I took my first non-Bikram yoga class today. I have long-believed that yoga isn’t a “real” workout, so I thought that doing the Bikram version would make it feel more real because I’d be sweating. Well, that was true in a sense — I certainly did sweat. But I didn’t like doing the same thing each time and often feeling very light-headed while doing it. So, I gave yoga up for a couple of years.
What brought me back was looking at fit people’s bodies in magazines and on TV and reading that the common denominator for all of them is yoga. From Madonna to Olympic athletes to weekend warriors, they all swear by yoga. I went to a class at 24 Hour Fitness and I was pleasantly surprised at how HARD it was. Within 10 minutes, I was actually sweating! While I’d like to believe that I could outrun or out-bike any number of people in the class, I was humbled by their flexibility and mental stamina. I couldn’t “quiet my mind chatter” as the instructor reminded us. I couldn’t hold many of the poses as long, or as deeply. I think this style would be considered “power yoga,” as it is more strength-based and less focused on flowing movements or meditation. I guess I just needed to find the right style with the right instructor.
I felt quite refreshed after the class (though, admittedly, I went for a run that afternoon to get in some real cardio). I was amazingly sore for two days, and I dare say I saw a little more definition in a few places. In a nutshell, there were quite a few calories burned that day, from the activity itself AND because I was doing something new (and a little scary). I’ve already added the class to my calendar each Tuesday to continue working on my practice.