Posted on July 22, 2013
I have always been a fitness enthusiast. My belief was that running fast and long and lifting heavy and hard were the only ways to get your sweat on. Therefore my opinion of yoga, was that it's relaxing, easy and quite frankly, boring; and that's why I wasn't interested. That and my lack of flexibility made me reluctant to even try. And then I became enlightened.
Yoga can challenge you like never before. In the right class, with the right instructor, you will sweat, twist, stretch, strengthen and lengthen your muscles. And as with any class, it's different strokes for different folks. Some instructors are more woo-woo and others are more self-deprecating and even funny. There's something about an instructor who acknowledges the fact that your ass is up in the air, possibly in the face of the person behind you. For an immature mind, like some of us attempting intermediate yoga for the first time, some yoga positions are awkward, even sexual in nature and that can be intimidating and embarrassing. These feelings are only intensified when we lose our balance and fall over, or can't make the pose or just plain collapse in a flop sweat from the sheer level of difficulty of yoga moves.
When you're able to master moves like Warrior 3, Plow and Wheel--and of course getting one hand behind your back and the other through your legs and meeting in the middle--hoo boy! you have made great strides in physical and mental accomplishment.
Too many of us get dogmatic in our workout regimens. We're either gym rats, runners, spin meisters, class enthusiasts, yoga matters--but rarely mixing it up. To avoid a plateau, try a new class or modality. It will stretch your body and get you thinking in ways you will never know until you do it. And keep doing it. Once you master it and have yet another workout routine in your bag of tricks, your body and mind will thank you. :)
Sources: P90X with Tony Horton, by Beachbody