I hate yoga, I really do.
Picking up and throwing around heavy things is much more my thing. After years of Muscle and Fitness inspired lifting(Hey, it was the 90s), and years of a job driving a keyboard, I found myself having severe mobility issues in my shoulders, neck and hips.
“If you keep going the way you’re going, you’re going to get where you’re heading”
Things I dislike about yoga
The smell is typically…bad. Apparently mindfulness and deodorant are mutually exclusive.
Yoga is both mildly painful and boring
The reasons I do yoga anyway
No really, it works
I feel awesome when it’s done
My body moves better after
I am less likely to get injured
If I dislike it this much, and it’s good for me, it’s a solid sign I need to do more of it
“Show me an older athlete still competing, and I’ll show you someone who does yoga”
— Joe Rogan Experience Podcast
Tips to make yoga suck less, or at least be more entertaining
Do hot yoga.
The heat really gets the body moving and able to stretch deeper, faster, and it sucks enough to be interesting. Caveat, the first time you go to a hot yoga class, sandbag a bit. Take it easy and don’t go all out. The heat will probably enable your body to exceed its recovery limit, and you can end up very sore and fairly immobile the next day. Heat bonus, it elevates the suck of yoga from boring to interesting.
A LOT of water. The heat of hot yoga even within a given studio is controlled by the instructor and is somewhat variable. That means classes can go anywhere from warm-ish-kinda-hot to oh-my-god-my-face-is-melting.
On the hotter side of the spectrum, I can plow through 2 Nalgene bottles of water(32oz/ea) in a 90 minute class without a problem. I am rocking the sweaty middle age guy thing, so you might be able to get by with less.
It’s better to bring a bit more than you think you’ll need, especially for the first couple classes.
Find a studio and instructor(s) you can stand
I got back from a Corepower yoga class and my wife had just had the same instructor the previous day. The instructor was good, the sequences were great, but I really was annoyed at the woo-woo ‘set your intention’ 2-3 minute preamble to the class. The entire time I’m thinking ‘LET’S GET TO IT’…I mentioned this to my wife, who said ‘oh, I really like that. It helps me a lot’ so…… your mileage may vary in what constitutes a good instructor.
Find a place that suites what you’re looking to get out of class, if you do find it, make a note of the class type and instructor. It’s worth the pencil scratching and postit note.
For about a $20 drop in fee, you can get 60-90 minutes of mobility coaching in a heated environment. When was the last time you got an hour+ of coaching for $20?
Depending on how immobile you are, and what your schedule is, I’d recommend at least twice a month dropping in.
Mining my training log I see a pattern and amusing comments around yoga.
“I go to yoga when I’m too dinged up to train Jiu Jitsu…If I went to yoga more often, I’d be less dinged up, and I’d be able to train Jiu Jitsu more….”
See you in class, I’ll be the guy near the heater in the back sweating a lot.