I used to laugh at people that did yoga, but then I tried it. And now it is my favorite.
My gym membership includes some free group classes, but since I work during the day and have no desire to get up extra early to go to the gym before work, that leaves me with limited class options. Yoga is one of the classes offered in the evening, but I wasn’t really interested in it. I don’t remember how or when or why I actually ended up going to the class though… I must have been really bored or something. But it was love at first “twist”.
I don’t know if I would love all types of yoga classes, but the instructor at my gym is really good. He works full-time as a massage therapist and just teaches yoga on the side, so he is very good at making sure you don’t hurt yourself in any of the stretches.
Technically I think my instructor teaches the class in reverse order. Most classes start off with some warm-up, aerobic stretch routines at the beginning, then move on to the stretches (or “poses”), but he starts class with slow stretches. It works out well for me, because I usually get home from work and feel too tired to go to class, but I know that all I have to do when I first get there is sit on the floor and stretch my arms above my head a few times (and yawn). Can do!
Most classes follow the same routine, just with varying poses each week. We usually start with stretching our arms, then back, then legs – though most poses will stretch all three at once! Then move on to balancing poses, which I have a love/hate relationship with. I really enjoy doing balancing poses because it’s something you can really concentrate on and push yourself in, and you can really feel yourself using specific muscles and getting stronger, but they’re hard. And sometimes I fall down for no reason. At the end of class we do our aerobic stretch routine and I’m usually huffing it – I never know where the energy comes from, but usually by the time we get to this point in class I’m much more awake than when I started. After working up a sweat (and hopefully burning off the calories from the ice cream I plan to eat when I get home) we have relaxation time which is almost like naptime, but you’re not actually supposed to fall asleep.
Overall, I feel like my muscles get a good stretch, I tone specific muscles, I get some cardio in, and most importantly it doesn’t feel like exercise and I don’t hate it. Not a bad way to spend an hour.