For quite a while my fitness routine has consisted mainly of endless squats, planks before taking a shower in the evening, and chasing after my toddler. I know, sounds fun. Not.
Yet no matter how many squats I did or how long I held my planks, I never really felt the burn afterward. I must have been doing something wrong.
But after several months of seeing practically no physical changes, I decided to switch things up. I have heard wonderful things about yoga, and it has quite a following.
With so many people who do yoga, and all the benefits that come with it, I figured it must be worth at least giving it a shot.
I’ve been at it for a few weeks now, and there are a few changes that I’ve already noticed.
- Looking forward to yoga vs. dreading working out. I do my yoga routine in the morning if I have time, and then every night before going to bed. I used to think of working out as a chore, but not with yoga. I enjoy doing it and look forward to it every evening before bed. I also find myself striking a pose here and there throughout the day. Balancing stick pose in the kitchen? Why not!
- Feeling relaxed during yoga. While I’m doing yoga, I feel a sense of calm and relaxation. It’s like I’m resetting myself. Whereas when I would do squats or other types of exercise, it was more like busy work.
- Tighter stomach. Yes, in the few weeks that I’ve been doing yoga, I’ve noticed that my stomach seems a bit firmer. I certainly do not have washboard abs, but I think yoga is helping to tone my stomach.
- Improved balance. Yoga reminds me a little bit of riding a bike. It’s tricky at first, and you need to find your center of balance. But once you do, it becomes second nature and you enjoy doing it. Even from one week to the next, I can see that my pose duration is increasing.
- Increased flexibility. Yoga makes you twist your body in all sorts of different ways. All this twisting has helped me to regain some of the flexibility that I used to have when I was younger. There is still plenty of room for improvement, but I certainly feel more flexible than I was a month ago.
So you can see that in the short time I’ve been practicing yoga, I am already reaping more benefits than I was from 6 months of squats, planks, sit-ups, etc.
If you’re like me and you’re looking for some physical activity without gaining massive muscle, and want to increase your balance and flexibility, I recommend you try yoga. You don’t even need to join a class. Most of the poses that I’ve picked up have come from Youtube or my Pinterest boards. Good luck!
Here’s to your health!