Recently my doctor told me to add yoga to my regular workouts. Now, I have a fairly intense routine and I wasn't sure how or where I would find the extra time to work that in, but ok...it's not the worst doctor's order I've been given, so I decided to comply...this time. Then, another issue develops and I'm told to that I have to hold off running (and any other intense cardio) for at least a week or two. I am NOT a happy camper.
So, in place of a 'real' workout, I'm doing yoga, which quite honestly just doesn't feel challenging at all. Well, at least for the level I am at...I've taken a look at some of the advanced poses and wonder if I'll ever have the balance and coordination for that, but that's a whole different discussion.
I'm used to being reduced to a drenched, trembling kitten on the gym floor after a strength training session. And running, well, same thing. Even focused pilates provides more intensity than I experience on these beginner and intermediate poses that I'm doing. The stretching, I'm used to and I recognize the benefits immediately. The balance aspect, I can see I could use some work on. I sometimes feel like I've done nothing at all, yet the next day I find that I wake up with pleasantly sore muscles that I didn't realize were getting such a good workout.
If you're looking to add yoga into your workout, and I can now highly recommend it as part of effective cross-training, there are many options. Lots of places have classes, and those are great for having someone guide you through the poses, as it's not always that intuitive a process. I'm not a class-person, rarely do I enjoy that environment, so I've investigated other options. DVD's and YouTube videos abound, and you can probably find something you really like there.
I started with the Wii Fit yoga poses, a surprisingly effective tool and the balance board sensors will actually help you keep your center of balance correct and provide you the individualized assistance you need for some of the more basic poses.
There are also some pretty great apps for your iPhone or iPad that are free or have a minimal cost, and some of them have pretty good instructions. They're pretty great for travel to keep you on track.
This is all very nice, and I will keep this as part of my regular workout program...yet still, I can't wait to get back on the road again.