For those of you just starting to read my blog, let me catch you up with my training program:
- Get Injured
- Stop Running
This cycle has repeated itself way too many times. Around this time last year, I got fed up with it, and tried this instead:
- Get Injured
- Yoga, Yoga, Yoga
This worked out way better, and helped me come up with an even better training plan:
When I can stick to this plan, it works amazingly well. It turns out, that moving in the exact same way over and over can really screw up my body. Probably yours, too. So yoga is a great way to counteract that repetition. The only problem with this routine is that sometimes I hate yoga. For a while I can get myself to do it anyway, because I know it’s so good for me, but sometimes I can’t get over the limiting factors, which are a) it’s boring, and b) I’m bad at it.
Okay, I’m not that bad at it, but I’m generally pretty inflexible, so I can’t go very far in a lot of the poses, and that makes me sad. I realize that a lot of times when I’m bad at things, I’m bored when I do them, because I can’t be distracted or encouraged by how awesome I am at it. Then I never want to do it, and it’s a downward spiral. For a while I was also doing yoga every week after a long day at work. Since my job involves being in a dark quiet room, spending another hour in a dark quiet room didn’t usually make me very happy. I have at least progressed a little bit in my attitude towards yoga – a couple of years ago, when I first started it up again, I had a lot of other problems with it as well, as I documented at the time.
Since I’m hoping to do a half-marathon in July, I’ve been thinking that I should start doing a little yoga here and there, so I don’t re-injure myself, and last week a good opportunity came up. The hot yoga studio across the street from my work had left a pile of flyers advertising an amazing deal – 10 classes for $10 (to be used within three weeks). So I went on Tuesday for the first time, and being someone who likes to get their money’s worth, especially for cheap deals, I’ve already been three times.
The place is called Hot Yoga for Life, and has completely converted me to hot yoga. The classes all feel like they’re instructed very similarly to the other yoga I’ve been to (aside from Brian’s yoga boot camp class at 24 Pearl), but it’s super hot. I always heard that you have to be careful with hot yoga because you get so warmed up that you might go too far and hurt yourself. This gave me this idea in my mind that after ten minutes in the hot yoga studio I would be doing the splits. It turns out, I’m way too inflexible for a little heat to let me stretch far enough to hurt myself. I’m still inflexible, even in a hot room, but I feel like I move a lot better, and I don’t have any stiffness. Obviously you shouldn’t read this and go stretch as hard as you can in a hot yoga place and hurt yourself and blame me for saying you won’t get hurt, that would be dumb. All I’m saying is that I didn’t hurt myself. This makes me feel a little bit less bad at yoga, and therefore takes away that yoga-related complaint.
Other than loosening your muscles and helping you stretch a little more, the heat also makes you sweat. This almost completely fixes my boredom problem, as I am extremely fascinated by my own sweat. In normal yoga, I don’t sweat at all. In fact, I usually feel a little cold for at least half the class. I hardly even sweat when I’m running, unless it’s really hot out, but when you’re running you don’t really have time to pay attention to your sweat. In hot yoga, I sweat a whole bunch, and I have lots of time to watch it. I am terrible at doing anything close to going into a meditative state, or directing all my focus to the poses and my body, so I really enjoy having anything else to pay attention to. Even sweating. It also means that a lot of people are in minimal clothing, for better or worse. I know you’re only supposed to pay attention to yourself, but it’s not that often that every guy in the room is in spandex shorts (the girls are too, but that’s not as hard to come by).
So far this hot yoga has left me feeling tighter than before on the following day, but I assume that means that a lot of strengthening is going on too. This is fine with me. The only bad part about this whole thing is that at some point it stops being $1 per class, and I have to decide if I want to pay their normal rates. I guess that’s how all awesome introductory deals work.
Does anyone else out there on the internet do hot yoga? I’m still curious if other people have had the issue with over-stretching and getting injured that way, even though it hasn’t seemed like something that would happen to me. And whether you do or don’t already do hot yoga, I highly recommend this deal, because $1/class is a very low price (they’re located in Beaverton and NE Portland).
Sorry for so many words and no pictures, I forgot to take a picture of myself doing yoga. Here’s one of Pascal being cute: