Thursday, December 18, 2008

Adventures in yoga

I’m becoming more and more convinced that the people who write Stuff White People Like have been secretly following me around…graduate school, New Balance shoes, and now this: yoga. I have never been a fan of group exercise classes, preferring to run or lift weights on my own. A lot of this stems from the fact that I’m horribly uncoordinated, and I find it intimidating to be a beginner at something surrounded by people who are much better at it. Like, I don’t want to be that idiot who has no idea what he or she is doing and therefore slows down the class for everybody else. Because when I’m not that idiot, I hate that idiot. Back Bay Yoga Studios offers an introductory rate of $25 for two weeks of unlimited classes, so I talked my friend Caro into signing up with me (idiocy loves company). It’s a great deal for beginners, because you have the opportunity to try out several different classes and can learn which types of yoga you do and do not like. I’d never been inside a yoga studio before, and yikes, it’s not like a gym. At all. I was all “hey, where’s the locker room?” and they were all, oh, “you mean the tiny room with a screen people change behind and cubbies for all of your belongings? And no bathroom or showers? Right around the corner.”
I tried ashtanga, vinyasa, and forrest. I enjoyed all three, but I preferred the classes that were less crowded and more geared towards beginners (i.e. the instructors walk around and help you with the poses.) Never really got the ujjayi breath down (it kinda felt like I was trying to hock up a lungy, so I abandoned it) but yoga was more of a workout than I expected, as evidenced by the next day’s soreness. And I did feel good and relaxed at the end of each class. Overall, I enjoyed my yoga trial but don’t see myself running off to India anytime soon. Running is still my exercise of choice- it’s free, it’s a great workout, and it doesn’t require carrying a cumbersome mat on public transportation. However, during these cold winter months, I might throw a little yoga into the mix.


Cleaty said...

You might want to try pilates. I too like running and playing soccer, and yoga was a little to "slow" for me. Pilates is a better compromise because it's more active than yoga (you don't hold the poses) and it really works your abs.

eileen said...

Thanks for the tip...I've heard good things about Pilates and have been meaning to try it out.