Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Power Up!

Morning bloggies:

In the recent past you've heard me rave about yoga. Now as big a fan as I am now, it wasn't always that way. In fact I daresay I used to have some misconceptions and misgivings about yoga that I've now moved past:

Misconception #1: How can you call that exercise!? It's only stretching!

Ahhh . . . but it's so much more than stretching. You hold poses (challenging your muscles) and move quickly (at least in the type of yoga that I like) between each pose as well! I dare you to do an hour of power yoga and claim it's only streching. In fact, I'd argue that the average power yoga session has you doing dozens of push ups. Trust me - your abs feel it in the next morning!

Misconception #2: Oh come on! But it's called a "practice!" You don't practice running or weight training. It's for sissies!

It really isn't for sissies.  In fact, it's my frank opinion that those that workout in other ways can greatly benefit from yoga. Anything that makes you stronger and more limber all at the same time is A1 in my book! As for why they call it a practice - I'm not really sure. But in the end it's all semantics.

Misconception #3: Isn't yoga an Eastern religious practice?  You can't participate if you're Christian!

I'll admit that this one was a big struggle for me. Yes, yoga is derived from physical and mental practices originating in India. And yes they are heavily associated with Hinduism. Having said that, there are many ways to practice yoga - including some that bear very little in common with the traditional Indian practices.

While some choose to practice yoga with yoginis that speak of the "third eye" or in quasi-religious retreats there are people like me who choose to practice yoga with very Western teachers whose emphasis is solely on physical conditioning and relaxation. You won't ever find me in the former kind of class. It's just not what I'm comfortable with - so I won't go there.

As for the type of yoga that I particularly heart!? Power Yoga with Rodney Yee - I feel awesome afterwards!

Have you ever tried yoga? What are your opinions on the practice - is it for sissies? Does it kick your butt? Are you curious?


Anonymous said...

I 100% agree on all what you said in this post! Yoga is great.. both for mind and body! :)

Marlene said...

I have definitely held some of those misconceptions in the past, but have discovered the truth about yoga. I don't do it often, but I have taken several classes and now appreciate the practice - and power - of yoga.

Anonymous said...

Agree with everything in this post...AMEN!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I do practice yoga sometimes and I don't think it's for sissies at all! I've done yoga classes that have left me shaking and my muscles have been SO SORE the next day!!

Jen said...

I am doing P90X and there is a Yoga X DVD. First time.

I am a Christian, but I do not think Yoga (at least in the P90X form) makes me uncomfortable.

It is a total workout!!!

Jessica said...

haha.. I think that anyone who has done yoga can say it's not for sissies!! :)

I've been more sore doing yoga than going for a 30-40 min run!! :)

Fabulous post my dear!

Jocelyn said...

I've tried a tap and 1 class. Really not that big of a fan...although the class was better. It so hard for me to get into because my mind is wondering so much. I need to give it another shot...

Kelly said...

I think it all depends on the kind of yoga you do. Some kinds are not "for sissies" but are not necessarily physically demanding. Then, there is some kind (the kinds I like) that leave you seriously sore the next day, so it all depends!

That Pink Girl said...

I've tried it several times. I KNOW it's good for me to stretch like that. And yeah, it's hard! Def exercise.

Buuuut, I just can't take all the spiritual stuff, all the relax your skin stuff, the Enya music, the candles. I'd like a class called "sports stretching" without animal names, lowered lights or imagining a root growing from my spine into the ground. :o)

Astrid said...

Thank for the comment on eating bender. I like this post, because I love yoga and Rodney Yee is awesome! I don't think yoga is for sissies. It is pretty challenging and makes you feel so good and strong and flexible. No, it doesn't leave you feeling like you are going to die. But yoga isn't about that, its about finding peace with and within your body.