Wednesday, December 11, 2013

40 days of yoga

I don't write about my fitness habits much. I have talked about running (my drug of choice) and mention workout related things here and there, but for the most part this space is dedicated to my baking.

So if you don't want to hear me talk about yoga, skip this post. Come back tomorrow and read about the pan of chocolate peppermint rice crispy treats I made/consumed.

Yoga.

I have had an on again, off again relationship with yoga for about eight years now. My exercise has always been running. As a cross country and track athlete, yoga was something I did when I inevitably over-trained and got injured. I would go to one class and think hey, this is pretty great. I should do this more often. And then I would just go on living my life.

After reading about a few people's experience with Baron Baptiste's 40 day yoga program I decided to try it for myself. I imagined it would be something like this movie.


Except I would be giving up running for 40 days instead of doin' it.

I can't believe I just wrote "doin' it." Sorry dad.

The program: yoga once a day, six days a week. I did a mixture of the Baron Baptiste digital classes, iTunes podcasts and classes at my gym. The classes ranged anywhere from 25 to about 90 minutes in duration.


What I liked:
- The workouts never got easier. I definitely found I was gaining flexibility towards the end of the program, but the classes were as challenging the last day as they were the first day. This is so different from running where you plateau quickly.
- The convenience. I live in a city which, to a runner means (a) road running or (b) treadmilling. Yoga can be done either at a gym or at home so I really had no excuse not to do it.
- Yoga is a great core workout... which is something I often neglect.
- Relaxation. I am a high stress person and yoga made me (a little) less so

What I didn't like:
- Most of the life talk. While I recognize yoga is some people's spiritual path, I don't want some guy yelling at me for an hour about how I need to "let go" and tune into "my personal stories." What does that even mean? Ugh.

Overall I really loved the experience. It was a good change from my normal routine. I supplemented the yoga with some hiking and cross training when I felt super antsy, which was (surprisingly) not often. When I had a day where I wasn't particularly enthused about exercising, I did one of the shorter classes or took a rest day.

The crazy thing is, I am not super eager to jump back into running. I am going to continue doing the yoga thing for now even though the forty days are up.

If you decide to try yoga most gyms offer beginner level classes. I think it is best to learn the poses in a class with direct instruction. If you are already somewhat familiar with yoga, I really recommend using iTunes' free podcasts. You go to the iTunes store and use the search bar in the upper right corner of the screen. Just type in yoga (I like power or vinyasa yoga but there are many varieties to choose from.)

Here are some of the websites I used:

For general info:
www.yogajournal.com

For info/ ordering digital 40 days:
http://www.baronbaptiste.com/store/forty-days-to-personal-revolution-book-by-baron-baptiste/

Podcasts:
http://dailyburn.com/yoga?rfh=1

http://yogatothepeople.com/about-us/podcasts/

AND iTunes... my favorite podcasts are Lean Power Yoga (taught by Taunie Doster) and Power Flow Yoga (taught by Sean and Karen Conley)


Tomorrow: rice crispy treats.




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