You Know You’ve Wondered: Is Yoga A Workout?

Yoga and I have an interesting story, care to hear?

I haven’t always been a big fan of the practice. It wasn’t love at first sight, in fact, it wasn’t even like at first site.

I understood the benefits, yet every class I took made me feel like it just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t “my thing” so to speak.

Have I ever shared my very first yoga experience?

Breathing In I Call Myself… 

When I was about 15 or 16, I went on a camping trip with my friend and her parents. What we thought was a camping trip was really more of a hippy fest.

They offered morning yoga under this huge white tent. Since there was nothing else to do, and we wanted to try yoga, my friend and I decided to give it a go. I think we laughed our butts off the entire time. As we moved from pose to pose they would randomly have us throw our arms to the sky and chant

Breathing in I call myself, breathing out I smile.”

I smiled alright…

And then came the part when we had to lay on the ground, hug the earth and feel the warmth/ love that it gives off (did I mention it was about 40-degress?). There was no warmth and we felt way out of place.

That event has remained in my head for 15 years now. And to be honest, it put a distaste in my mouth for years and years.

Even after I decided to give yoga another try, I just wasn’t feeling it. Yoga was too slow, too easy, too not me.

But then things changed. Perhaps age, or perhaps knowledge, but I learned to chill out. I learned the benefits of yoga and knew that if I wanted to be all around well-trained I should embrace it.

So after several failed attempts I realized something…

Not all yoga is the same. It’s like finding a good pair of running shoes: you have to find the one that fits you best. What works for one person may not work for you.

My new obsession

I finally found that at my current studio, Yoga House Of Charleston. And that’s where our story ends and the new one picks up.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of sitting down with 2 of my instructors, Fernando and Bethany to discuss yoga and get your questions (and mine) answered.

I know you’re going to love it! And yes, I do share the above story with them! And some how we even talk farts…

The Truth Of Yoga: You Think You Know But You Have NO Idea

Don’t have time right this second to listen in? Here’s a bit of what we covered…

Bethany and Fernando’s Yoga Stories: 

  • Bethany was actually suppose to go to law school. She moved to Charleston for a year and them decided to stick around and become a yoga teacher instead (I can relate!).

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  • Fernando was a fitness buff, working to get stronger and add on mass. At first he was put off by yoga, thinking it was for the ladies, until he saw this guy and realized how cool handstands are and how few people can actually do them. He’s a handstand bad ass and has found a passion for all forms of yoga.


Interesting Truths About Yoga:

Is yoga a workout program?

According to these two, no. It’s an awesome proponent of health and fitness but alone it’s not ideal. Just like runners should lift weights and do yoga… yoga should also be done along side cross training and cardio to get maximum benefits.

Do you sacrifice strength by working on flexibility?

This is a common idea, that to be flexible means you can’t be strong or to be strong you have to give up flexibility. It’s not the case at all. If you continue to work on strength and flexibility than both can be improved. Flexibility helps strength because you’re able to get full range of motion when doing the moves… which means you activate muscles!

What does a workout look like for a yogi?

Listen to find out!

What is the hardest thing to deal with when teaching yoga?

Dan has this fear of becoming a yoga teacher and having people farting in his class. It happens. We all have done it when working out at some point or another. So I asked them, how common is it? Their answer – very. But that’s not the worst thing about teaching: personal hygeine is. In a heated room, bad smells are amplified and when you’re in close contact with people like in yoga, they would appreciate you didn’t smell. Lol, I cracked up at this.

Why do some classes making you “OM”?

This is one thing I haven’t yet embraced. At the end of some classes, the teacher will have us breath deep and loudly “OMMMMM”. Why? According to Bethany, just like our moving muscles need to be stretched out (hamstrings, quads, shoulders, etc) so do our vocal muscles. There is a lot going on in there and they need some TLC from time to time too. She also says, don’t feel pressured. If you’re not comfortable yet, then don’t. With confidence and time you’ll embrace the OM, and if not, not biggie.

How does yoga impact your life outside of the studio?

Practicing yoga is simply the physical form of practice. Learning to be more patient, embracing the moments life has to offer, and being a bit more carefree are symptoms that both Fernando and Bethany have found.

We talked about so much that I really couldn’t possibly fit everything in to the show notes. If you have time, plug your headphones on and listen in. You won’t regret it.

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This was one of the most fun shows to do in a while when it comes to guests. I love talking to people and having the opportunity to talk face to face, in their environment was fabulous.

Thanks Bethany and Fernando!

What’s your yoga story? Don’t be bashful.

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