Here’s the thing, I know that strength training is HUGELY beneficial and that you’re supposed to get at least 2 sessions in per week, but weight-lifting is very, very, very boring to me and I’m remedial at it at best. So I’ve been checking off my weekly strength sessions via pilates, which I love. But since I’ve been doing it for over a year, I need to shake things up. So when I jumped on-board Amanda’s 3 Changes Challenge one of my challenges was to do one non-pilates strength session per week.
Enter Power Vinyasa – caliente. My first tangle with hot yoga was in Vancouver during Jim’s and my Olympic adventure. I engaged in 3 one-hour hot hatha sessions during my week in Vancouver and became addicted to how it stretched me out and took all the aches and pains away. I had been meaning to check out Urban Yoga Spa in downtown Seattle for a while, so when a tennis buddy said she was interested and with the 3 Changes Challenge in mind, I figured no time like the present.
Our first two sessions were both hot hatha style, focusing on flexibility and balance. The first was a Sunday 1 1/2 hour test of endurance. I felt a bit dizzy twice but made it through the entire session and felt revitalized afterwards. I did however, pull a rookie maneuver and overstretched my hamstrings – ouch! Our second session was last night – hot hatha hour – for the after-work crew. Packed, a bit faster, a bit more challenging, but still a super flexibility workout and no downward-dog in site.
This morning, it was time to add some power – Power Vinyasa that is. One hour focusing on strength and balance in a hot, hot, hot room. I woke up at the unearthly hour of 6am (this is a big deal for me people, my alarm usually goes off around 7:30 and I roll begrudgingly out of bed at 8 – luckily I set my own work hours or I would be in serious trouble). In 30 minutes, I rushed to get dressed, brush my teeth, make my lunch, grab my 18 bags of stuff for the studio and the office, and drive downtown. 5 minutes before class time, my mat was rolled out, my lululemon mat towel was rolled out and I was stretching and hydrating. Then the games began.
Power Vinyasa is fast. So if it’s your first time, be prepared to fall behind, and you know what? That’s totally cool. Everyone really is focused on their individual practice and there’s no judging going on (I don’t think). We moved from forward folds, to backbends, to downward dogs, to planks, to side planks, to an amazing number of warrior twos, to chatterundas and back again (not necessarily in that order). Our tree poses went straight into flying something or others and when we headed down to our mats for the calmer portion of the class 1/2 of a pilates stomach series was snuck in. By the end of the class, I had reaffirmed that yes, yoga can be a serious strength workout. I also felt energized and relaxed at the same time!
Extra bonus, I was showered, dressed, make-up on, hair done and out of the locker room in 30 minutes, 1/2 my usual time at home. I rolled into the office at 8:59 am, a record. Hmmm . . . I think this could become my new Tues/Thurs ritual.
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