• TheNudieFoodies.com
  • Legalese

    Like my stuff? Hurray! Feel free to link to me. But let's talk before you borrow or reprint. You can contact me at oc2seattle@gmail.com. Creative Commons License
    OC2Seattle by OC2Seattle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Yoga Discoveries

In May I was a yoga fanatic and then . . . life interrupted. Most of my summer was spent traveling back and forth from Orange County to Seattle and back to Orange County for work. I flew nearly 18,000 miles in three months repeating a sub-2000 mile roundtrip.

I missed yoga. That said, I found myself spending my limited exercise time on less-fun and less-body-friendly activities – hello dreadmill – thinking I was maximizing my calorie burn. You see, even though I felt I was getting more toned and I was losing weight practicing yoga (and in fairness, playing tennis 2+ times per week), Sparkpeople.com and similar websites told me I was burning a lowly 200 calories per hour. Less than 1/2 a Starbucks scone. So I kept skipping yoga in favor of known, but less enjoyable, calorie burners.

Finally, Monday I got it together and headed to a 10 am yoga class. I thought it would be a good toning supplement to tennis and the dreadmill. I also decided to attempt to discover the real burn of hot hatha. With my big ol Polar watch strapped to my wrist and chest strap tucked under my sports bra I headed off. I recorded the calorie burn from both my walk to/from the yoga studio (about 1 mile) and the 1-hour class. The result? . . . .wait for it . . .

A Hell yeah! inspiring 739 calories. 587 calories from the class and 152 from the one-mile speed walk to/from my office and class. This beats tennis class by more than 200 calories for the exact same amount of time.

So guess where I’m headed today?

It’s All About the Fundamentals

Sage words of advice for our Mariners, that.  But this is not about the Mariners and how they’ve lost 7 of the 8 games I’ve seen played at Safeco Field this year.  This is about how brushing up on the basics, or learning them in the first place can help take your yoga practice up, oh about 10 or 12 notches.

The yoga studio I go to just started offering a Power Vinyasa Fundamentals class once a week.  Having been to one, count it one, power vinyasa class and falling miserably behind pretty much the entire time, I knew that if I want to mix vinyasa into my yoga routine, I needed to get up on the basics.

While hatha, which I love, focuses on flexibility, vinyasa is driven by strength.  In hatha you hold a series of poses for a really long time, in vinyasa you power through the poses in a rushing river type flow.  If I wanted to keep up with the river I needed a guide.

So off to the fundamentals class I went.  The class was a mix of yoga newbies and frequent practitioners who wanted to work on their form.  For an hour and fifteen minutes the instructor – who bears a striking resemblance to Ewan McGregor, yum – demonstrated, explained and individually corrected every student in  every pose of sun salutation. 

The class was conducted in a manner similar to dance choreography, we would learn a step and then another and then add them together. 

About 75% of the way through class – and remember the heat is on at about 103 the entire time – I was chosen to demonstrate putting all the steps together while he coached me through and corrected my form, very slowly (I’m pretty sure I was picked because I happened to be in the middle of the room).  

What this means is I got to hold high plank for like, forever and then attempt to move into low plank (I went for the modification and put my knees down) and stay there.  It also means that I was a mass of cascading sweat while being adjusted.  And let me tell you, it is disconcerting to have a hot guy put his hands on you – in a purely professional manner of course – when you’re dripping with sweat. 

It was worth it though.  I walked out of class with a corrected warrior 1, 2 and chair position and full knowledge of the poses in sun salutation.  I also got to stare at eye candy for an over an hour – not a bad way to spend part of a Sunday morning.

The morning after class I woke up and soon discovered that those planks had taken their toll – my chest and arms were sore, as in having lifted weights sore even though no weights were involved.  But that’s ok, I worked it out at hot hatha that night.