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:
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.***