Yoga: It does a Body Good

yogaWhenever I think of yoga, I always picture the movie “Star Wars” and the little green guy in those movies named Yoda. I’m not really sure why but it sticks with me. Yoda is, of course, the master of finding inner peace and is amazingly agile and flexible for a nine-hundred-year-old being. So when I found out one of my friends was opening a yoga studio in the Cincinnati area, I had to try it. I mean, I always wanted to be as cool as Yoda.
As many of you may or may not know, I took on the endeavor of a couple of 5k runs with my friend last year. So this year, I have decided to take on Yoda, I mean yoga. (I don’t think I could take Yoda.) Having a friend that I trust sure helped in taking the first step to a nice Vinyasa Flow (that’s a yoga term or so I’m told). Many of you might think that running a 5k would be much tougher than yoga, but I am here to tell you that is not true. I used to be an athlete, so I know a good workout when I am forced to do one, and yoga is the best workout. I had my first class on a Thursday at the Fort Thomas Yoga Den and was still sore into the next week. But it was a good sore, an accomplished sore. A sore you go back for the next week, which is what I did and am still doing.
But taking a class is not the only way to get into yoga. There are several instructional videos out there that are super helpful in getting you started. You can certainly check them out at the library and save yourself some bucks. Here are a few of my favorites:
The Trainer’s Edge. Long and Lean Yoga:  This one is good because it helps with flexibility and toning.
Kathryn Budig. Aim True Yoga: The yoga flow that is incorporated here is most similar to the class I’m taking. I haven’t gotten into the poses yet.
Yoga for Inflexible People:  It has 35 workouts that range from 15 minutes to over an hour. If you have only 15 minutes for a workout, you can do that with this video.
There are many more videos that may be more suited to your skill level or to what you want out of a yoga workout, like flexibility, inner peace or core strength. I say the library is a good place to test out these things.
If a video or a class is not your style, the library also has books on yoga. These will also help you get into the yoga lifestyle. Yoga books are an excellent way to see the poses step-by-step through each progression; they are good for setting your own pace and teaching yourself. They will also let you know what the poses will help you accomplish in your workout.
Everybody has different goals that they want to accomplish in their yoga workout. My goal was to become more flexible and increase my lung capacity for running. But what I found was a lot more. You should TRY it and see what you can get out of yoga for yourself. But if you do start, make sure you are mentally and physically ready. You may want to consult a physician and/or start with a trained professional to reduce risk. WebMD has some helpful insights into the health benefits and risks of practicing yoga.

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