SO, yesterday was one of those days where I had to literally drag myself kicking and screaming to the gym. There seemed a plethora of reasons as to why I shouldn’t go – the offer of a glass of wine from the in-laws, numerous people telling me how tired I looked which suddenly led to me feeling really, really tired indeed, a general ‘can’t-be-arsedness’, the whole ‘I’m away this weekend and it’d be lovely to spend the evening with hubster’ vibe and frankly, just the complete dread at the thought of running anywhere! I gritted my teeth and got myself to the lovely gym. Messed about getting changed, facebooked, generally faffed around and then gave myself a good talking to and hopped on the dreadmill. I’ve worked so hard this week that my heart just wasn’t in it, my legs felt heavy and my hip flexors were really tight. I hopped off the treadmill after a lousy 15 minutes and then I cycled for a bit and then gave up! I was a lost cause.
Instead of going home though, I took myself through the core/resistance and weight programme I’ve just been given by my trainer and managed to complete that. By this time it was 7:25pm and I didn’t really feel like anymore working out. And then I remembered. This time last week was when I did that yoga class! All of a sudden I was excited about exercise again! Grabbed a mat and joined the yoga posse for a good hour and a half sesh.
Yoga demands of me an entirely different mentality and set of skills to running and weights. In some ways I am entirely in my comfort zone as my dance training and flexibility both come into play in a big way, and yet – as the instructor pointed out – because I can rely on that flexibility and strength, I can work deeper and challenge myself, this demands a drive and comittment not just to 'wing' it and not work hard. She explained the difference between ‘pushing’ oneself and ‘working deeply’ – deep work should not cause a strain on joints or muscles, so I really don’t feel any pressure - it’s all about working at one’s own pace and listening to one’s body and getting on the vibe where you know your own muscles and capabilities. Running, to me, is still difficult. It is not yet something that I enjoy purely for the love of doing it – let’s face it, I do it because it’s really helping me lose weight (whole other addiction post!) - but yoga? THIS I could learn to love.
I always thought yoga was a bit ’hippy dippy nonsense’ to be honest, but this class is AMAZING and last night I loved every minute of it! Sure, it was hard but as I’ve said, hard in an ok way. I don’t know the names for all the poses and such but there’s something so life affirming about each of them, they make perfect sense (er..hello! happy baby?!) and they mean good and positive things. What’s not to like?! No weirdy chanting or ‘ohm’-ing, just a generally fabulous time.
Total bonus is that after a good few cobra stretches and deep kneeling lunges I can totally almost do the splits again!! This is something I have ALWAYS been able to do as I am, as we say in the biz, ‘flat turned out’ (my hips are very lose) and since I porked up and then began exercising to lose that porked upness, I’ve focused so much on cardio and weights that I’ve forgotten all about my flexibility and stretching - thus, in keeping with the 'use it or lose it' rule of thumb, my ability to sit in the splits has long gone!. No wonder my hip flexors were complaining! After a few minutes of sitting in ‘Downward facing frog’ the pain completely went away!
Yoga is BONZA!!!!!!!!
And the final treat of the night was that we got to attempt a head stand…..the one where you make a triangle out of your head and arms and walk your feet in and then some magical body force takes over and your legs kind of float up?? THAT ONE!! I totally did that!!! How amazing!!!!! At first I did it against the wall, but once I knew how to do it I tried it unaided and I DID IT!!!!!!!!! I was absolutely BUZZING! Still am today!! So what about you? Anyone out there a fan of yoga? Two classes in and I am a total convert!
So, the moral of all this waffling dear readers?? It’s ALWAYS good to listen to your body and respond to what it needs….this goes for food and eating just as much as exercise.
Right, that’s more than enough deep thought for today. I’m off to the seaside for a weekend with my girlfriends - to try and stay on plan!! *GULP* I will not gain I will not gain I will not gain…….repeat ad infinitum!