I started doing yoga not long after I started doing the Firm, back in 2002 or 2003. I did it to stretch my sore muscles, and because I read with more flexibility you can eventually lift more. So as I was hitting a plateau, I started doing yoga for those two, very practical reasons. But I’m so inflexible, I never really enjoyed it that much. I did the workout because I knew it was good for me, but never looked forward to it.

Fast forward to me joining the YMCA. A few girls at work were going to a yoga class on the other side of town. One who didn’t live on that side of town promised me it was worth the drive becuase the instructor was awesome. They were right. I went to his class every time he taught (once or twice a week). And I loved it. Of course, word traveled and slowly but surely his class filled up. And it was one of those deals where he used a room that had a class that went right up to his class start time, so arriving early didn’t guarantee you a spot. These YMCA bitches can be pushy! So after driving across town three classes in a row and not getting a spot in the class, I gave up, canceled my membership, and never looked back. Ugh. I still miss that class. And I don’t miss the ladies and girls who went to it and talked the whole time, taking spaces from people who drove 40 minutes one way to the class. RUDE!

So here I am now. I KNOW I need yoga in my life. It’s good to center you. It’s good for stretching and flexiblity. And it’s good for a generally balanced workout regimine. I have one video I like, but it’s an “AM Yoga” video, which means it’s for mornings. This is OK, but it doesn’t really do a lot of stretching. Its purpose is more to wake up your body. What I need, especially as I get older and sit at a desk all day, is to move and stretch my muscles. Especially my back and shoulders.

And I’ve found a video! (Hopefully.) It’s called Yoga for Stress Relief. And this very helpful comment by “Beth Cholette “doctor_beth”” sealed the deal. Someone send her a commission check! Here’s what she wrote:

“A breakdown of the DVD is listed below. The headings are the items found on the main menu, and the bullets indicate submenu items. The times for each practice are given as they appear on-screen, but I’ve added times in parentheses based on my own review. I’ve included brief descriptions of each individual practice.

Discussion of Meditation by HH The Dalai Lama (35)
Interview with Barbara (22)

Beginning and Ending Your Day
* Begin Your Day Slowly, 25m (24.5) – starts slowly on the floor and gradually moves into more active postures, including sun salutations
* Wake Up! 60m (58) – nice, slow flow combining seated breath work, sun salutation/standing postures, and seated forward bends
* Evening Revival, 40m (35.5) – starts in child’s pose and moves on to standing postures and then shoulder/back stretches on the floor
* Letting Go of the Day, 40m (37) – a series of floor and restorative postures, including reclined cobbler’s, supported child’s pose, and seated forward bends/twists
* Insomnia Series, 35m (36) – relaxing postures to help prepare for sleep; starts with simple standing poses and moves on to seated forward bends, supported cobbler’s and child’s pose, and legs-up-the-wall

Neck, Shoulder, and Back Issues
* Easing Neck & Shoulder Tension, passive, 20m (19) – a series of reclined postures allowing passive relaxation of the neck and shoulders
* Easing Neck & Shoulder Tension, active, extended, 30m (29) – more active stretches of the neck, shoulders, and upper back from both seated and standing positions; ends with legs-up-the-wall
* Lower Back Tension, 35m (35.5) – reclined and prone postures to open up the back
* Hip Pain (SI Joint), 25m (36) – a series of gentle hip-opening postures including reclined leg stretch, open half lotus, and prone postures
* Tension Headaches, 45m (44) – a combination of sequences from both the passive and the active neck and shoulders segments above; ends with legs-up-the-wall plus a lengthy relaxation

Easing Your Mind
* Breathing Exercises to Calm the Mind, 15m (15) – a slowly moving series of different breathing techniques while lying
* Restorative Poses for Relaxation, 15m (13.5) – three simple postures to facilitate deep relaxation (supported cobbler’s, heart opener, legs-up-the-wall)
* Deep Rest, 20m (18) – reclined breathing combined with a lengthy relaxation segment
* Mood Uplift, 30m (32.5) – offers a combination of calming and more active postures, starting with standing postures and moving to supported bridge and supported heart opener
* Serenity in Stillness, 35m (40.5) – combines elements of the digestive, hips, and neck practices; my favorite so far, especially with the supported bridge
* Anxiety Relief, 50m (40) – focuses largely on breathwork to calm the mind; also includes prone poses, reclined twist, and supportive postures

Stomach and Digestion Issues
* Constipation, 25m (27) – gentle prone postures to stimulate the stomach combined with standing and seated twists
* Improve Digestion, 30m (28.5) – sun salutations plus standing and seated twists; ends with half shoulderstand
* IBS, 30m (26.5) – starts with reclined breathwork and moves on to seated forward bends; ends with half shoulderstand and legs-up-the-wall
* Diarrhea & Indigestion, 30m (25) – nice series of gentle supported postures to open the upper back and release the stomach, ending with supported bridge and legs-up-the-wall; another favorite! ”

So many reasons I’ll love this video. First, I have TONS of neck, back, shoulder, hip pain. I have tightness and muscles that just need to stretch. My massage therapist tells me constantly to do yoga. And I keep telling her I will. :-) I had no idea there was yoga for digestive issues. VERY interesting! I’ll let you know if that works if I ever need to use it. I can’t imagine doing any workouts if I am sick with diarrhea, though… And finally, my solution to my problems with morning running! An AM yoga workout! Which, I realize, I could do with the AM video I currently have. But a short yoga routine to wake up my body might be just what I need to be awake enough to run in the morning. I’ve been struggling slowly through it, and am at least burning more calories since I’ve laid off trying to be so aggressive (and therefore counter-productive) with my progress. I switched back to a “rookie” plan and can actually mark days off of the calendar (which is important to me for some reason). So I ordered this and a new mat. I destroyed my old mat, it still sort of works, but is in bad shape -I got a thicker and bigger mat this time! Hey, I’m a girl. Size matters. ;-)

So I’ll check back in as I finish that workout. All I’ve done so far this week is do an evening walk/run Sunday (which is week 4, day 2 of C25K). Mowed my lawn/did yard work Monday. A walk/run Tuesday morning and a walk/run this morning. I’ve burned probably about 2000 calories so far this week. I want to get in at least one long (an hour) bike ride and a strength routine, too. As well as one more evening run. So the rest of my week’s pretty packed. Wednesay was my unintentional day off. So I have plenty ahead of me this week!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Quick Strength Training And Yoga « Stumbling Toward Health

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