Why Yoga Should Be Part of a Healthy, Fit Lifestyle

“Trust the vibes you get. Energy doesn’t lie.”

Trying new things. Kinda been my jam lately.

It started with waking up early one day to see what Spinsanity was all about, continued with a few ass-kickings at JoeFitness, and most recently included a sneak peek sweat sesh at Fargo’s new Orangetheory Fitness studio.

For a gal who doesn’t often try the latest and greatest workout, I’ve been an adventurous lady as of the late. One of the best parts of all these trials is I’ve experienced each with a trusted fit pal by my side.

img_6662

Post-run yoga is always a must.

So naturally when my friend and fellow fit gal, Heather, invited me to a Yoga Sculpt class at the local Mojo Fit yoga studio, I eagerly said yes.

I enjoy yoga. I go through a quick yoga routine after long runs, always do a few moves after other workouts, and often search for new poses to address issues. But rarely do I take classes. In fact, the most recent one I remember was a good three years ago when Chris and I first started dating. I think he took the class with me to impress me with his athletic ability. Goal achieved.

Anyway, this fact alone made me interested to give yoga class another go. Plus, I know the benefits of yoga that go beyond the sheer fitness aspects.

Let’s just say I got more than I bargained for – in a good way.

The Heat is ON
One of my initial concerns with taking the class was if it was going to be a good enough workout. After all, if I was going to dedicate my Saturday morning workout to something, it better be hard and leave me sweaty. Heather assured me it was indeed both a hard and sweaty workout, and I trusted her word.

Let me tell you something. I can’t remember the last time I sweated so much from a workout. Yes, me, the aggressive sweater.

As we were in the car, driving to the yoga studio, Heather took the opportunity to inform me this class – a 75-minute one – takes place in the hot studio.

I tried to hide my reaction. Did she not know of my aggressive sweating? We talk about the gross sides of fitness all the time, surely I’ve mentioned this to her before. I laughed nervously but secretly I was breathing a huge sigh of relief that I went with the black pants versus anything that would show early signs of swass.

Upon arrival at the studio, it was nice and toasty – just as Heather described. It didn’t take long for me to work up a sweat, and things just went nuts from there. I’ll spare you all the details and just give a few highlights.

At one point I had to stop to grab a towel because a massive bead of sweat dripped into my eye and obstructed my vision.

While getting in position to do lunges, I slipped on my yoga mat. You know, because it was doused in sweat pools.

I was literally dripping in sweat. Like, I saw the drips in the mirror. And the beads on my legs were visible during our final cool-down stretch.

Yes, it was a hot and sweaty workout. Mission accomplished!

Keep On Movin
Within seconds of the class starting, I was glad I have experience with yoga poses. The instructor just began calling them out as she moved through the routine quickly, and thankfully I was able to keep up.

img_6813

My basic yoga experience came in handy.

Fast-paced didn’t just come with the warm-up poses. The entire class was fast-paced; it felt like we were constantly moving from one move to the next, from squats to cardio to overhead presses.

Not only did this keep things interesting and made the class go by quickly, it gave us a ton of bang for the buck, so to speak, making the most of the 75 minutes and taking the concept of “total body workout” to a new level.

Exercising the Mind
Speaking of total body workout, this class had it covered – and more. What I mean is it worked my mind as well. Not only did it push my focus and concentration, offer mindfulness and relaxation, it also reminded me of certain exercises that are necessary for me as a runner. And taught me a few new ones.

Again, I won’t go into detail of every cardio, upper body and lower body move. Instead, I’ll just share a few highlights.

Squats. Oh, so many squats. We did tons of variations too, which was especially great for a girl who loves squats.

We did some great single-leg moves and variations of what I typically do for single-leg moves. Both Heather and I are runners and commented to each other how great these moves were for us.

All moves were high reps with light weights. When I lift, I have a mindset of low reps as long as it’s the heaviest weight I can lift. This, while great for some workouts and pushing for gains, has gotten me in trouble before. This type of workout and mindset makes it’s too easy to push too hard, too often. Also, the problems I’ve had with hamstrings and hips make light, higher-rep lifts important to rehabbing those problem areas while making them stronger.

This was a huge plus of the workout and probably one of the best reminders for me to incorporate this style of lifts into my routine more often.

My free trial week at Mojo Fit studio continues this week, and I already have plans to take at least one more class with Heather. Going forward, I may visit the studio again, as I can see it being a valuable addition to my marathon training plan. And I’ll take away some of the moves I learned to incorporate on a more regular basis.

img_6483

Even Blitz likes her yoga fix.

For everyone else, yoga may seem like it’s not for everyone. However, it’s a great opportunity to focus, decompress, and remember that a healthy lifestyle goes beyond hours on the Stairmaster or weekly leg day. A reminder we all can use.

Fellow fit friends, do you practice yoga – basic, Bikram, or sculpt/cardio-focused classes like the one I took? How has yoga helped you in terms of fitness, mindfulness, and all-around balance? Comment below or tweet me, @runlikeagirl311 on Twitter.

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Life Outside of Running and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s