Yoga

I'm starting a beginners yoga course this week and am now wondering what it will be like.

I want to imporve my posture nadmy core strength
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Comments

  • It's brilliant! I've been doing yoga for just over a year, and it has helped my running so much: especially my breathing.

    The static yoga postures which are based on a triangle do so much for strengthening your legs and arms, and the breathing while in these postures really helps open up your lungs.

    The forward bends will lengthen tight hamstrings, and the shoulder stretches which drag your shoulders back will ensure you're able to counter the tendency to hunch your shoulders while running.

    Many of the postures will increase your core strength without you even noticing.

    All this, and you have a guided relaxation at the end of every session, which comes in really handy if you're ever unable to sleep at night.




  • I am a bit worried about the relaxation at the end - I noramally go to sllep before the end time of the class as I have to get up early.

    I am also a bit worried that I will be the only chap there?

    (this may also be good!)
  • I wouldn't worry about being the only bloke, no one should be looking at you anyway! Yoga is all about concentrating on what YOU're doing, internalising and not competition.

    As for falling asleep, I have nodded off before in a class but never to the extent that I've actually been asleep when everyone else has got up. Not sure what to say on that one!
  • Cool - I've never done an organised class before as I've just run so not sure what to expect.

    (Apart from an ease into exercise class with a couple of my team where I managed to knock over a few ladies through my lack of co-ordination)
  • Good choice, Just remember to keep at it and you'll quickly start to see the benefits, especially if you're a runner! If you are the only male I'm sure the ladies will make you feel at home.

    Oh! and don't be surprised if you break wind, it sometimes happens in yoga classes (esp. with men) but no one bats an eyelid :o)
  • Gosh windy pops - could be a problem as my lunch is beans.

    I hope the ladies make me feel at home!
  • I should have mentioned also that yoga has given me one of the best hip stretches in the world ever. Especially useful after my hips seize up in a long run.

    Meggles is right about competition: don't try to compare your stretching ability with other people's, just go at your own pace (a bit like running really). Sometimes also you'll be having a wobbly day, and other times you'll be able to keep the balance postures with no trouble.

    It's amazing how quickly you advance: I sometimes wonder how much better I'd be if I actually did some yoga in between Wednesday evening sessions!

    Do let us know how you get on.
  • Will do.

    I don't run as much now as I did 10 years ago when I was competitive (over 100 mpw at times!) but I had lots of hip problems at the time caused by a leg length difference of 1 1/2 inches so hopefully this will help.

    I sort of know that I will be the worst as I can only get about half way down my shins when trying to touch my toes
  • Ask your yoga teacher to show you 'earth' or 'pigeon' posture. (It's the same posture, but has two different names.) That sorted out my hip seizure problem.
  • Finally went last night and it was very good.

    I can't quite say why but I feel looser today.

    I was amazed how many of the stretches were the same as for running and hurdling
  • Excellent, now just make sure you keep going. You'll see an exponential improvement in your stretchiness and core strength.

    If it's been a tough session I usually find that my muscles start aching two days later, so you ain't out of the woods yet!

    I suppose it's inevitable that some of the stretches were the same as for running, there are only so many ways to stretch a body, after all. The difference in yoga is that you have to breathe deeply in all of them; and this is what has dramatically improved my ability to take in enough air to run up hills. You really become able to use as much of your lung capacity as possible.
  • I've prepaid as an incentive to keep going. I know about the stiffness so am glad club run is tonight.

    Re the breathing, I am not sure I was doing it totaly right. For some reason my breaths were longer than the instructor was allowing (maybe I have a bigger lung capacity?)

    But it was a good strat and I really enjoyed it. I kept hearing all sorts of clicks and creaks from my body so I am assumu=ing this is a good thing
  • My yoga class was last night too, and in the first of the standing postures there was a lovely series of clicks from various sets of hips as we all leaned over!

    As long as your breathing was slower than the teacher was allowing, then you're on the right lines. I'd only worry if it was substantially quicker.

    It always makes me smile when the teacher says something like 'Now, breathe into your back ribs', which sounds ridiculous and undoable, until you realise you *are* breathing into your back ribs!
  • Was good - I am surprised more runners don't do it. Distance runners are notorious for inflexibility and I am sure it would prevent lots of injuries
  • I used to teach yoga aaages ago, and have kept it going on and off since then. The one thing I will strongly recommend you having a serious look at are some of the positions which at first seem to have nothing remotely similar to a running movement, as they can be really beneficial. Shoulder-stands are a good example. They can really help with aching legs, improving your breathing (although it won't feel it at first!), and as you get more advanced, it will strengthen both arms and legs.

    Stick with it - great stuff!

  • Inspired by this thread, I'm going to my first ever yoga session on Wednesday. I'm about as flexible as a pane of glass so am a little concerned about how I'll get on.
  • YOu will enjoy it Murf. At the moment I can only get 1/2 way down my shin when trying to touch my toes and there was a large range of abilities at my class
  • Have always wanted to try Yoga but can't find a class at a good time nearby. (the french don't seem to be into it) Bought a tape instead.

    Have watched it 3 times.....time to start doing it I guess!!
  • Gumpster, you didn't mention the male/female ratio
  • about 1:5 where I was. Some good lookng women there as well!
  • Added incentive to keep on going Gumpster!
  • I miss my yoga class! Used to go religiously every week for about a yr and a half. Moved house before Xmas and now it's too far away.

    Really must find one near me. Always said I'd keep practising at home but that doesn't often happen.
  • Ooh! Look what I just found!

    http://www.beyondretreat.co.uk/running_courses.htm

    Yoga and running retreats! Soundslike the perfect mix. Always wanted to do a yoga holiday :)
  • If anyone is interested, I can recommend Erich Schiffmann's book Yoga: The spirit and practice of moving into stillness.

    Although it does have a few new age overtones, I found its descriptions of the poses and the role that your body's energy plays to be the best of any book or video.
  • I'm a non-practising yoga-ite... must get around to finding a good class near me, though I think alot of the evening classes tend to stop over the summer, which wouldn't be so good.

    Definately agree with what everyone's said about the benefits it has on running. I've always been fairly flexible, and since starting to run I guess I notice that it's easy to stiffen up (or is that just me getting older?).. also how little runners generally stretch, even though they know they should!
  • Agree with that entirely, Vanilla. Like you, I think I've got a fairly decent level of flexibility, but I do try to make time to maintain and improve it. As well as being rewarding exercise itself, I'm convinced regular stretching has really helped me with my running. And you can really progress. Keep at it!!
  • It's my second night tonight and I am really looking forward to it.

    Has anyone used one of those videos at home at all and have any recommendations?

    I'm a young man so a female presenter would be prefered!
  • Just back from my first session. Not convinced that I was doing it right. Instructor kept mentioning feeling the hips & lower back 'opening up' when I was feeling strectches mostly in various bits of my thighs and didn't notice anything in th lower back at all. Hopefully that's because my lower back is fairly strong anyway?

    However, by the end of the session I did feel generally looser, I think, and will definately be going back for more.
  • I too am a lapsed yogi :( I spent a three month period a while back where I attended a class everyday and the overall improvements were very suprising. Why do so many dancers attend classes? I think it's just to show off. During my intense phase I think I was often the only male there but I think that was deffinately a positive thing. Light on Yoga's a very good book.

    Gumpster the beans will either ingratiate you to your class for providing a humourarse interlude, laughing/smiling being a very positive aspect to bring into a class....or else no one will stand behind you as you downward face your dog.
  • I really ache after the session yesterday!
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