Some people tend to think that yoga isn’t for them. They need a workout that will make them sweat and blast their heart rate up right away. That way they know they’re burning calories and getting stronger. They don’t see how yoga can do this for them. I didn’t either.
When I work out, I want to do something that is effective and efficient. Usually for me, this means resistance training and jogging. After hardly working out at all for a while, I decided to try yoga every day for one week just to see what changes I would notice. I needed to start somewhere. I thought that yoga would ease me into a regular exercise routine again. Beginner’s yoga is much harder and more effective than we realize.
I’ve taken yoga classes in college, so I’m already familiar with the poses. Taking the time to make sure I’m holding each move properly, though, is another story. Of course, I have an at-home DVD, so every evening after work I would come home for about a 20-minute yoga session. Here’s what I noticed:
Day 1: Relaxed
The first day felt like a massage for my muscles. I was able to relax my mind and body. It felt good to have some me-time where I focused on how I was feeling mentally and physically. Knowing that I had set time aside to improve myself was a nice reward at the end of my day.
Day 2: Difficult
On day 2 I was a little sore from day 1. It was more difficult to do each pose, but it did feel good to practice while I was a little sore. It loosened up my muscles and made for an even better massage. Another thing I noticed on day 2 was that I felt a little stronger than I had just the day before.
Day 3: Flexible
By day 3, I already noticed an improvement in my flexibility. Even though I was a little sorer than day 2, I saw an improvement. It was encouraging to know that my body was changing when I had only been doing this for a couple of days.
Day 4: Stronger
On day 4 I found it much easier to do a push-up (plank to chaturanga, back to plank). I was sore, but definitely stronger.
Day 5: Easier
The strength and flexibility I had been gathering allowed me to improve each yoga pose by day 5.
Day 6: Smaller Appetite
By day 6, each pose was not only easier but my movement in and out of each pose was a lot smoother. I had become less sore and felt a true, overall improvement to my body. Day 6 is also when I realized that evening yoga decreased my appetite. I was much less likely to want dessert or any sort of late night snack if I practiced yoga in the evening first. The downside of evening yoga, though, was that even though it was relaxing, it did not put me to sleep. I found it a little more difficult to fall asleep at night because my body felt energized.
Day 7: Ready for the Next Step!
I didn’t notice much of a difference between days 6 and 7. By then, I was ready to move on to a different, more difficult routine.
Yoga provides benefits that a lot of other types of workouts do not. Not only can it help you get stronger, it is amazing for flexibility. In yoga poses, you tend to stretch without even realizing it because you are focusing on holding poses more accurately and moving to each pose more smoothly. And it doesn’t take hours each day to see these benefits. So, give it a try and see for yourself! If you’re still thinking that you don’t have enough time to fit in yoga, check out my tips on how to add exercise to your busy schedule.
How much experience do you have with yoga? Feel free to share how much you’ve gained from it too!
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Categories: Physical Fitness