As a cardio junkie, it’s often hard for me to diversify into low-intensity workouts. After all, when I’ve peeled myself out of bed and the darkness outside promises only chilled fingertips and a runny nose, there’s got to be tangible results at the end of this ordeal. Results can manifest themselves in (1) calories burnt; (2) sweat puddles produced; (3) muscles throbbing with lactic acid; or, (4) adrenaline rush. (Back in my heyday, I used to burrow through -20 degree weather to attend 6:00 a.m. spinning classes. Nuts indeed.)
There’s a price to pay for everything. More and more lately, I’ve noticed aches and sores in my body, cymballing my ratcheting years. I’m negligent on the stretching front – often only throwing in a few token back and quad stretches after 10km runs. This, I fully acknowledge, is not commendable behaviour. Recently though, I’ve been quite surprised at the power of stretching in alleviating my chronic and recurrent muscle twangs – thanks to my mother’s daily proselytizing over the wonder of yoga.
I’ve always liked the idea of yoga, mainly because of the outfits and the ‘toning’ illusion that is perpetuated by all the lean and wiry devotees. Upon further analysis however, I concluded that it is not yoga which leads to leanness, but rather that skinny folk gravitate towards yoga. Sort of how the more latitudinally-endowed usually like swimming, because well, you know, there are certain components of our bodies that float better than others …. (I like swimming. A lot.)
I just can’t bear all the “umming” and “ahhing” and the sitting still for ages that yoga makes you go through. It’s dull and when a class costs €15, I reckon meditation should probably be saved for homework …
Due to some cardio fatigue, I checked out BodyBalance of LesMills fame today, for the first time. It’s a yoga-taichi-pilates mixey-uppy sorta thing with upbeat music (not just crashing waves or Yanni). It’s actually one of the few classes in my health club that require passes but I was forgiven for my ignorance and allowed to wedge myself into a pretty crowded room. The instructor, Katja, was super accommodating to the expats in the room and conducted the whole class in impeccable English. The poses transitioned into each other at a good pace without too much dwelling on any one theme and were hard enough to make me break quite a sweat but not too hard to send people toppling over each other. In short, I loved it. Especially when it came to the meditation bit, Katja did it wholly in Dutch, so I could phase out and concentrate better on my neighbour’s pedicure.