Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Who Decided Yoga was a Good Idea?

On Sunday, I mentioned to my wife that I need to get in a better workout than just running. I certainly wasn't complaining about the running regiment as it's probably too much for my 40-yr old body to handle, but it's mostly cardio and legs with no cross training. I felt like I need to mix it up and I needed motivation. Like a dummy, I suggested a meet-in-the-middle approach and asked her to do yoga with me 3 times a week.

Background: I've only ever done P90X yoga which really isn't yoga at all. It goes through the poses but emphasizes the extreme positions, core strength and really does little to capture what yoga is about. At least that was my impression. But I enjoyed it. It was one of the workouts I looked forward to in will crushing workout regiment. Previous to my own experience, I watched, and admittedly chuckled through, my wife doing a couple of yoga workouts to a DVD set that emphasized the "breath of fire," which looked a lot like nostril flaring and hyperventilating.

So why Rebecca agreed to join me starting this week, I thought, "Cool!" No really. That's all I thought.

Then the workout began. At least I thought it was the workout. To be honest, it was just the warm up and I was already out of breath. Yes, the breath of fire was a lot like hyperventilating and I felt like I could barely catch enough oxygen to keep my head from hitting my yoga mat and suffering a minor, cushioned concussion.

But as the workout progressed, I was comforted by the frequent, gentle commands to lay my head down on my hands and "relaaaaaxxxxx and breath deeeeeeeep." With unabashed gladness I fulfilled every one of those commands.

There was really only one technique I physically wasn't able to perform and I will likely struggle with it continually as my knee no longer allows me to sit back on my heels. It just doesn't bend that far after a surgery and two blow outs. But a modified move allows me to simulate the technique and I feel satisfied that I'm following along.

By the afternoon on Monday I felt more than invigorated and was glad for the early morning run and yoga work out. By Monday night I slept well and was content with the outcome of a productive day.

By Tues morning I gave up on my morning run and slept in. I accomplished virtually nothing all morning. Was it the extra workout the day before? Likely.

To make up for it, I ran and got in another yoga workout with Rebecca this morning. Different DVD in the same collection but more "breath of fire" and more hyperventilating. We didn't make it through the entire workout but I definitely felt exhausted by the end.

And what is the outcome? I'm sleepy and it's only just after 9 AM. Who thought yoga was a good idea anyway?

I'll say this though, breathing through my nose seems easier and I certainly feel more relaxed when I lay my head down. Now if I can just receive the same command to rest from my new boss and I'll gladly comply.
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