I went into the doyouyoga.com 30 Day Challenge with Erin Motz with one thought; that it would help me improve my running by increasing my flexibility, ability to relax and reduce my stress level. However, I found much more than expected.
Most of the routines included the downward facing dog position. I found this to become easier and easier to hold after a few weeks of the challenge. In week three I decided to begin expanding my cross training to include weights again and hit the pull-up bar. What I found instead of starting from scratch yet again I could actually do 6 with limited assistance. Usually every time I start over I’m double footing it on a chair and doing more leg work than back and shoulders.
I also discovered that I did not have to begin push-ups on my knees. I guess all of the sun salutations with a chaturanga actually built muscle. I honestly did not expect this. I guess in hindsight it should not have been a surprise. You just generally do not think ‘muscle’ and ‘yoga’ together. Man was I pleasantly proven wrong.
I believe a lot of people think taking a yoga class to be a waste of a good hour that they could otherwise be hitting cardio but let me be (probably not the ..) first one to tell you, I sweat buckets. Even during the shorter 30 minutes sessions I squeeze in before work.
My advice for all the disbelievers? Take a challenge like this one. It was only 10-15 minutes per day and shows you in shorter spurts that yoga is the real deal and makes an excellent complementary activity regardless of your end goal.