When I heard “yoga” my mind would always go to a stereotypical image of people listening to music and chanting. I thought, and I got this from a yoga myths website, people who did yoga were “hippy-dippy, woo-woo, tree-hugging flower children.” I would scoff at the thought of yoga being a form of exercise. I like to take pride in the difficulties of my workouts so why would I ever consider doing something like yoga? Boy, was I wrong! (I am noticing a pattern in my posts. Me, skeptical. Try something and love it. This is why my wife gets headaches from rolling her eyes so much.)
I am not sure who finally convinced me to try yoga, but this time I don’t think it was my wife. To ease my ignorant brain, I found a “power yoga” video. I tried it and found out it was not so bad. I actually broke a sweat and was even a bit sore the next day.
I did not add yoga into my regular workout rotation at that time. A few years later, however, I started getting serious about competing in triathlons. I realized I needed a rest from training for a week before my triathlons; after putting my muscles through the stress of training, they needed to ease back on the workload to be at their best for the race. Being the stubborn mule that I am, easing back on workload could not be taking extra days off without workouts, so I thought about yoga. I tried doing my power yoga video two days before the race. My body felt great on race day! My legs were limber and not tired, and I felt that my performance was greatly improved.
Ever since that first time of trying yoga before a race, I have been hooked. My favorite part of my race-week taper is my yoga session. I spend weeks breaking down my legs during my regular training, and yoga is a big part of helping me recover and be ready to race. While I always like to tinker and adjust my workouts, my pre-race yoga is something that will remain a permanent fixture. Yoga is a great way to get a overworked body feeling great again. Speaking from experience.