I go to Yoga class once a week...
I can't help notice the disproportionate ratio of men to women in the classes ... but hey, that's not the point of this post, nor is it the reason I go.
My regular workouts at the gym consist of some weight training, and a half hour on something that gets my heart rate up in the 120-130 range. And, then there's the shower and such afterwards.
Where's the fun in that I ask?
In the last class I was attended, I was contrasting a yoga class to a "regular" gym workout. Let's see...
With Yoga, you start off getting "centered" (they call this "Dhyana" or meditation)- essentially sitting and thinking of nothing but breathing like Darth Vader ("Ujjayi")- very calming ... I caught myself murmuring "ohmmmm" the other day.
Then, you get into either putting your body through stretching contortions, endurance or balancing poses that can hurt like bloody hell.
But, you suck it up, pretend you're still centered and wait for the sweet, utopic numbness to settle in just before you're asked to untangle yourself and wrench your body in some other position you never thought it could get into let alone keep in for another 2-5 minutes.
After about 45 minutes of this, you get to lie down on your back and rest - they call this "Savasana", but all I can think of is when I was in pre-school lying down on mats on the floor for an afternoon nap. I actually think I dozed off one day... hope I didn't snore.
You finish it all by sitting cross-legged with your hands together in front of your chest and murmuring "Namaste" - which I believe is a form of thanks.
By this time, your body has recovered to a point where the muscles, tendons and other sundry body parts start to feel quite good.
When I think about my "regular" workout, I'm just putting my body through pain right from the get-go and all I get afterwards is a shower in the men's locker room...
With Yoga, I get calmed down, put my body through pain, have a nap and mumble words I don't really know the meaning to ... then have a shower.
So for the same amount of time, although I don't get my heart rate up, my body still gets battered, but I get a NAP! How can you not think that's cool?
After Yoga, I feel relaxed. I feel open. I feel rested and refreshed.
I just wish they'd supply coffee to keep me from walking into doors in my post-yoga daze.