Why I’m starting to like yoga

I have long had a tenuous relationship with yoga. It’s just not fun. I get bored. I think about all the other REAL workouts I could be doing instead of yoga. (Of course, if you know people who do yoga a lot you’ll realize it is a real workout…plus it can be so hard that clearly I think it’s a real workout too, I just don’t want to admit that.)

I’ve done yoga in quite a few places now. My first real experience with yoga (aside from the occasional class here and there) was an eight-week class I signed up for at the YMCA in Ann Arbor. It was Yoga for Runners. I did not like it one bit. I basically had to force myself to go. It was only once a week and I dreaded it every single time.

Now in DC I’ve done yoga in several studios and I’ve started figuring out what I like and don’t like. I want yoga to stretch and help calm my muscles after long or intense runs. I don’t do yoga to gain strength or to become a better yogi. I run and swim and bike and lift weights with those sorts of goals. I do yoga to make those things easier.

Now that I’ve figured out what I don’t like about yoga, I’ve become much better at figuring out what classes to sign up for. I do gentle or beginner or restorative classes now. That’s pretty much it. I don’t like all levels class and if “flow” is in the name, no way Jose. I’m not interested. There are two classes that I really really like. Studio DC has a really great Gentle Yoga class that I’ve been to several times. I’ve recently done the Restorative Yin class at Yoga Heights a few times and really like that as well. (Stay tuned for a Yoga Heights review post in the next few weeks.)

I definitely see a difference in my recovery time from running when I do yoga. I’ve done a restorative class a couple Saturdays after long runs now and wake up feeling great on Sunday. It can be really hard to do yoga Saturday afternoon but the couple times I’ve done it have been completely worth it.

There are still a few things I don’t like about yoga. Mostly it’s so expensive. I’ve been able to take advantage of great deals like free classes for new students, I won a class pack to Studio DC, Yoga Heights has a great deal for new students (30 days of unlimited classes for $30). Without these deals, there’s no way I could afford to do yoga even once a week. Many studio charge $16 or more per class.

I also really need to check out studios in Silver Spring. While it’s not hard to get to the studios in DC for a class, it would be much more convenient to have a class within 5 minutes. There are a few studios I’m interested in trying, I’ll just have to make the time.