Simple Yoga Exercises For A Workout At Home
Yoga Helped Me Get Out of a Fitness Rut
I've been incorporating elements of yoga into my personal workouts, my workout video and the fitness classes I've taught for years now, but it's really only this past summer that I started to get serious about doing yoga on a regular basis.
After my hip surgery (for femoral acetabular impingement and an acetabular labral tear) I had a significant amount of pain not only in my hip, but also in my back and down the entire back of my leg (sciatica). The pain was not only interfering with my workouts but it was interfering with my day to day life and making me super crabby and very irritable. I was also starting to dread my workouts since I knew the workouts would be painful...and nine times out of ten my hip felt worse after exercising. To say I was in an exercise rut before the summer started is a total understatement.
Anyway, over the summer I was travelling a lot and had the free time to take some different yoga classes while on vacation. The first class I took I left feeling looser, calmer and more focused than I have felt in a long, long time. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not very good at meditating or that sort of thing, so I don't do the type of yoga where you sit on a sticky mat and say "Om". I'm not saying that type of yoga isn't good...I'm just saying it's not the type I do.
What I do is a mish-mash of yoga that works for me. I now have a variety of fabulous yoga videos (Tara Stiles, Karen Voight, P 90 X, Baron Babtiste, Bryan Kest, etc.) and I've taken elements from each video and sort of made a yoga workout that's all my own.
Yoga for Total Body Fitness
I'm so into yoga these days that it's basically the only exercise I'm doing at the moment. I do it three days a week for 30 minutes and sometimes as long as an hour. My son goes to football practice two nights a week and sometimes I walk around the field but mostly I just do yoga. I'm not saying yoga is the only exercise I will ever do ever again...it's just that right now I'm really, really into it.
I thought I was strong before I started yoga but I'm absolutely stronger now. In fact, I feel better than I have felt in years. I don't wake up with pains anymore, my back no longer hurts and I just feel really, really good. I'm even...dare I say it?...a wee bit calmer ;)
And one thing is for sure, I no longer dread my workouts. I actually look forward to them because I feel good while I'm doing them and I feel good when I'm done. On top of that, I can honestly say no other workout leaves me feeling as energetic as yoga makes me feel.
So, if you've never tried yoga I urge you to give it a go. If you've tried it before and you didn't think it was for you maybe my version will click for you. Just remember, you don't have to perfect the poses and it's not about straining or stressing yourself. Just do what feels good, push yourself a little and remember to breathe through your nose. And focus on the moment. And let me know how it goes!