I’ve been a runner for over seven years and have completed many marathons, half marathons, 10Ks, trail races, triathlons and even an ultra. I’ve been a gym junkie since I was about 22 years old, and finally decided to take my love of resistance training to the next level last year by becoming a certified strength and conditioning coach.
The first time I tried yoga was at a community centre when I was in high school. I went with a bunch of my girlfriends, and almost got booted out of the class for snickering during cat-cow pose. (It was Kundalini yoga, so there was a lot of heavy, guttural breathing, which was making us giggle like a bunch of, well… immature high school girls.) We decided if wasn’t for us, especially after the instructor made us sing a song at the end about a long-time sun. (I still remember that song, and we’d jokingly sing it on occasion in class at school, operatic style.)
I didn’t try a yoga class again until I was about 21 years old. I got a pass for Christmas and went a few times. I really enjoyed it, but couldn’t afford to go regularly. I did my own thing at home based on what I learned in the studio for several years, practicing less and less until the only yoga I did was a few stretches at the end of my runs.
I’ve always enjoyed yoga, but felt it was too slow-paced for me. I also wasn’t into the spiritual and meditative side of it in my early 20s. But now, just days away from turning 30 and pondering my purpose in life, I feel like I need yoga’s spiritual side more than ever.
A few weeks ago I picked up a beginners pass at One Yoga, a new vinyasa studio here in Victoria. Vinyasa yoga is a series of poses that you flow through while matching your inhales and exhales to your movements. The room is slightly heated, so you get a really good sweat on while flowing through each movement, holding balance poses like dancer or eagle pose for 20-40 seconds. I’ve been to several all-levels classes now and I’m loving it. It’s challenging enough that I’m getting in a good workout, but also easy enough that I can do almost every pose (so far). I have the pass until the end of January, but I definitely think I will join and try to go at least twice a week. I’m already noticing a slight increase in hamstring flexibility, which is something I really want to work on. If I can comfortably bend and reach my toes with straight legs by the end of the month, I’d be thrilled.
What type of yoga do you practice? What’s your favourite type? How many days a week do you practice?