I’ve never understood how yoga could be a workout – I’ve tried a couple of at home DVDs and got bored within 5 minutes, maybe 10, because the pace was so slow and I didn’t feel like I was getting anything out of the stretches. I’ve often called it a “pansy” workout – stretching for an hour? How does that qualify as legit exercise?
Last night, Adam and I took our first ever Yoga class at Black Swan Yoga. Since we were both newbies to Yoga, we opted to take the Vinyasa class as it was one of 2 classes recommended for beginners – the other was Hatha. I’m not gonna lie and say I wasn’t nervous, I was, but more than that I was less than optimistic that yoga would be a workout equivalent to my Jazzercise or Adam’s cycling. I wasn’t expecting to sweat, I wasn’t expecting to be sore. In fact, it’s safe to say I didn’t really have a lot of positive expectations going into the class.
We arrived about 20 minutes before class began, took off our shoes, and staked out a place in the back corner of the L shaped studio. Adam confirms with the teacher that this class will be good for beginners and we wait. We watch as people begin to stroll in and before we know it the class is full and there’s less than 6 inches between the mats. I hope we don’t lose our balance and fall over.
I was expecting an instructor front and center going through the poses with us, but instead she vocalized the commands as she walked around the room while her partner helped to correct technique and posture as we went through the poses. Adam and I relied on those around us to figure out what pose to do next. As the class progressed, the sweatier I got. There were also a few un-zen like moments where I mouthed to Adam very unloving statements, because HOLY HELL I WAS HOT and this wasn’t even labeled as a “sweaty” or “hot” class. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever sweat that much in my life. I’m talking dripping off my nose, pooling on my back, and hands slipping on my mat.
Once the class finished, THANK GOD, we gathered our stuff and headed to the car. The first thing Adam said to me was “that was harder than a 4-hour bike ride”. I’ve never done a 4-hour bike ride, so I can’t attest to the validity of that statement; however, I can say that it was without a doubt one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Who’d have thought stretching could work you that hard? My muscles didn’t seem that much looser after class like I expected them to feel and my shins hurt like whoa, but I did feel pretty relaxed and like I could go to bed immediately.
This morning I woke up and didn’t really feel all that sore. In fact, I didn’t feel sore at all. Well, until an hour ago when I got up from my desk to grab a fresh glass of water.
My shoulders are sore.
My neck is sore.
My biceps and triceps are sore.
My thighs are sore.
I’m sorry for every thought I ever had about yoga being wimpy, it’s far from it. And this morning? I kinda want to try another class.