An update you’ve all been eagerly awaiting… how this inflexible anti-yogi is doing with her May yoga goal. Instead of spilling all of my thoughts and feelings at the end of the month, I thought I would give you an update! You guys always give the best advice and suggestions too so I may be looking for that as well.
I’ll start off by mentioned that I absolutely LOVE the yoga studio I have been going to. It was at the suggestion of a few of my neighbours/friends that I go to Lahari Yoga (St. Albert or Edmonton readers –> Check it out!) and it was probably the best decision to kick off this personal challenge. I really enjoy the atmosphere of the studio and even as a skeptical beginner, they have made me feel welcome and everyone has been so friendly. I have been to a few other yoga studios in the past and I never got a great feeling from them, whether it was making me feel bad about my lack of flexibility or the fact that wasn’t wearing head to toe lulu or whether it was because I felt like I had just stepped into a closed-off clique, I just never found a place that I wanted to keep coming back to. Lahari has certainly made this goal a little bit less difficult to ease myself into.
The key to some of these personal fitness challenges is keeping an open mind. I like to think that with the right attitude, you can enjoy any fitness experience. I tried to get to as many different types of yoga classes as I could because most people had told me going into this challenge that I needed to find a type of yoga I liked, because there is something for everyone. I think they were right… yoga can be as sweaty or as relaxing as you want.
I dragged my mom to the first class. Not ONLY because I knew she stretched the same amount as me (aka zero minutes a week), but because it’s nice to have someone there for moral support. Oh, and in case you hadn’t noticed, my mom is wicked awesome and I love her.
“Flow and Slow”
I’ve been to this class twice now. It is a 75-minute evening class that is called “flow and slow” because you take your time getting into the flow and then take your time coming out of it. I like the longer transition times getting into the flow movements, it’s perfect for newbies to yoga! The first class had a sub instructor and I really liked her. It totally makes a difference which instructor you have and how you like to be guided.
I basically picked this one because it specified “Beginner.” The instructor was awesome, he made everyone feel super comfortable. The class average age was approximately 73, with most being regulars to this class and sticking with their favourite instructor, despite not really being “beginners” anymore. I enjoyed this one but it felt less “flowy.”
I didn’t actually know what “yin” meant when I signed up, but apparently it means in 75 minutes you will complete about 10 poses, and spend a LONG time in each one. I started off thinking I would hate it (I know, I know, open mind) but as we relaxed into the poses, I could feel my muscles sinking into places I never thought they would go and I really felt it. This class surprised me the most, it went by the fastest, and I felt crazy good after. My hips and glutes felt sore the next day, not in the way that it feels like I worked them hard, but in the way where it feels like you stretched them hard and they feel bruised.
This was the first “warm” class I tried. Trying to push the horrid memories of trying Bikram Yoga in a studio that smelled like feet and felt like death to the back of my mind, I signed up for this “warm” class. It contained a lot of the same “flow” poses that the other hatha and flow classes contained, but I was sweating and it was less of a beginner class than I thought it would be. The instructor was still super sweet and gave plenty of modifications.
Okay… so apparently this is NOT a yoga class. It is like a core and glute workout on steroids… in a warm room, so you are dripping with sweat the whole time. Picture lots of lunges and squats and bridges FOR AN HOUR. You leave equally as refreshed as other yoga classes but only because you sweated out three pounds of water weight and replenished it with complimentary lemon water in the lobby. It was a TOUGH class. I liked it because you know your girl loves her glute workouts, but I am just not a fan of warm or hot yoga classes. The instructor was great. She was perfectly tanned and gorgeous and had perfectly sculpted muscles. You didn’t know whether to fear her or become her best friend. I went from a yin class the night before to this intense sweaty workout.
My favourite part so far, in half of the classes, was the aromatherapy cold cloth that is placed on your forehead in the final shavasana. SO GOOD. I am going to hire someone to place this on my forehead every night before I go to sleep. There are also almost always free snacks in the lobby… watermelon, orange slices, chocolate muffins, banana bread… I may just keep going to this yoga studio just for the free food.
Overall, I have tried warm yoga classes and I just can’t say I enjoy them. Maybe if I was looking for a great workout, not in a gym, I would head enjoy it more, but I like yoga for its relaxing nature. I get a lot of intense workouts in during the rest of my day, so I crave yoga as a stretching and relaxing activity. Yin was a big surprise and I really liked it, while Flow classes kept me engaged and allowed me to push myself to work on my flexibility. I’m happy to report I am enjoying the classes, and more importantly I’m enjoying the instructors and the studio as well. I have been to six classes so far, with four to go to accomplish my goal!
What is your favourite type of yoga?
Room temperature, warm, or hot yoga?
What is the most important part of yoga to you – class format, instructor, studio, or it’s all the same?