A few years ago, I was that guy who laughed at people who did yoga. I thought it was just a thing for hippies, middle-aged soccer moms, or Eurotrash people that wanted to be different. After all, how much can you get out of just moving your body around in various poses? Shouldn't you either have to put a ton of pressure on your muscles to feel anything?
Yeah...I was dumb...forgive me...
Fast forward to late 2008/early 2009. I bought Wii Fit and was most excited about trying...YOGA! Yes, me. Let me make one thing clear on Wii Fit yoga. It's good but you aren't really going to get what you should out of it. The exercises are too short in duration and there is too much pausing in between. Yes, it's a good intro to yoga, but that's all it should be treated as. An intro.
I did some research and discovered there are many different types of yoga. The two that most interested me were Ashtanga yoga and Hot yoga. Ashtanga is a type of yoga that builds muscle mass in large quantities. Adam Levine of Maroon 5 swears by this. The other is Hot yoga, where you are in a very hot room for 90 minutes doing yoga. It allows toxins to be released...same principle as a sauna, I guess...
In any event, T told me about a yoga studio near her work that was giving away a free yoga session for today. One of them was...HOT YOGA! I was hesitant at first, thinking I would be very out of place, but I pondered it and decided to man up and give it a shot.
I got to the place and was greeted by a nice receptionist. He introduced me to the instructor and told me I was going to have a great time. He asked my fitness level and when I said I completed a triathlon he was impressed. I went into the yoga room and stepped into another world.
It was dimly lit, but felt calming. There was some soft music playing. The floor was carpeted. There were maybe 8-9 other people in there, all rolling out their yoga mats and stretching. I rolled mine out and did some light stretching. Then the instructor came in and turned up the music. He told us to relax and we began.
For 90 minutes, I stretched my body out in poses I have done many times before and some that I have never done. I was sweating about 40 minutes in and had no desire to wipe the sweat off. This was feeling amazing! Not only physically, but mentally as well. I am not religious, but I do have a spiritual side and can understand how this appeals to people.
At the end of it, I felt very calm and now as I blog, my muscles feel amazing! I hope this is something I can try again in the future.