My yoga experience…

by Khushboo on July 1, 2013

Pinch punch, first of the month…Happy July guys!  Seven weeks ago, I posted that I wanted to change up my workout routine, mainly because I felt mentally drained out with lifting weights.  Since then, yoga has been a key component of my workouts.  I started off with doing a weekly session, but lately it has been 2 to 4 sessions per week.  For someone who once couldn’t handle more than 20 minutes of yoga without feeling antsy or like it wasn’t a “good enough” workout, I’m still pleasantly surprised with how much I look forward to and enjoy each class.

I don’t need to tell you the benefits associated with yoga.  A quick Google search will wrack in various results touting yoga as an all-encompassing exercise.  However I thought I’d share the personal benefits I have experienced:

  • My progress is not quantifiable: There are no calorie counters involved in yoga and I don’t wear a heart rate monitor during classes (or ever). I am not worried about the amount of weights lifted, distance or speed run.  As motivating as numbers can be, it’s liberating to just focus on myself and the pose at hand.  I think this might be the first time I’ve solely gauged my workout progress in qualitative measures i.e. i.e. how my body feels during and just how much I can push it.

someecard-yoga-pants-and-skinny-jeans

  • Increased appreciation for low-intensity workouts:  I’m sure I’m not the only one who has fallen into the mindset that exercise has to leave you feeling tired, sore, or breathless to be effective.  Especially when you’re in a routine of exercising to those limits regularly, it’s easy to think that cutting back will translate into weight gain or decreased fitness levels.  Fortunately I’ve only experienced positive effects. I’m still fit, but now that’s more in terms of flexibility than strength or endurance.  As for appearance, my jeans are actually fitting better but I know that’s also to do with me making a conscious effort with what I’m eating.

crane-pose-bakasana

Source

  • Newfound respect for my body: Whether it’s running a certain distance, hitting a new PR in the weights room or making any other kind of fitness-related progress, it’s amazing to see what limits your body is capable of after a few weeks of training.  I’ve always been able to touch my toes, but have over the weeks uncovered flexibility I couldn’t imagine before.  While I’m yet to be able to do poses like a headstand or crane pose, they no longer seem impossible.

Exercise is very personal and it ultimately comes down to finding a routine which works for you.  Rather than put yoga on a pedestal, I hope that my post will be of some help, especially to others who want to take up yoga and are unsure what to expect beyond  increased flexibility.

Are you a fan of yoga?

What’s has been your preferred form of exercise lately?

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Sonal July 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I’m glad you’re enjoying yoga so much K, and that’s its helping you! I always leave the class feeling so refreshed – especially after savasana! 😉

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 2:57 am

Ending on Savasana might be my favorite part of the class 😉

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lucie@FitSwissChick July 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm

I love hearing about your experience with Yoga.
I love Yoga, though I neglect it in my working routine. I can literally feel how my body thank me if I switch it up with a Yoga workout, I feel so light and flexible after a class or even after doing a Video Yoga WOrkout at home. Definitely need more Yoga back in my life!

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 2:57 am

Do you have any yoga video recommendations?

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Lucie July 2, 2013 at 8:43 am

I can definitely recommend the Tara Stiles Collection on You Tube and DvD’s from Baron Baptiste!

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Thanks, Lucie- will check them out!

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Aimée @Cinnamon Castle July 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm

I like yoga, but I find positions like downward dog and the one where you bend forward makes my head spin. Since they are pretty crucial moves in all classes, I have stopped going. I once had the yoga teacher try to force my head down!

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 2:58 am

Oh wow…that yoga teacher sounds pretty awful! Hope you manage to find a better one 🙂

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sophia1991999 July 1, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Yoga is the only exercise I do! I don’t go to a class or anything- I just do it when I feel like stretching- my mama taught it in the 90’s! So I have been doing it since I was about 5 or 6 🙂 I love it- I think it’s a great meditation. You go Khushboo!

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 2:59 am

I love that you practice it on your own- I would love to be able to eventually..even for just 20 minutes daily!

