Hi everyone! I’m so excited that my week is over halfway finished! My classes are being observed all week by my trainer who flew up from headquarters in Seattle which is extremely stressful. So to distract myself from that, I’ve been pouring all my energy into following my training plan. And it’s going really well! One thing that I’ve been doing this week is checking out tons of yoga studios and classes to use as my cross training twice a week. Even though Anchorage is a smaller city, there are quite a few studios here! And before even visiting any, I can tell from their websites and Facebook pages that they all have totally different vibes. There are some studios that have crazy class names where I can’t tell what is going on exactly, and some that mention things that I’m not into at all like meditation and chanting. And once you find a studio that sounds okay, you then have to figure out which classes you should take! This may sound easy – obviously the beginner’s workshops, anything that says “basics” or “intro” in the title, or ones that are marked as all level classes. But here’s what I’m quickly learning about yoga: it’s a different experience for everyone. You basically have to try out a bunch of different kinds to see what you like best, and then try out different studios until you find one you’re comfortable going to. And then you have to find an instructor that you like so that you’ll enjoy class! My only other experience with studio classes was Barre3, and they only offered one class over and over again and 4 instructors so it was a much faster process. Honestly, I’m kind of getting overwhelmed here!
There’s one simple thing about this process that keeps jumping out at me: learning to run was easier than learning yoga. Running doesn’t have complicated names (except fartlek, which is pretty silly) or require instructors or modifications or props or flexibility or knowledge. Running just simply is me putting one foot in front of the other for a few miles at a time. When I started I didn’t know about foam rolling or tempo runs or minimalist shoes, but I was able to run without googling a million terms and calling studios. It’s not always necessarily “easy” (in fact, it never really is) but in comparison to yoga it just seems like the simplest workout in the world because I can understand it.
I read Rebecca’s awesome post earlier this week, and I couldn’t help but agree with her. With my crazy sweaty red-faced workout situation and lack of flexibility, I’d be better off working out at home with Yoga with Adrienne or Barre3 online. But there’s something about signing up for a class that just gives me so much more motivation. I feel like I can skip a workout if it’s something I’m supposed to do at home and I get lazy, but when I sign up for a class I’m committing to being somewhere. I need this kind of motivation right now. And so there is only one thing I can do to make this happen: talk to each studio about their beginner level classes to get as much information as possible, sign up for a class at each studio that I think I’d feel comfortable in, and try things out. So far I’ve taken a workshop on vinyasa flow at the place with the lash bar and pole dancing (loved the workout, wasn’t so sure about the studio vibe) and an intro workshop that was more about laying on my back and breathing than anything else. And there was mini-inversion and a chant at the end. Nope. I’m thinking that vinyasa is the way to go, so I’ll be trying out a few beginner classes around town to see where I fit in. I basically have two outcomes to look forward to:
Best case scenario: I get out of the house in the dark winter for some exercise in some really nice, calm studios with other newbies like me, and maybe I find a studio and practice that I personally enjoy and can commit to. And through all of this yoga searching I might enjoy running more because of how simple it is in comparison.
Worst case scenario: I blow through some money trying out classes, embarrass myself in front of strangers that I will never see in class again, and learn that Yoga with Adrienne is the only yoga for me.
It’s worth a shot! I think it’s incredible that I’m even trying this out given my lack of knowledge and flexibility, but I do love the excitement of trying something new that will help my training. And yeah, the new-found appreciation for running isn’t so bad either 🙂
Do you practice yoga as cross training? If so, how did you choose your studio, type of yoga, and instructor? What’s your favorite type of class?