Yoga Wrap-Up

by HEAB on March 29, 2009

What happened to Spring?  I hear Katie got snow in Texas yesterday, and I woke up to 40 degrees here in Nashville this morning. BRRRR. :(

Yesterday, I officially completed my month-long yoga workshop, but first I ate this for lunch:

Surprised?  I told you I was going to do it.

Surprised? I told you I was going to do it.

That my friends was a Broc Guac & hummus stuffed omelet, and it was 100% delish! So much so that I had it again for dinner. :)  

OK, back to yoga.  For any new readers, my goal for 2009 was more yoga. I’d been practicing off and on for about 8 years, taking a random class here and there, never moving much beyond the beginner level.  Exercise to me equaled hours (and I mean hours!) of cardio.  I ran…a lot, and if I did take a yoga class, it was usually sandwiched in-between an interval speed workout on the treadmill and some weight lifting afterwards.  60-90 minutes of yoga was never enough.  Enter sweet Polly who gave me the following advice in one of her comments:

Hi Heather! Yes, prevoius GYM JUNKIE here. Used to run a couple miles before I taught my step/weights/bootcamp classes. Crazy girl. NOW… yay for yoga! Just yoga, no more gym, just yoga. SO HAPPY.

You can do all the things you love, sweetie. My advice to you is just to pick what you will do that day… and not combine them. That way each is it’s own reward and blessing for that day.

That was all I needed to hear, and it’s like something totally clicked.  From that day on, it was either cardio, yoga, or weights, not all 3 in one day.  Slowly, I started doing more and more yoga and decided to sign up for an intense 30 day workshop at Hot Yoga Nashville consisting of Power Vinyasa Yoga in a heated studio 6 days a week.  During the first week, I seriously questioned my sanity as I was so sore and pretty tired from getting up at 5 AM everyday, but by that Friday, I felt amazing.  

Important lessons learned this month:

1. I do not have to run everyday, and I will not gain 20 lbs if I stop spending hours at the gym (I have not run in 30 days.  I CANNOT BELIEVE IT MYSELF).  Don’t overdo it girls (& boys).  Learn to love your body as it is truly a gift.

2. Yoga is an amazing workout, for the mind, body, & spirit.  I seriously feel like I am in the best shape of my life, and although I’m still kind of  crazy, I feel much more centered and balanced.

3. Yoga classes used to intimidate me as I could not do many of the poses due to my lack of flexibility and strength. I no longer feel this way, and I’m amazed at the changes in my body after just 30 days.  Stick with it folks, and I promise you’ll see improvements sooner than you expect.  It’s amazing what our bodies will do if you train them properly.  Just breathe – you’ll get there. :)

4. Yoga works all of your muscles.  For the cardio junkie in me, I need to feel like I’ve gotten in a good workout for the day.  I need to move, and I love a good sweat fest!  I won’t lie; part of me was hoping I’d finish this month with more muscle definition and perhaps weighing a few pounds less.  Both happened, but sometime during the month, I began to care less and less about the physical gains.  Yes, I sweated and I worked hard,  but I got to spend 60 minutes flowing with my breath every day.  I tend to get so busy and caught up in my many to-do lists and projects. Those early  morning hours were some of the only times I felt truly present.  

I consider each and every one of these classes a gift, and I’m so grateful for this experience!  So, many thanks to Cassie, my teacher at Hot Yoga Nashville and to my Yoga Fairy (aka, John and Alice – best in-laws ever!) for allowing me this yoga journey. 

What’s next you asked?  My original plan was yoga a few times a week with maybe a little cardio and some weight lifting, but I don’t think that’s where I’m headed any longer.  Perhaps, I’ll hit the trails for a run every once in a while, but for now it’s yoga…just yoga.  That makes me happy. :)

I leave you with a picture of the beautiful gift each member of my yoga class received on our last day.  Radley, my sweet pup, was hoping it was edible. :)