Yoga Embarrassment and Acceptance

  Time for a real confession!  I'm a runner and I can't even touch my toes!
courtesy: mensfitness.com/training/endurance/top-10-yoga-poses-for-men

  Seriously, my flexibility runs out somewhere right around my knees.  You're probably thinking... so what? Well for us runners, the whole body has to be a well oil-machined or else when one muscle gets tight, it throws everything out of whack.  Causing back issues...IT band problems... the works.
  I've read numerous articles about debating when to stretch.. before a run vs after a run.  Tried them both, but I'm just not disciplined enough to stick to it.  Let's face it, I'm in a hurry like the rest of you to get back home and watch the next episode of (fill in any number of tv shows here).  Who's got the time when Netflix is calling?  
                                                                            courtesy: huffingtonpost.com

  But recently, after taking on more mileage, my tight hamstrings and screaming IT band have become more than just a nuisance.  So what's my game plan? I've decided to add in some *YOGA* to my training.

courtesy: mensfitness.com/training/endurance/top-10-yoga-poses-for-men

  Now, let me be the first to tell you I am so not one of those "open your mind and body, be one with the universe, namaste" kinda guys. And besides, WHO can realistically twist themselves into shapes like this?  What's this move? The Pretzel?
courtesy: crossfitwaitakere.co.nz

  I've honestly tried doing Yoga before.  Taken some classes at the gym.  But let me list the reasons I didn't stick with it:

  • I was always the only male in the room
  • I looked like a robot attempting interpretive dance 
  • I fell on my face numerous times
  • Your twisting...moving, and GAS will escape.  Farting in a room full of women? Not so fun.

  Despite all that I've tried numerous times to re-evaluate the situation and give it another shot.  This time, I'm really going for it.  But I *won't* be hitting the gym.  I'll be doing the awkward poses and slipping in sweat from the comfort of my own home.  Where the only judgmental glances burning in my direction are from my dog.

(this is Janie-my dog with judging eyes)

  I actually did a little Yoga today in fact! I swear my lower back is a little better, and my IT Band a little more giving.  I found some basic poses FOR MEN on mensfitness.com.  Click HERE for a link.  I really think this time around Yoga might finally help my running... just from the secret confides of my apartment.
  Thanks for reading!  Let me know if you have any other great "at home" yoga videos/articles you'd like to share!

courtesy: mensfitness.com/training/endurance/top-10-yoga-poses-for-men


Comments

  1. I LOVE yoga and it helped me PR in a half...but personally I vastly prefer a group class to self-practice. A trained instructor can give adjustments and correct alignment so you get the most out of it. The studio I practice at has classes at all levels and there are lots of men in the classes. It's close to you too :)

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    1. Thanks Jessica. Yeah, I understand the benefits of classes and my gym offers them for FREE. so I *will* attend a few, but I'm mostly just focusing on getting some key stretches in so maybe one of these days I can actually reach my toes! I've found the "downward dog" does WONDERS for my hammies!

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  2. I LOVE group yoga, especially yoga in the park in downtown Anchorage. Here in Colorado Springs, my gym has a great yoga room to practice Hot Vinyasa yoga. However, I brought Josh along and he had quite a different opinion.

    For anyone who possibly reads this who does not know Josh, he is a "country boy" who doesn't care for being around strangers and who's main source of exercise is running or hiking through the woods carrying game. In other words he was out of his element.

    First of all, it was packed! We got there 30 minutes early to secure a back corner. It did not take long for our mats to be practically on top of each other. Then, the instructor came in and had everyone shift directions and we became the front row. Packed as tight as sardines, Josh sweated and grunted through downward facing dogs, half pigeons, and extended triangles. Meanwhile, the soft-spoken yoga instructor walked around the room telling everyone to send their energy to the person that they are dedicating their practice to.

    After 60 minutes of Josh contorting his body in ways it has never been,and having strangers accidentally touching him, he came out of the room with his face beet red and his entire body drenched in sweat. Surprisingly, he had a big smile on his face. I asked him what he was smiling about and he said, "I dedicated my practice to the dark lord; I sent all my energy to hell so I could escape."

    This might not come across as funny through the written word but when I heard him say that I busted out laughing. First of all, his comment was completely unexpected. I knew he was joking but it was hilarious because their were moments when the music, heavy breathing, and "send your energy" sounded "cult like". It is crazy how for yoga can be completely enjoyable and relaxing for me and pure hell for Josh. I won't ever twist his arm to come with me again, but I will continue to push him to do yoga in the comfort of his own home!

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  3. The benefits of yoga are definitely there. But yes, in groups it can be a little too much for us less dedicated to the "spirituality" of it all. Honestly, a lot of sports are considered a "boys club"... I have to say I believe Yoga is the "girls club" for sure! lol.

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  4. I had a similar experience last year! I was 165#s, a far cry from the 125#s I was 6-7 years ago (when I was last active), and decided to start "running". Turns out when you start using a body that is not used to being used with a bunch of extra weight on it, shit starts to break! Who knew!? ;) My knee ended up in an immobilizer for 2 weeks last January, and I trained with a brace for at least 4-5 months afterward. I also started to focus on conditioning my "broken" bits, my hips, my back, my knees - all things I had to work on and I found power yoga to be a great solution. I'm really not into the "crunchy", granola, meditating stuff, and I'd never be able to make it through a regular yoga class (I also have no desire to be in a room with a bunch of women I'd have to talk to, hah)… But power yoga in my home in front of the TV made a HUGE difference. Found myself running braceless by summer, and very rarely feeling any discomfort in my usual spots. In fact, I'm about to start up with that again this week, as I've been on a big break since October and I need to whip myself back into shape for RnR DC, woo!

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    1. Let me know how that goes! So far I've been doing just a little yoga and foam rolling the night before a long run or a decent tempo run and it's seems to really help. Of course, it could just be psychological but who knows.... I'll keep trying and see where it takes me! Good luck in DC! Keep me posted on your RnR endeavors and we'll meet up triumphantly in Montreal!!!

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  5. laughed at farting in the class - have heard "girls" do it too.

    I'm finding glute & vmo strengthening along with foam roller (lots of) & stretching out hip flexors are sorting out my IT band issues.

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    1. Hip Flexors and IT Band has been my biggest problems since the beginning. Of course, they're also the most common it seems. Yoga and foam rolling has defnitley helped me in these areas. I need to do more "glute" work... mostly b/c I need to "fill out" my swim trunks this summer... ;-)

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    2. hahaha as my PT says, everyone wants a bigger butt these days!!!

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