and try to make it a habit.  My goal is to improve my flexibility and balance, two elements of a well-rounded exercise program that are often ignored.

There are other benefits to yoga, as well.
  • Strength  Yoga helps improve strength in your core, legs and upper body. After class, I can tell I've worked every muscle. 
  • Body Awareness  After taking yoga, I realize how poor my posture is most of the time. There's no slouching in yoga.
  • Health  Regular yoga practice is linked to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides and that can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Yoga may also boost the body's immune system.
  • Decreasing Anxiety, Stress and Depression  Studies suggest the breathing, relaxation and meditation techniques in yoga help relieve stress and boost feelings of well-being. And who doesn't need that, these days? 
  • Yoga Pants are great. There's nothing comfier than yoga pants and a sweatshirt.
So, okay. I'm going to give yoga another try. My plan is to go at least once a week through December and see how much my balance, flexibility and state of mind improve.


1 comment:

  1. I'm not a huge fan of yoga either, but it's been great rehab while recovering from a broken ankle! My leg was so stiff and inflexible for a while and stretching has been a top priority for working that out.

    Like you said, I think it's good to be well rounded (to prevent injury but also to get the benefits of a bunch of types of exercise) so I'm also on the "yoga once a week" plan with lifting weights or some type of cardio for the other 6 days. Oh, but I definitely have trouble with the "mind quieting" thing. I chatter to my mom (my yoga partner) the whole time until she finally stops answering me.