Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Get Bent.

Just do it.  I know you think yoga is too trendy, that you're not flexible enough, that you'll come out with glassy eyes smelling suspiciously like incense, or if you're a guy, that you might end up with an inappropriate boner in a room full of bendy women.

Well, guess what? It's not, you are, you probably won't, and hey, that actually might happen.

Throw your fears and prejudices aside, it's time to get on the bandwagon.  Really.

There actually are a ton of reasons I love it, but I tend to fall in and out of love very quickly with different pursuits.  Yoga is something I've been doing consistently for a long time, and I can sum up my dedication to it in two words:

 Injury Prevention

Sometimes runner people ask me what I do for injury prevention because I've gotten through some rough injuries and have managed to stay healthy for a long time.

I had a stupid femoral stress fracture and the cause was equal parts overzealous training and lack of core strength.  This combination allowed my pelvis to twist out of alignment, effectively making one leg a bit longer. It took me a long time and a lot of professional visits- over a year, and many hundreds of dollars to get to the bottom of this injury.

Bottom line, stupidity.

Yay! I'm about to run a half on stress fractures!

But stupidity aside, I still had a major issue with core strength that just didn't make sense to me.  I could do sit ups!  On a decline bench!  I even had abs!

Turns out, there's a lot more to core strength than doing crunches. 

One thing that I've noticed in runners I've coached, and in myself, is that most of our recurring injuries stem from weak glutes, weak abs, and not conditioning the muscles and connective tissue in the lower legs for the strain of running.

Even Runner's World smells what I'm cooking:
 "..scientists and coaches now know that you can't run your best without a strong core, the muscles in your abdominals, lower back, and glutes. They provide the stability, power, and endurance that runners need for powering up hills, sprinting to the finish, and maintaining efficient form mile after mile" (source)
"...Studies link glute weakness to Achilles tendinitis, shinsplints, runner's knee, and iliotibial-band syndrome.  (source)
 Getting to the Studio

I started yoga because I knew it would help round out my fitness, and there was a cheap class at the local city park and rec department.  I went to one class, and quit.  I hated it.  I couldn't relax when I was supposed to relax, I giggled at inappropriate times, my back hurt.  Worst of all:  I didn't feel I got a workout, and it sucked.

I tried a few different studios, and finally found one I love. One of the instructors plays dirty rap music and swears a lot, and the workout is so intense I've left with shaking arms more than once.  Bonus - by the time the whole relaxation part comes along, I'm so tired I am usually able to actually do a bit of honest-to-goodness resting and maybe even a little soul-searching.

And I've noticed a huge difference in my strength and flexibility, and I love it.

Before yoga, the only time I ever touched my toes while standing was one time when I had a few too many bottles of Boone's Farm in college and I talked my equally drunk roommate into pushing on my back until I touched my toes.  So... yeah.  I'm not particularly flexible (or wise, apparently).

But now, drum roll please, I can touch my toes, totally sober.  F*ck yeah.

Bottom line, try it out.  If you try it and hate it, find a different studio. 

Do you yoga?  Why or why not?

***I'm not a doctor, kablabbity-blah... I'm not qualified to give advice, don't sue me.  Yoga at your own risk folks.***


  1. Which instructor is that?! I haven't had her yet! I need to get on THAT bus. The one we have for the insanely late 8pm class on Wednesday goes so dang fast that you're constantly playing catch up.

  2. I've been wanting to do yoga for SO long!! I wish I could go to a class in the morning/afternoon, but that doesn't really work with a full-time schedule. :( I'm too busy/tired to do it at night, and to be honest, I'm too poor to afford classes, anyway. My boyfriend does yoga and has offered to teach me, but it's something I kind of want to get into on my own, ya know? Also, I am now thinking about him getting boners in his yoga class. Thanks, Kim.

  3. Ewww my sister said boner!

    Just got back from yoga. Feeling loose and relaxed.

  4. If I can find an instructor that cusses and plays rap. Is your WI yoga crazy expensive because I just have a hard time justifying the expense when I can do it at home although it doesn't come close to doing it with an instructor in a studio. CR only has $$ yoga.

  5. Such a well timed post, thank you. I feel like I need to do SOMETHING....

    Hm, this inflexible chick will give this some thought.

  6. every time i read one of your blog posts, i'm reminded about how much i really do like you.

    i agree wholeheartedly on the yoga=no.more.injury thing. it's the one thing that has really helped to stabalize my g.d. knee.

  7. I don't yoga, but I need to. I'm very weak. I can run and that's it. Maybe I will start to do it once a week...force myself, that is. I don't like it at all!!


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