Since moving back the the great U.S.A. I have been scouting our area for an indoor pool to continue my swimming regimen! Between moving in, getting kids settled for school and then summer I hadn't been diligent about my search! Then, for Christmas, my cute husband found a '24 hour fitness' in the area with a POOL inside! Year round! I am SO excited!
This week I started off with a mile and three quarters (for the week) and had a BLAST! I also tried Yoga for the first time ever... I have to say that I have always thought that Yoga was a bit more restful or natural than I would expect a 'real' workout to be. Well, after years of thinking Yoga was less of a workout I have to admit "I was WRONG!"!
When I entered the room and saw people from their mid 20s all the way to mid 70s I thought, "Really, how hard can this be?" and I stationed myself next to a little, well manicured grandmother. I started up a chat with those around me, sharing that it was my first time doing Yoga. Everyone was friendly and completely relaxed. (Minus the businessman who came to yoga in Dockers, a button down shirt and business shoes... but, to each his own). So, seriously, looking around I saw grandmas, businessmen (in their dockers) and also women in 'yoga' looking gear. So, again, how hard could this be?
The instructor bounces into the room and up to the podium. I decided it may be wise to just let her know that this is my first Yoga class. She expresses TONS of enthusiasm for my first class and promises me that she will tell me where to put my arms, legs, hands and feet. That is good, considering I serioulsy have NO IDEA what I am doing.
She instructs me to grab a mat from the closet - and I do... choosing the one that looks least used and doesn't have odd stains on it... At this point I am wondering what stains are doing on a Yoga mat - I mean, do you even break a sweat?
I lay the mat out just in front of the adorable, well-manicured grandmother and start stretching (just like everyone else). I then begin to hear lovely, calming ocean surf with music and I think "Yeah, this will be relaxing without taxing my muscles." (Little did I know...)
The first series of movements we do are announced as the "Sun Salutation" - and I don't know about you... but I don't usually give salutations with my bottom straight in the air with both hands and feet on the floor (hip width apart, mind you). But, from there the instructor had us do body folds (leaning over); monkeys (leaning over with a flat back) and planks - OK, right about NOW, during the planks (which are push ups that you hold in position for a period of time) I thought, "Am I actually feeling perspiration?"
Well, this series of movements were repeated who knows how many times... and each time I got to the plank my muscles in my arms would just begin to BURN. It wasn't just perspiration! No, it was all out BURN - and TO TOP IT OFF, the well-manicured Grandmother was not breaking a sweat! So, I was NOT about to let that happen! So, I smiled and kept on truckin'!
About 20 minutes into the class the instructor said, "OK, that was a nice warm-up." I thought, "Oh my dear... are you serious?" I could already feel a slow burn in my upper arms.
Well, then we get into the 'real' moves of Yoga and just let me say... that there seriously are muscles that I had NO idea I had or what functions they do! AND when you are focusing on some muscles SO much - the other muscles in your body don't do much (like hold your stomach in)! So, about this point I am thinking - "Why, in heaven's name are there MIRRORS on three sides of this room?" And then I see Grandma behind me smiling and relaxed... and my determination hardens.
Well, to say the least, I perspired, my muscles burned, I learned about muscles that I never knew about - BUT, by the end I felt like I had just been treated to an hour massage. I was that relaxed and rejuvinated - Seriously! I was amazed... at the end of the session everyone got up and started rolling their mats, etc. and I was still laying on the floor! I think Grandma was in her car by the time I moved.
So, overall - I am a new fan of Yoga! I felt great after class - and then, about 9pm that night I began to feel the muscles that I had used... but in a good way!
So, Yoga is now being added to my weekly regimen! Just picture me sitting on a mat with my hands on my bended knees, humming to myself... Yeah, Right!
OH, and IF you try this - remember to wear baggier clothes... until you are not worried about what muscles relax when the other ones are being worked on!