IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Yoga

Now I know Yoga is supposed to be "good" for me. I know we triathletes are supposed to try different activities in our off season, things like Yoga and Pilates, to make us more flexible and stretch different muscles. So, with great hesitation, I signed up for a Yoga class.

I've only tried Yoga 2 other times. It was Bikram Yoga - where they keep the room 112 degrees and you start sweating almost the instant you step into the room. Now, aside from the fact that I feel completely ridiculous trying to contort my body into these obnoxious poses, the floor of that room was covered with carpet. And people sweat on the carpet. They walk on it with their bare, sweaty feet. I brought 2 large beach towels to that bikram class each time and they reeked of nasty, moldy carpet smell both times I came home. Not to mention, the class was almost an hour away from home. So I decided that the bikram yoga was not for me. That was about a year ago.

This time, I signed up for "normal" yoga. The class is now about 20 minutes from home, and there would be no sweat splashing on to me from the other class participants, so I was thinking I hit the jackpot. I even bought my own little mat thingy for this class. I walked in with high hopes that I would walk out of the class feeling it was worthwhile and that I would benefit from it.

I was about 10 minutes early and everyone else there knew each other. I was the youngest one in the class by about 15 years. Hmmmm. The rest of the class walked in, friends of mine (thankfully) and the class was due to start. But the instructor didn't really start yet. She was passing out "props", like blankets, blocks and a belt. No sooner were all the props distributed that she announced we would not be using the belt. Um, Okay.

The first 15 minutes was her talking about the way she instructs class, she announces she is "hands-on" (Oh great, I HATE people touching me!) and that the last 15 minutes she usually does..uh...well, I don't know, I can't understand nor pronounce any of the yoga words she used. All the people that got there before me were previous class participants. How bad could it be, these people came back for another session, right?

Well, I don't know. Maybe yoga just isn't my thing. We went through the first pose and the instructor paid a lot of special attention to the individual participants. However, the rest of us were just left there to watch, not really knowing what we were supposed to do. We only did about 4 poses the entire class. We did a lot of breathing. Yeah, well, I breathe every day, so why am I paying to sit in a class and breathe with a bunch of people? The 75 minute class seemed like an eternity and I was already kicking myself in the a$$ for committing myself to this class for 8 weeks. As the time slowly ticked on, I kept hoping it was going to get better.

But the class ended and I felt no more stretched out than I did before I got there. I just lost 75 minutes of my life that I will never get back. So I thought it was just me. Maybe I just don't like yoga. I have a hard time relaxing, so I thought this just might be me needing to widen my horizons and go with the flow. But as I talked to my other friends that did the class, no one was impressed. We thought it was a waste of time and we've already begun formulating a plan on how we either get our money back or they create a more advanced class for us. After all, we do make up half of the class we just went through.

So who knows? I was happy it wasn't "just me." But I'm not happy in that I know yoga is good fo me and that I need to learn to like it in order to be a better triathlete. I certainly didn't need an experience like this to turn me off this activity before I give it a chance.

So I plan to go back next week. Maybe it will get better. Maybe they'll have to change the class up a bit in order to make it a bit more productive for us. It doesn't really feel like a "workout". But maybe it's not supposed to. I look back on my bikram experience and I have to say, at least I felt challenged and stretched out after one of those classes. Guess I gotta look for some sort of combo of these two versions of yoga....

2 comments:

bconway6650 said...

You need to go back for another session and try harder. I know that will soon dominate and crush the rest of the class with your serenity if you stick with it.

Good Luck!!!

Anonymous said...

i was there
i have done yoga before
regular and bikram
it was by far the worst form of paid instruction i have ever been part of
i will try to get our money back or get a better class
jq