Yesterday I achieved a new level in yoga. And it was awesome. My teacher, Tymi, is amazing. She's this petite little thing, but don't let her size fool you. I've seen her balance on just her arms and move her body into all kinds of twisted positions, all with incredible control. I've been going to Tymi's classes since my senior year of high school. I moved with her from the YMCA to her own studio. I'd follow her to the moon if I had to. I love her classes that much.

I think a lot of people have misconceptions about yoga. Most people assume it's just a lot of stretching and meditation, and there is a lot of that, but it's also a lot more. If you go to one of Tymi's classes, be prepared to sweat. A lot. By the time I come out of one her 90 minute sessions, I've been sweating for about 85 minutes. But it's a good kind of sweat. I know I've been working hard for it, and I'm usually pretty proud.

To me, it's not just the stretching and breathing that keeps me coming back. It really is a great work out, I never come out thinking, "wow, I should go run a mile now for some cardio action". Sure, it's not the same as running a two miles at a pace of 6.2 on the treadmill, but my heart rate definitely goes up during the class. It's a "flow" class which means all the movements are done in connection with the breath, in a steady moving fashion. It gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing...in all kinds of directions.

Like I said, a typical class with Tymi is about 90 minutes, though sometimes it can stretch to 100 depending on the day or the energy in the class. When we've finally started to reach Shivasna (sp?) a room of 35-50 people suddenly becomes so quiet and peaceful, you forget there's anyone else in there. There is a lot of focus on the mind and breathing and connecting with your body, but that's part of what makes yoga so awesome. It's a great workout and it puts you in touch with your own body and makes you more aware of yourself. Every single time I come out I feel more relaxed and satisfied with myself for making it through another session. Another thing I love about Tymi's classes is the music. It's not just instrumental chanting, sometimes it's a "coffee house" theme, or acoustic, or a mix of things. I've discovered so many great artists through her classes.

There are a lot of great benefits to yoga. It's been known to decrease blood pressure, help with chronic pains, fatigue, headaches, increase your energy, reduce stress, and help with sleeping. I always encourage people to take yoga. People are often intimidated by their own lack of flexibility. It doesn't matter if you can't go into a bind with your arm wrapped under your leg and over your head, (trust me, i can't do that) what matters is that you make the effort to try, just engaging the muscle does wonders for your body.

I have a "get in shape" goal for this summer, and my routine alternates between running 2 miles at the gym with going to yoga. So far, it's going really well. really really well. I feel more energized and just better about myself in general.

What are some of your summer goals? have you tried yoga? don't be fooled by the deep breathing and stretching, and give it a try!
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4 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    u have inspired me to join a yoga studio... i will do it as soon as i quit smoking which will hopefully be on monday!

  2. Z Says:

    You make me want to start up my yoga again... This summer, hopefully!

  3. drbolte Says:

    i have a yoga tape. it's seriously not intense (i don't think? it's my first exposure to yoga), but it still makes me sweat and my heart rate go up. mainly i like that it's making me stronger and more flexible. i have noticed a change. when i sit on the floor, my legs are crazy flexible. i hope to be able to master all of the moves, and then i'll move up. i'm still working on triangle pose. i HATE it with a fiery passion. it just seems abnormal and i feel asinine doing it.

    like i said...still working on it. :)

  4. Ohmygoshi Says:

    Firelotus - I'm sooo happy i've inspired you to join a yoga studio! and that you're going to quit smoking!

    Z - yes yes! go back to yoga!

    Dr. Bolte - Triangle is actually one of my favorites!! Well, Happy Baby is my absolute favorite. You lay on your back and hold your feet and just rock from side to side. awesome.

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