Ah yoga. Going to a yoga class has been on my to do list for what seems like forever. My instagram feed is full of lithe looking people in unfeasibly difficult poses, I know that it is great for strength, flexibility and the mind-body connection, and frankly I’d quite like the excuse to buy some of the lovely yoga clothing out there 🙂 So why have I never really got round to doing yoga until now?
Well, I’ll be honest and say one of the main reasons is that it doesn’t burn very many calories – at least not in comparison to running or a high intensity class. I used to do a regular body balance class at the gym (body balance is a mixture of yoga, tai chi and pilates set to music) which I really enjoyed, but I used to go to body combat first ensure I’d felt the burn. Somehow, yoga felt like an inefficient way to work out.
I’m gradually (and with some effort) changing my mind set away from managing my weight and calorie burn as being the main reason for exercising, and trying to embrace the health benefits that come with a more balanced exercise regime, with cardio, strength and flexibility all featuring in my weekly schedule.
So recently, I bit the bullet and signed up for a 6 week beginner’s yoga class. It’s Ashtanga yoga, which is considered a fairly dynamic type, where you work through a set series of poses and it’s very focused on the breath, which gives the mind body connection. I’m 3 weeks in, and I’m really enjoying it. The long and short of it is, I need to feel challenged by what I do, but I’ve come to realise that yoga isn’t easy – there is a subtlety to achieving the poses and it takes real strength. I love to learn, so working through the sequence is enjoyable in itself, and I’m having to push myself in terms of my balance, flexibility and strength.
Once I’ve finished the course, I plan to find time to do a regular class and continue to learn – I’d love to be able to achieve some of the more difficult poses. And get a bit of calm in my life. Oh, and once I’ve established it as part of my regular routine, then perhaps I’ll feel justified in investing in some new yoga gear….