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles July 1, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Great that you’re enjoying yoga so much! I haven’t been doing it at all lately, and I have been missing it. I’ve only done a class a couple of times, so it’d be nice to get into a real yoga studio again.

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 2:59 am

It really helps having a studio nearby- I’m not sure I’d be as motivated otherwise 🙂

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Nikhita July 1, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I usually do cardio (running, uphill jogging and spinning class) and I’ve stopped lifting weights until I get my weight down a little bit – I feel so hungry after weights as compared to cardio! I do tone though, so I still do squats, lunges and the like – just stopped the heavy weights for a bit.

Yoga is something I feel like I want to try, but you’re right – I feel like I won’t lose too much weight with it. Would like to maybe use it to complement the cardio, rather than replace.. do you have private instructors or do you go to a class? Definitely let me know 🙂

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 3:01 am

My appetite was a beast when I was lifting weights- fortunately it’s tamed down a lot! I go to a studio next to Eros cinema called Well ‘n’ Trim ..they have loads of different classes. Let me know if you want me to email you the class timetable!

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Nikhita July 2, 2013 at 10:41 am

Yes! Please email me a schedule, I’m going to check out a class or two 🙂

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Sent!

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Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen July 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm

I love this post! Every time I read posts about bloggers’ experiences with yoga, it makes me want to get into it more. I do it sporadically, but I can’t seem to make a habit of it. I think I need to start going to actual classes instead of just doing online videos!

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 3:01 am

ARe there any classes nearby? If so, hopefully you can score a good package 🙂

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. July 1, 2013 at 6:04 pm

As you know, I’ve been a big fan of the lower-intensity workouts for quite a while. I was definitely caught up in the “I need to be sweating buckets and basically dying to have a good workout” mentality, so making the switch was difficult, but like you, actually really beneficial for me. I have to admit that I’m not the best when it comes to keeping up with a yoga practice, mostly because it’s hard for me to commit to more than 5 minutes at a time, but I try to keep myself flexible by randomly busting out some stretches throughout the day.

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 3:03 am

I notice a positive correlation between the time it takes for the kettle to boil and the likelihood of me randomly stretching throughout the day 😉

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Parita @ myinnershakti July 1, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Love that yoga has opened new doors for you, K! I wish we had a cheaper studio nearby…DVDs are not the same! And I love what you have to say about lower intensity workouts – I feel the same way about walking. It’s not always about the burn. 🙂

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 3:04 am

I completely agree- having that interaction with someone and him helping me with my form and guiding me really makes a difference to the overall experience 🙂

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Liz @ I Heart Vegetables July 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm

I think it’s such a good idea to switch up your workouts! I tend to do one thing for weeks and then get bored and hate it, haha. I’m JUST now getting back into running because I totally got burnt out on it last fall!

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 3:36 am

I’ve noticed the running bug catching on for me too lately!

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Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl July 1, 2013 at 8:28 pm

I really enjoy yoga, but so far have only been doing yoga DVDs. I really hope to attend a class sometime soon, though. I try to incorporate the practice into my week about once or twice. It is definitely helping me with toning, relaxing, and with flexibility.

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 3:04 am

Glad to hear you too are experiencing the benefits!

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Lisa July 1, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Woohoo, it seems like yoga was such a positive experience for you! That’s truly amazing and I feel the same way you do about yoga with pilates. It’s my new love and now that I have my teacher training I love it even more. I feel a sense of relief now that I’m not so concentrated on numbers from weights and I also feel more confident from it.
I definitely love the lower intensity workouts, but I do love my spin too!
I’m so glad you found yoga and its benefits:)

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 3:05 am

That’s so awesome that you’re qualified to train pilates- did you notice any physical differences from pilates (as opposed to cardio/strength)?

