Recently, I changed up my exercise routine with yoga. Instead alternating running with weight training, I’m alternating running with yoga.
It’s a great way to work out, stretch and meditate a little, all at the same time.
I can’t do yoga properly without guidance so I have to have an instructor or at least a video to encourage me to try a tricky pose or hold a pose longer.
Some yogis encourage you to hold an intention during class. So today I intended to be present in the moment and celebrate that I made it to Friday!
Recently, I had the opportunity to do yoga on the beach. On the beach! For a native Minnesotan, this was the definition of novel. The sun shone brightly, a breeze was blowing, I focused my eyes on a horizon where I could see only sky and water. Wow. I marveled at my luck. Who cares if I couldn’t hold a pose as long as the 20something teaching the class?! This was special.
That’s the kind of opportunities I seek out when I’m away from home. I feel like I really experience a place when I’m running its streets or breathing its air. It’s more real than sight seeing — better than taking a picture, though sometimes I do that, too.
Here’s a shot of what I saw in my shavasana pose — total relaxation.
Yoga is a wonder exercise.
It makes you stronger. Helps relieve stress. Improves flexibility and balance. Forces you to slow down and breathe. Doesn’t require a whole bunch of equipment or a partner.
For all of these reasons, I’ve resolved to do yoga twice a week until the end of the year.
I hated yoga when I was younger — not enough action or calorie burn. But as recently as two years ago, I was doing yoga three times a week. When you turn 40, action and calorie burn aren’t always the priority — range of motion and flexibility are what get you out of bed and through the day. Then I joined the neighborhood gym and started depending on the treadmill to get my exercise. Big mistake. I’m not giving up running, but I think yoga makes me a better runner (mostly because those downward dogs stretch my hamstrings better than I ever bother to do myself).
Last week when I was in Minnesota, I joined a friend as her guest at the yoga class at her fitness center. I was reminded of all the benefits of yoga I’ve been missing.
So I looked up the BYU channel on DISH Network and discovered Deni Preston is still leading “Total Body Workout,” a workout program which often focuses on yoga. It’s free (as long as I’m paying DISH Network). I can do it in my livingroom, and there are no commercials on BYU TV (thanks, Brigham Young University).
Regular sun salutations, here I come.