The Beginning Guide to a Hot Yoga Marathon

If I’m being honest, I used to hate yoga.

I always was that person who secretly laughed at other people for loving yoga, because I just didn’t get it at all. I personally prefer more of a tough HIIT workout like Soul Cycle or Crossfit, where you get motivated to keep pushing if you stop to take a breather. I like tough love. I don’t like soft talk when it comes to sports, because I believe to get physically and mentally stronger, you have to push yourself to the maximum. I used to think that nothing great can be achieved by sweet talk, and in my mind, yoga was just that. After taking four yoga classes (specifically hot yoga), I became a bit more open-minded about incorporating different training techniques into my regular workouts.

Photo Credit: Cheezburger

Here’s what I found out—  aka, how my body changed after four classes of hot yoga in four days: 

  1. I became more flexible. Yes, I know this is probably a given, but before yoga, I did stretching for splits where the classes were intense stretching mixed with cardio, abs, weights. So, no sweet, inhale and exhale talk. I thought only those types of hard-core stretching would make me flexible. It turns out that after these four classes, I felt myself feeling more flexible when returning to my split stretching, even though the stretching during yoga was very subtle.

  2. I wanted more. This was not surprising. We all know that exercise releases endorphins, hormones of happiness, found in sugar, sex, and drugs.

  3. My energy levels increased even though I wasn’t drinking as much coffee as I used to. Unlike many other exercises, what I found interesting is that yoga relaxed and pushed you at the same time. Many of the HIIT or “tough” workouts do not relax you. It’s all about being stronger every minute, sometimes even angry, so you’ll have more energy. Yoga was more about being focused on the task at hand rather than exhausting yourself with lots of intervals.

  4. It’s the icing on the cake to switch things up from the gym. I like to do yoga three to four times a week and go to the gym three times a week. Yoga is perfect for a challenging workout that won’t make you sick.

To sum up, I want to say one important thing: Don’t get discouraged and don’t look around you to other people during your yoga practice. I like that yoga is really not as competitive as other sports tend to be. It’s more about focusing on yourself and finding your balance rather than being better than someone else. The only one who’s benefitting from you getting better is you!

Photo Credit: Down Under Yoga

If you live in Boston, I recommend Down Under Yoga studio. They do a great student deal— right now, I have a three-month membership for $100, which is really not bad considering you can go to as many classes as possible for three months. I recommend doing anything new three times. The first time you’ll obviously hate it, the second time you’ll think about it, and the third time you’ll be thinking about going again.

Stay healthy in 2020! Make your health a priority, your ritual, not a quick phase. Have a productive week!

HCXO,

Masha

 

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