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dixya| food, pleasure, and health July 1, 2013 at 10:20 pm

i share very similar sentiments with you when it comes to yoga. I have been going to the gym and treadmills recently

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 3:06 am

Sounds good to me 🙂

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Brittany July 1, 2013 at 10:38 pm

I loveee yoga for so many reasons, including the ones you mentioned here. I have never felt the need to be competitive with my yoga practice and can always appreciate what my body can do in the moment. It’s like a secret strength builder!!

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 3:06 am

I couldn’t agree more- I don’t feel like I’ve lost any strength at all thanks to yoga!

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P July 2, 2013 at 12:37 am

I’m appreciating low-intensity workouts too, like good ol’ fashioned walking. Summer it the perfect time to just get out there and walk! A good 3 miles takes me about an hour to finish at a casual walking pace, but I don’t really care :P!

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 3:07 am

As long as you’re movig, you are going fast enough 😀

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Meghan @ After the Ivy League July 2, 2013 at 4:21 am

Love this! Less focus and worry about the numbers, more focus on your intentions and how you’re feeling in the moment. I’d love to find a yoga class and instructor that I love. So far, I’ve been to a couple different classes and enjoyed myself, but I haven’t found “the one” yet. I’ll be joining a new gym soon though, hoping to make it part of a new gym routine!

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Finding the “right” yoga instructor makes all the difference…I’ve had my fair share of bad ones in the past, which probably explains why I didn’t ever love yoga.

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Alex @ therunwithin July 2, 2013 at 6:07 am

amazing benefits. when i was doing yoga more routinely (sadly not at this moment), I felt more energized and connected with my body in a good way. it was such a peaceful feeling

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 7:04 pm

It’s crazy how much more energy I seem to have.

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Honey What's Cooking July 2, 2013 at 10:41 am

I took like 2 yoga classes at my gym, but they were both so advanced I felt so out of place. It’s like all the non-desis were able to do the hand stands and all the desis couldn’t. lol. i think yoga earned more respect outside of India, but now it’s become a phenomena everywhere. It definitely made me feel powerful and i need to start up maybe just once a week. it changes the way your body looks.

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Haha so true…suddenly Indian practices are what all the cool kids are doing 😉

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Pamela Puja Kirpalani July 2, 2013 at 10:59 am

Hi just came across your blog on Aunty Anita ‘s FB. I can’t tell you how accurate you are about the mindful eating and flexibility part . I m a completely transformed Yogini if you can say .. It’s changed my life in so many ways, especially of course being in a community dogged by so many social pressures. More on it later ! All the best on your endeavour..

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Khushboo July 2, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Thanks for your comment, Pamela…and I’m so glad you have experienced the positive benefits of yoga! 🙂

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Alex@Veggin' Out July 2, 2013 at 10:33 pm

I want to get back to yoga so badly! I used to do it all the time, but I guess I kind of forgot about it? I’m not sure why it’s been so long because I truly love it. I did it more during the school year, like before tests or bed, and it always helped me to relax and feel better. It also does wonders for me if my back hurts.
Lately, I’ve been running because I’m training for a 5k, but I should throw some more yoga in there too! 🙂

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Khushboo July 3, 2013 at 11:58 am

Ooh when’s the 5k? I hope training is going well 🙂

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Alex@Veggin' Out July 4, 2013 at 2:36 am

It’s going well so far, thank you! It’s on July 21 🙂

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Khushboo July 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Woo I’m sure you will kill it 😀

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Alexis @ Hummusapien July 2, 2013 at 11:03 pm

I took a yoga class in college and I liked it a lot! I still to this day cannot touch my toes…so obviously I need to get back to yoga 🙂

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Khushboo July 3, 2013 at 11:58 am

Before I started doing yoga regularly, being able to touch my toes easily was almost like a party trick 😉

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Meghan@Clean Eat Fast Feets July 11, 2013 at 7:03 am

Yeah for yoga and exercise switches. Sometimes we need to mix it up. I love getting my ass handed to me in a good workout, and I enjoy a nice restful Pilates or yoga class just as much. Congrats on feeling fitter.

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Khushboo July 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Sounds like you have a great, happy balance with your workouts 🙂

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