Yesterday was the last day of my 30 day new student pass at the yoga studio by my job. I really really started to fall in love with yoga during the 3 weeks that I actually could attend regularly. I found that 2-3 classes a week was the perfect amount for me considering it's not my main workout. I took mostly hot yoga classes because I took a hot intro class and looooved it. Since I go after work and I'm naturally like 95 degrees instead of normal human body temperature, the hot room just felt wonderful. In the non hot classes I would not warm up until about halfway through. In the hot classes I was warm really quick, which enabled me to get deeper into the stretches. One of the benefits I was looking for out of yoga was to get a fantastic stretch since I tend to be really tight from INSANITY. And the hot yoga classes gave me that much better than the regular yoga classes. I will tell you that even though I was doing *extra* exercise, I experienced a huge reduction in soreness after adding yoga in. I definitely think this is because I was able to get a really good deep stretch that was much better than what I do at home. I suspected a bit part of my problem has been due to this and now I am 100% convinced of the fact I need to stretch deeper and longer most days.
The other thing I loved from hot yoga was how peaceful I felt afterwards. I did NOT expect this and it honestly wasn't something I was looking for going into it. Not because I didn't know yoga was a meditative practice...but because I have never felt that from a yoga workout at home. Perhaps because at home it's usually *the workout of the day* so I am focused on trying to get my calorie burn in. But since the focus here was on the stretch, I allowed myself to really get mentally into the practice and clear. I left the practice every class feeling on top of the world, which honestly, was the thing that made me want to go more. Between all the things going on, stress management is a HUGE thing that I've been trying to work on this year. When I'm stressed I tend to fall into bad habits, which usually means doughnuts and fried things. Realizing how stress reducing yoga practice is - you better believe I have a new strategy for dealing with stress for sure. I feel like this is the one part that I only felt because I mentally went into this practice very differently than I have when I've done it at home.
So bottom line - I love yoga lol. I will be checking out a few more studio options to see how I like those classes. I wasn't really interested in one by my house when I first started my love affair with hot yoga because there aren't many classes a week. But now looking at it, I think that is fine since I'm not looking to go as often as I thought. I also will look for some different style yoga workouts for home. Right now I have P90x Yoga X, P90x Fountain of Youth, Bob Harper Yoga for the Warrior, and Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga. I want to find some that are more meditative and less workout focused because that is what really puts me in my good place.
Do you want to try yoga? Just a few tips...
- I definitely recommend finding a studio with a 30 day lower cost trial option.
- Try multiple teachers (there is a HUGE difference between teachers!!) and styles.
- Try the slow flow of hatha and the moving flow of vinyasa.
- Don't spend a ton of money to start off with either. Most studios will let you rent a mat so you can see if you want to invest in one after you try a few classes. And you do NOT need to go to Lululemon for $90 yoga pants just to get started (or ever unless you want to spend the money) - just wear something comfortable.
- For hot yoga go for shorts and a tank top (you close your eyes a lot and most hot rooms are darkened...don't stress your body, trust me) and for non-hot yoga go for longer pants and a tank. For both find a top that is somewhat fitted so it doesn't float over your head every time you go into downward dog.
- For hot yoga drink lots of water all day before you go and during and after (you will sweat more than you thought you could) and add a little salt to your water to help replace the sodium you may lose.