Discovering the Right Yoga for Me

Given that I did a post on Flywheel, I thought it only seemed right to designate some internet space for how much I love my yoga studio's hot hatha class!  

my studio and trusty striped mat that stands out in a crowd
My take on yoga over the years has been lukewarm, at best.  I used to try and do videos from time to time in my 20s, to get some 'zen' and maybe some strength work.  Alas, I found it frustrating and BORING.  Plus, I feel like I need to sweat in order to get my endorphins.  I slowly came around to liking yoga a couple years ago when I was introduced to Jasyoga.  Their yoga for runners is not sweat-inducing, but very much 'zen' and not boring yoga.  I always feel like I'm floating on a cloud after a nice and calm stretching session.  They are all about ease and bringing it into every facet of your life.  
first Jasyoga class almost two years ago!
Since it's kinda hard to get to Seattle for Jasyoga sessions, and I found that the traffic negated my cloud-floaty feeling, I started seeking out some yoga in my neck of the woods.  One of my mom friends (who's daughter is my daughter's best bud) had eventually left the Y for a monthly membership at a local hot yoga studio and could not stop singing it's praises.  I was dubious, as there's no way I'd ever leave the Y, but was intrigued enough to seek out the ubiquitous Groupon 10 pass class.  Seriously, I think every yoga studio has a standing deal for new members on Groupon.  Always look into that first before trying a new studio!

I went with her to a warm Vinyasa class and it was a good workout, but I didn't feel that 'ease' afterwards.  I felt like I was at a fast-paced dance class and has zero clue about the moves.  Luckily, the instructors are fantastic at the studio and the teacher that day is almost a legend around these parts (Brian!) and helped me through each pose.  I didn't hate it, but I didn't LOVE it.  

I then did a complete 180 and tried the 'yin' yoga class that's offered, which is all about stretching and relaxation - yay!  But, sitting in some of the stretching poses for several minutes felt like an eternity and I got antsy.  Holding a pose for nearly five minutes doesn't sound like a long time, especially if it's just a nice easy stretch like pigeon pose, but no. Just not for me.

Finally, I tried a straight up Hatha class.  Which I think I avoided because it's the type of yoga I tried to do when I was younger and didn't like at the time, but I LOVE it now.  Maybe it's the hot class, and those sweaty endorphins, and the fact that I appreciate what it brings to my fitness.  It's just the right ratio of strength, stretching and relaxation.  The poses are challenging, but easy to follow and modify if necessary.  I really feel that all of the poses, mainly incorporating balance and core, make my back less achy and help my running form - hopefully keeping me free from injury.  

I encourage everyone to give yoga a try - each type of class to see what floats your boat.  Never in a million years did I think I'd start doing yoga regularly, but it's been almost a year now and I've moved on from the Groupon and thrown down for 10 class punch cards.  At the very least, I go about every other week, now that I'm not feeling any running niggles.   Also, they hand out cool, damp, lavender scented towels at the end of class and it's THE BEST THING EVER.  I definitely feel like I'm walking on a cloud when I leave.  


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