This is either going to be a fairly popular post, or one just like the others that no one really talks about. Right. I guess I should have just said, “this has potential to be ‘controversial’. Maybe.” I’ll leave it up to my awesome readers to make that decision for me.
I went to yoga last night, and these are my thoughts.
What I Don’t Like About Yoga
I don’t like the internal focus yoga requires (if you’re going to practice it to the “t”). I don’t need to feel my muscles in order to get into the poses. I don’t need to feel my glutes flexing when doing a back bridge or a full wheel. I can just do it and let my glutes do the job they’re supposed to. I don’t need to feel my abs and obliques engage in order to hold a side plank. I just need to keep a rigid torso and let my core do it’s job, no feeling involved.
I don’t like yoga for strength training. Yes, if you have never exercised in your life, ANYTHING will make you stronger. The fact that you chose yoga does not mean it will make you as strong as you may want or that it’s any better than any other form of working out. It just happens to be the one you chose. It will make you strong….to a certain level. Just like any other bodyweight movement.
I don’t like yoga for weightloss. Not all studios or instructors claim yoga is good for weightloss, but I have seen a few that do. Last I checked, the only thing required for weightloss is a calorie deficit. I know I didn’t burn too many calories last night, and it certainly didn’t prevent me from shoving anything down my throat afterwards.
I don’t like yoga for increased flexibility. No matter how many times I say it, I don’t think people are listening. Moving your joints (safely) through a full range of motion (whatever that may be for you at your current level) under load and at speed will get you more flexible, faster (and you’re building strength at the same time).
I don’t like yoga for core strength. Again, if you’ve done nothing in your life fitness related, yoga WILL make your core stronger up to a certain point. Holding planks and sitting V positions are fine, but I’m willing to bet it will take a lot more core strength to squat 350lb. or overhead press your own bodyweight. This may be why I was able to do the “advanced” version of the poses we did last night and some of the experienced practioners were still struggling.
What I Do Like About Yoga
I like looking at hot chicks getting all sweaty.
*Side note: I’ve only gone to yoga twice in my life, and I have only seen the affore mentioned hot, sweaty chick once. Which was last night. I’ve just heard rumors about hot, sweaty chicks at yoga so I assume them to be true.
I like that poses are scaled specifically to whatever the individual’s current limitations are. You are supposed to stretch certain muscles based on the pose, yes, but you are not supposed to stretch so far as to feel pain. We were also instructed that if any of the poses cause pain anywhere else to not perform them as well. I like that a lot. Working within one’s limits in order to expand one’s limits makes sense to me.
And the #1, main reason for me to ever go to yoga is….
“My theory on yoga increasing flexibility is less the movement and more the association with quiet, low stress and self-focused time.
We spend so much time “switched on”, it only seems logical that a little more time “switched off” in something meditative could be a powerful boost to our systems.”
I agree 100%. I can make time to climb, go to the gym, hang out with friends, write for my blogs, whatever, yes, but during all of those things, my brain is turned on, constantly thinking, constantly calculating. During yoga, there is nothing to do but peform the poses. Close your eyes. Listen to the calming hippie music. Listen to the [usually] calming hippie instructor’s voice. Just, be there. Don’t think about anything else. You’ve already “lost the time” by showing up so just forget about everything else going on in your world. It is truly a destressing practice for me. And for this reason alone, I may check out another class or two more frequently than once a year.
Who know’s, maybe I’ll see one of those elusive sweaty, hot yogi chicks and buy some manpri’s.