I’ve been trying to find out ways to get myself out of the apartment in the evenings and get a bit more exercise. I’ve actually being going to the gym quite a bit over the last three months. That’s fine and all, but hitting the elliptical trainer and lifting weights gets a little boring after a while, especially if you don’t have a gym buddy.

So, based on some recommendations from some friends, I thought that I’d try out a few yoga classes.

Vinyasa Yoga

I decided to start with a Vinyasa Yoga drop in class at my gym last Tuesday. The class was pretty small – it had about four girls and two guys (including myself). I actually met two girls that night, which is two more than I had met at the gym the whole last year I had been going.

I actually found this session to be enjoyable. It was a slow enough pace that I didn’t feel overworked, but I left feeling like I had a pretty good work out. I also have a bit of a bad back, and it felt better after stretching it for an hour. The instructor was this older lady who went out of her way to help instruct people one on one, which made it a bit more relaxed. I also suspect she catered the class a bit because two of us were newbies. So, definitely a good session.

Ashtanga Yoga + Pilates Fusion

I tried an Ashtanga Yoga and Pilates fusion class on Thursday. The pace was definitely a lot quicker, and the poses that much more difficult. Given the workout I got at the previous Yoga session, I thought I could slip in an upper body workout at the gym before hitting this session. That turned out to be a mistake, since my upper body was pretty much out of steam during the class. I remember looking up at the clock and seeing only 15 minutes had passed, wondering if I was going to be able to muster the energy to make it all the way.

Thankfully the class got easier at that point, and I made it through. But the intensity of this session was about the maximum that I am comfortable with at this stage.

Bikram (Hot) Yoga

There’s a hot yoga studio right across the street from where I live, so I thought I would check it out. Considering I rocked the last two Yoga sessions like Rocky Balboa running up those steps in Philly, I figured this one wouldn’t be too much harder.

Strangely enough, the instructor in this class didn’t participate. In the other two Yoga sessions, the instructors were on the mat doing all the same poses as we were. In the Bikram session, the instructor simply stood up front and demonstrated poses, and then had us do the real ones. The pace was actually super aggressive in my opinion, and we didn’t really have any time between poses. Unfortunately for me that caused me to wear out extremely fast. At about the half way point I had to sit out a few poses just to get my heart rate back down and to catch my breath (which I found really hard to do in a super heated room).

Because the instructor wasn’t participating, I thought perhaps he was less aware of how tired a lot of people were. Without a doubt I was the weakest member of the herd, but a few other people seemed to be struggling too, and yet we kept forging ahead.

There was also no talking in the studio, which meant there wasn’t any opportunity to socialize with any of the other people (not that anyone really wanted to talk to me after my pitiful performance, but hey).

So, I think for now I’m going to stay away from hot yoga. The 90 minute session was too long for me, and the pace was too fast for now. I got a lot more enjoyment out of the previous two sessions, and they were far cheaper (free vs $15 for the hot yoga).

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