After the marathon, I figured it’d be good to spend my exercise time doing something a little less extreme to my body. In my eyes, there really isn’t anything that puts less stress on your body than yoga so I decided it was time to give yoga another try. I challenged myself to a week where I went to a CorePower Yoga (CPY) class every day (which is convenient, since CPY offers a free week of Yoga).
CPY has a cult following on campus primarily populated by girls in other sororities so I decided it was time to claim a spot for mine. I recruited my sisters that stuck around for the summer, got them to sign up for the free week, and dragged them with me.
I really try to exercise before work, and luckily my studio is only a couple blocks from my apartment. To come with me, these awesome women had to get up way earlier and get their butts to the studio for 6 am class several times (even over the 4th).
Day 1: I’m not Flexible
I took a couple days off from moving while my body recovered from the fresh hell of running that marathon before starting my week at CPY.
CPY has a range of classes and I decided to start off easy with C1, their most basic class. Although it wasn’t super hard, my legs threatened to cramp a couple of times. I powered through and it was a nice, easy way to start moving again.
Shannon and Emma came with me for this class. It was so nice to have friends for this class because often I was unsure of what I was doing.
Day 2: TGIM(aya)
Day 1 was a joke compared to Day 2. I have a pretty limited schedule during the week with work and the only class I could make that day was the 6 am Yoga Sculpt. My wonderful big, Maya, came with me to this one (bless her for getting up so early).
Sculpt is a high energy class with weights and cardio. My body was not ready for that level of stress, but my soul was. I love high energy classes, especially in the morning.
When you’re running, you’re the only one there pushing yourself to go faster. Having a class with a teacher telling you what to do and motivating you to work harder was refreshing.
Day 3: The World Doesn’t Revolve Around Me?
I missed the 6 am class because I slept in, so I tried getting home from work early enough for the 5:30 pm class. I also tried to catch one of the Summer Warrior classes outside. After nearly two hours of commute time, I missed both classes.
I took for granted that running only depends on my schedule. Having to attend classes at certain times was an additional consideration for my planning that was frustrating to incorporate after being so spoiled.
Day 4: Is That What I Look Like?
In peak blogger style, I woke up at 8 and went straight to my 75 minute C1 class. It was identical to the C1 class I went to on Day 1, but this time I wasn’t in pain.
This was the first time that I really took time to look at my form. Although I wouldn’t consider myself particularly self conscious of my body, I was uncomfortable having to look at my body so directly. This was pretty stressful for me since I wasn’t as flexible as most of the other people in the class and was so clearly confronted with the limits of my body.
Running doesn’t have mirrors and I like that about it. Sure, other people might be on the same path, but if they pass me, usually they’re out of sight before I can think too hard about it.
After class, I got a smoothie at the health food store across the street, which I drank while doing my grocery shopping for the week at Whole Foods. I was living the life I believe my inner yoga goddess was meant to live.
Day 5: Savage the Body
My big slept over on Saturday night and I dragged her and my twin to a 75 minute Yoga Sculpt class at 8 am. At CPY, teachers generally offer up an intention for us to focus on during class. This teacher offered up the intention to “Challenge the mind, but savage the body,” which is a phrase loosely based on a samurai warrior quote.
This was a completely different beast from the sculpt class Maya and I had taken a couple days earlier.
The teacher started the class by saying that the survivor workout (for when you just can’t do it anymore) was squats. This was like the previous class on steroids and I loved every minute of it.
Since the class was 75 minutes, there was 3 sets of cardio. Doing all that cardio, I felt strong and powerful because my body was finally recovering from the marathon. I left the class a little sore, but filled with energy and ready to tackle the day.
Day 6: Everything Hurts
I got to work from home since it was so close to the fourth, so I decided to catch my final C1 class. It was a different teacher so I figured it would be a little different, but it was almost identical to the previous two C1 classes I had taken.
CPY also offers a C2 class, which is a more advanced version of C1, and Hot Power Fusion, which is like a C2 class, but with the temperature near 100 degrees. Although I wasn’t able to make any of those classes, many of my friends rave about them.
During this class, I could feel the soreness from the day before, but I also could feel myself succeeding where I had struggled the first day. I built up some shoulder strength from all those downward dogs I had done all week.
Day 7: Tuesdays are for the [Girls]
I woke up early on the 4th to get a class in before all the parties. This was the first all female class I took (it wasn’t explicitly labeled for women, but only women came that morning), and it was freeing.
I had taken the two previous Sculpt classes in my sports bra, but both times I had been self conscious. This time I felt completely comfortable (although I don’t know that I should blame it on the lack of men or just my getting used to seeing my sports bra-clad body in the mirrors).
It was a great class, and even though I was still tired from the previous sculpt classes, it was a nice way to end the week.
Although CPY was an awesome way to recover from the marathon without injuring myself, I cannot wait to get back out running (without mirrors and schedules). I think I will make at least Sculpt classes a part of my weekly exercise plan because it works muscles that aren’t covered with running or in my lifting regimen. (I already went back for a 90 minute sculpt class!)
Are you a runner that does yoga regularly? Do you love yoga? What other kinds of exercise should I try?