Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yoga


Exercise/activities have always been a part of my life (and so it should be for everyone's life)!  I used to run a lot, I loved running the oval tracks at local high schools first and foremost and using the treadmill second (good for rainy days).  I wasn't really into pavement running as I liked an even ground to run on and I was able to anticipate change and regulate breathing.  The one thing I did wrong though was run in the same direction, using the inner circle for a number of years, and now my left knee is damaged!  Ugh!  No, nothing super serious..but it's constantly clicking when I go up a flight of stairs, crunching with every bend, kind of hurts to go down the stairs too.  I have to say that i've 'given up' on running so I won't be a debilitated person when i'm older.  I want to maintain my mobility when i'm old!

I've heard about "hot yoga" for a while now, I think there was a boom sometime in 2007/2008?  I liked the idea of yoga, but not the cost, a drop in session would be about $20 for any yoga class, or commit to classes by paying $200+ for greater than 15 classes.  Yikes!  In the bigger picture, it's a small price to pay for the health benefits it provides and if all goes well, then cheaper for the health care system!  My yoga studio offered a $26 unlimited 1 week intro offer, let's just I was more than eager to join during my fall 2010 vacation.

Hot yoga is a branch of yoga where it's 90 minutes, in 40degree celsius rooms, high high humidity and there are a set of 26 poses.  There are many websites that talk about hot yoga, here is a youtube video that sets a great visual!




Except for the constantly flying sweat from other people's bodies, my experience has all been positive.  Everything about Bikram's yoga has such a psychosomatic and somatic affect on the body.  I've never sweated so much as I have in a single yoga class.  I absolutely love it!   I do warn that this yoga is not for everyone and in my opinion, especially when you're pregnant!  Moreover, you would have to be in some sort of physical health to last the class, and know your body enough to listen/feel for during and post workout reactions.  I've heard of the standard faint feeling, nausea, lightheadedness, during and post class, but i've also heard of heart palpitations, migraines, the shakes, actual fainting.  Listen to your body!

Some great advice i've received and have passed on are that:
  • drink plenty of fluids all hours prior and of course after the class, it takes about 45 minutes to absorb the fluids and you don't want to get dehydrated
  • wear shorts and clothing that wick away sweat as you'll be drenched and sweating from places you've never sweated before
  • top up on your electrolytes prior and post class.  I eat lots of fruit before, and have a piece of fruit (I like oranges) for after the class ...potassium!
  • it's not a competition, and you won't be able to do everything your yoga-mates can do even after 10 classes
  • listen to the instructor, because there's no point if you're doing the position wrong, again, it's not a competition
  • freeze your water the night before, take it out on the day of your workout to start melting process, and it'll melt more during your class but you'll have a nice chunk of ice to cool your water during class
  • prepare to not leave the room during the class, and there are poses where you can't drink water just yet (but when you have to, you have to)
  • Listen to your body

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