Thursday, September 4, 2008

Flexy Private

Today my shoulders are stiff, also the back and surprisingly my glutes. I'd hope to be saying that this is all due to finally setting up a gym membership and doing a good workout yesterday evening, but it's not. None of the stiffness is related to running either. I've decided to see what the benefits are, if any, for running by doing yoga. My initial reaction is, "fuck me, that shit is hard"! All that twisting, stretching and bending... it's bloody impossible.

This was week one of an eight week beginners course. If as a beginner I'm meant to be able to stand on my shoulders and then lower my legs back over my head to touch the ground, then what the hell is intermediate? or advanced?!
Some things I learned last night
- I'm really bad at it. Week one, I'm allowed to be bad.
- Standing like an upside down V is surprisingly hard. My legs and arms were shaking like mad during this.
- The instructor is exceptionally hot
- I am too long for the standard mat length. I need two. Maybe when I'm more flexible I'll fit on one better.
- I actually left all bouncy and full of life... could be something to do with a hot instructor but also could be to do with the actual yoga itself.
- Cooking dinner at 10 o'clock is not my idea of a good time.

At the end of the session the lights are turned off and everyone just lies there in the dark for 5 minutes with relaxation music playing in the background, and incense burning away. How am I meant to relax and think of nothing in that situation? All I could think of was "Don't fall asleep, don't fall asleep". I soon realised that I can't fall asleep in a bed lying on my back so the chances of falling asleep on a mat on the floor were quite slim, but I still didn't want to risk it.

Anyway I didn't fall asleep which was an added bonus. I'm intrigued though to find out if any of this will affect my running in a positive way. Obviously not immediately but over time. I kind of went into the class blind, knowing nothing about yoga or it's benefits. What the instructor said about it improving posture and giving you the ability to switch off from everything going on around you should help. That's the kind of focus I want when I'm racing, no thoughts of what I'll have for dinner or where I'll go for drinks that evening to be floating around my head. Ideally my focus will be 100% on the job in hand.

By the way, I'm still really puzzled why my back and shoulders are this stiff. It was essentially just a lot of stretching. Doesn't stretching prevent stiffness?
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