namaste, homies

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I've started attending trendy exercise classes.

The 20-year old me just scoffed, gulped some Gatorade, and benched her third 10-rep set of 140lbs. And then proceeded to run 20 suicides in 20 minutes.

Note to my remaining active D-1 athlete friends: at some point between one and five years from now you will find yourself at yoga/spinning/pure barre/body pump/etc. and then you can thank me for the warning.

After graduating college, at first I went to the gym regularly. Then I went to the gym on occasion. Then I belonged to a gym and hardly went.  

Funny enough, as the frequency of my gym attendance decreased, the amount that I sweat when I actually attended also decreased. Dramatically.

True story: I once drove to the gym, jogged 8 minutes on a treadmill, then left. It was then I realized that I might need to supplement my gym routine with something else.

Like most things, I blame this lack of intrinsic fitness motivation on having a full time job. Given the option, I’d recommend against having a full time job, if you can avoid it. 

I’ve tried a variety of exercise classes. This post will focus on yoga - but I have also attended Cyc and Pure Barre. (When they tell you to purchase $12 socks, just say no.)

This is exactly how I don't look when I "practice" yoga
Yoga : Madison :: Cheese : Madison

(Thanks, SATs for forcing me to learn verbal analogies a decade ago – this is my first applied use! I don’t think I nailed it. I related both things to the same thing. Sigh. Maybe ten years from now when I try to make another one, I’ll do better.)

There’s a TON of yoga in Madison. Hot yoga, regular yoga, yoga barre. I can probably walk to 4 different yoga studios from my apt. (Not that I walk anywhere when it's sub-arctic temperatures. Also, laziness.)

But the massive number of local studios is not why I go. I also don't go for the relaxing yet strengthening pose work. I go because I have to justify the hoards of yoga pants that I own.

I own what can only be classified as an unacceptably embarrassing number of pairs of yoga pants. Since I wear almost exclusively yoga pants, I took it on myself to learn how to downward dog, etc. for fear that someone would call me out one day. Child's pose is my fave. Duh.

child's pose doesn't look like this, fyi

I thoroughly enjoy yoga (most of the time) and thoroughly enjoy wearing yoga pants all the time. They are exponentially more comfortable than jeans. Jeans don't fit 6' 2" people, generally speaking. My job doesn't have a dress code, so when I'm not traveling (about one week a month), I wear them to work. I also fix my hair about once a quarter, whether or not I'm traveling. I wore my hair down last week and 5 people complimented it! It's all about lowering expectations, people. I'm talking to you, Miss "I-would-never-not-wear-make-up." This whole "setting the bar so low you can trip over it" thing is surprisingly beneficial, especially in terms of appearance.

More than the comfy attire, yoga has a lot of great things about it! But this has never been a super positive blog: so let me vent a tiny bit here.

My biggest gripe with yoga is that the quality of the session is very dependent on the teacher. Since my job forces me to roam the country like a nomad, sleeping night after night in hotel (I write this from a hotel bed covered in the remnants of chocolate-covered cashews), and spending most of my weekday evenings in airports fighting other weary travelers for outlets, it’s impossible for me to regularly go to the same teacher. So I always feel like I’m rolling the dice a little when I randomly select a class based entirely on my dynamic work schedule.

Sometimes, yoga is a wicked hard work out that leaves me stretched out and rejuvenated, and other times most of the class is spent lying on your back with your eyes closed thinking about your intention, and you can simply place your hand on your belly if you want the instructor to cover you up with a blanket. I can’t make this shit up. On occasion, I walk out of a studio thinking "I need to go for a run" and then totally don't run. 

Regardless, I definitely recommend trying it out! I'd ask around to see which studios and which instructors are the best. It's a lot more controlled than my previous college athlete workout routine (flipping tires and running hills and stuff) and I appreciate that! Sometimes its nice to workout without being yelled at.

Most importantly, it's a healthy way to justify my lulu lemon collection. Now if only I could find a healthy way to justify my Essie nail polish obsession.

namaste, homies.

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