Yoga! I Like It.

It all began with CrossFit.  What does CrossFit have to do with yoga, you ask?  Good question.  Anyone who knows me at all is aware that CrossFit and running are my drugs of choice.  CrossFit was the gateway exercise which led me to try yoga.  I like intensity, fast paced environments, adrenaline, and  loud music.  Yoga is the opposite of these things, therefore I would hate it.  Sit in a steamy, hot room while holding yoga poses?  For 75 MINUTES?  No thank you.  I’d rather do something more pleasant, like maybe gouge my eyeballs out with a fork.  Or at least I thought I would….until last month, when I tried the new yoga class at CrossFit.Yoga

After one year of intense CrossFitting and too little time spent stretching, my body strained, tight, and constantly on the brink of injury.  Let me be clear in saying that I do not believe CrossFit gets people injured.  I think poor form, tiny technical errors, poor weight choices, and inadequate recovery gets people injured.  Moving on now.  If you are a CrossFitter, you are probably thinking about how much I need mobility WODs right now.  I do those, too.  Love me some KStarr.  It just didn’t seem to be enough.  I had this quiet feeling that I needed yoga, but I didn’t really want to act on it.  Then, I read an article reporting that the San Fransisco 49’ers have the lowest rate of injury in the NFL, presumably because of their yoga program.  This was enough for me to throw in the towel and buy a yoga mat in hopes of finding the yin to my CrossFit yang.

A quick aside: my husband is one of the most inflexible people living in our galaxy.  He CrossFits, too.  Mike (or Beef as we know him in the box) can not touch his toes, nor can he straighten his arms above his head vertically.  I don’t think he can even straighten his fingers.  We know this is a problem and have several MRI records showing his herniated disc to show for it.  

As serendipity had it, my box started a new yoga class last month.  The instructor was my one of my best friends who also happens to be a stellar CrossFitter.  Believe me, I would know.  We started CrossFit together, and I have watched her evolve into one of the strongest, fastest, supple leopards around these parts.  The fact that she continues to CrossFit without any bodily complaint, strain, or injury is not lost on me.  Clearly, she and the 49’ers are doing something right.  

They are.  YOGA.

I took my first class about 3 weeks ago.  It wasn’t boring.  In fact, the hour was over before it began.  I felt lighter when I left and decided to go back.  My 2nd class was better.  I was more familiar with the poses and kind of looked forward to some of them.  My body felt looser, and my mind felt quieter when I left.  It seemed to loosen me up, and my favorite part was the shavasana at the end of the class.

My 3rd class was the best by far.  Two days prior, we did the girl WOD Chelsea, which left me painfully sore.  I’m not talking about normal soreness. I’m talking about the kind of soreness that hurts even when you’re not moving and makes you wonder if you’re coming down with the flu.  Yes, I know this is a sign of “overtraining,” but you have to understand the importance of these Girl WODs.  

I almost didn’t attend the class because of said soreness, but I decided to take the plunge anyway.  I’m glad I did.  About 10 minutes into our poses, I began to sweat.  ALOT.  Sweat was dripping down my nose, and I was glad I had a huge towel. I worked up such a magnificent sweat that I wondered if I had hyperhydrosis.  No, said Marlea, that’s normal.  She reassured me that she was “heating our bodies” and that we begin to sweat and detox. 

When I left, I couldn’t believe how much better I felt.  I had minimal muscle pain and felt way more relaxed.  In fact, I felt a sense of calm euphoria that was pretty great.  My soreness disappeared about 36 hours later, whereas it normally takes me 4-5 days to recover from a girl WOD like Chelsea.  Faster recovery=better results.  Sign me up.

So, I finally get it.  I get why people love yoga so much.  I hereby commit to yoga at least twice a week because I want to be a calm, supple leopard.  Bonus: the only person more enthusiastic about yoga is Mike.  Yep, the big guy tried yoga yesterday and came out beaming like a school boy.  His shirt was drenched, and he smelled like ass ammonia.  He talked about how much he loved yoga, what a release he felt, and how committed he was to yoga for life.  Believe me, no one is more surprised about that than I.

That’s all for today, folks.  To tell you the truth, this is a post that I never saw myself writing.  Then again, I never thought I’d be eating butter with my coffee in the morning, either.  Yes, butter….but only grass fed.  More on that soon.  Namaste!