Thursday, March 13, 2008

Help! Questions for you yoga-doers.

On Monday I finally had to give up and set everything in Google reader to “read.” I hated to do it, but I just couldn’t get caught up. And now, after a busy work day yesterday, I’m behind on my reading/commenting again. Ack! Hopefully I can get caught up this morning. Yesterday at work I worked my ass off to get some stuff sent out, and as of yet NO ONE has responded to my email, given me feedback, nothing. So I’ll take some time to get caught up on ME stuff until I hear back from them (or until my next meeting, whichever comes first).

My point is that I'll be stopping by your blog soon.

Anyway, tonight my husband has a poker game, so I have an evening to myself. I looked at the gym schedule and there’s a yoga class I could go to. I’ve never really done yoga before … I did it one time around 6 or 8 years ago at the Bally’s I used to belong to, and I couldn’t walk for two days after that. I hear that’s not typical. I got a yoga mat for Christmas, though, so I’m tempted to try it. But I have a couple questions for those of you who do the yoga thang.

First, today is a rest day for my couch to 5k run. I try to take my day of rest as truly a REST day … I don’t do aerobics classes or strength training or anything that might make it harder for me to run the next day. This is especially important today, since I do a *gasp* 25 minute run tomorrow. So … what do you think? Would I regret going to yoga tonight? I tell you, my one other experience with yoga suggests the answer would be YES. But the way some of you talk about yoga I’m not sure that’s true.

Also, I’m truly a yoga beginner. They have beginner’s yoga classes at our gym, and the one tonight isn’t one of them. Do you think I should wait and attend the beginner’s class first?

Those are my questions – what do you guys think? I definitely want to do my run tomorrow; I don't want to do anything that'll prevent me from running. I don’t have time to run on Saturday, so if I miss my run tomorrow it’ll set me back in my training schedule. And FYI, I don’t know anything about the yoga classes at my gym, so I won’t be able to answer questions about the class tonight.

Any answers/opinions/advice/suggestions/warnings/encouragement is appreciated!


Grumpy Chair said...

I started going to the beginners yoga at the Y in January. And I would suggest waiting and going to the beginners class until you can do the poses without having to watch the instructor. Plus the instructor will show modifiers in the beginners class.

I think you will find, you are completely stretched out and your running may be easier. When I walk on the treadmill several hours after my yoga class - it is so much easier and my calfs do not feel tight.

I know when I get back from vacation next weekend, I will hit the "mark all as read" button. So don't feel bad. When I don't read on the weekends, I end up with over 300 posts in my google reader. . . and it causes a wee bit of stress - which it shouldn't be stressful at all.

Lynn said...

I did a very short yoga stretching video the other day (10 minutes) and I found that it really helped for my strength training and aerobic workouts, but as I don't run, I can't say whether or not it'll bother your running.

I would say, definitely try the beginning class instead...

sauchagirl said...

2 suggestions:
Could you call the gym and see what they suggest about taking the beginner class before the class this evening?
Also, could you try out the class and any move that you feel is too strenuous just relax on?

Any bit of stretching will help with your run tomorrow but overdoing it would definitely not be great for your long run.

Good luck! Can't wait to hear what you end up doing!

paul said...

I don't do yoga really, but in general, you should probably count on being sore anytime you do something your body is not used to, at least when you're first starting out.

My suggestion would be to skip this class, lest it jeopardize your run tomorrow, and look for a beginning yoga class.

JavaChick said...

It so depends on the class and the instructor. Some classes focus on relaxation, stretching, meditation, some are more strenuous (honestly, I love those classes - they really build strength, but they can leave you sore).

I was thinking along the same lines as sauchagirl - see if you can find out anything about the class ahead of time, or go and talk to the instructor before the class starts to make him/her aware of your situation. A good instructor should be able to offer suggestions/modifications.

Run Runner said...

I love yoga, but it will definitely make you sore the first few times you do it. If I were you I would do a yoga podcast, incorporate some yoga stretches into your stretching routine for a little while before going to the class. Speaking from experience: I went to my first pilates class last week, and running the next day I felt jabs of pain and soreness in every muscle in my midsection on every footfall. Ouch!

anasuya said...

As someone who does yoga, and is almost *exactly* at the same point in the C25K schedule (I'm going to do W6D2 today!), I can only advise you to wait for a beginner's class in yoga. Yoga is fabulous exercise, but it can look much simpler and less strenuous than it actually is. But once you ease into the yoga and do the running alongside, you'll see what a difference it makes. It really keeps you stretched and flexible, and helps with stamina too. I certainly see a difference in my ability to run in weeks when I haven't done yoga vs. weeks in which I'm also doing yoga (in other words, I'm being more disciplined about C25k than yoga at the moment, sigh...).

Hope this helps.

Heather said...

I LOVE yoga, and I know that even doing beginners yoga is so challenging. if you are not familiar with yoga, then I would stick wtih the beginners class.

did you know that there are also different types of yoga? the one you may have done in the past might not have been right for you. I do Ashtanga yoga and while you definitely feel it, its not like a lot of other yoga forms.

Anonymous said...

I'm so far behind! And way too late to be helpful...

But I do agree with the other comments. Beginner's yoga is called beginner's yoga for a really good reason. The more advanced classes tend to assume you've developed a lot of flexibility and muscle fluidity that you might not have if you're just beginning - things you don't really get from other forms of exercise, even if you're in great shape. And the thing about yoga is that if you're doing it right it feels wonderful...but if you're not, it can really be painful. You're working so hard in other areas, I can imagine that you wouldn't want to risk that right now.

I do recommend the beginner's class though, when you have time for it. I do a very gentle yoga session that really stresses meditative focus, gentle stretching, loosening the muscles and regulating the is not a strenuous form of yoga at all, but I do still feel it a little, sometimes, the day after. When I first started doing it, it did leave me a bit sore.

The other thing I would say is that while I am definitely a solo practitioner who just can't handle classes, I think it's a great idea to have an instructor while you're learning the poses, to correct form where necessary. The other option is to have a DVD that is very clear, and practice in front of a mirror so you can compare your form to the demo. Proper form is not only critical to get the benefits, but to prevent injury.

And that's about it from me. :-) I think it's great that you want to try yoga...meanwhile, you're kicking butt in an awful lot of ways already!


Jenera said...

I'm a little late on this I know. But, even if you don't want to add a full yoga routine in, you could use some of the poses/stretches to help relax and loosen up.

I sometimes will do easy, mostly stretching poses on days when I'm feeling really tight or I over worked my muscles the day before.

Just think of it as extra stretching, not an extra workout.

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