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How has yoga changed your body? (Life?)

(81 Posts)
CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jul-15 10:44:29

I have no more knee pain smile

My back has straightened & the stooped shoulders have disappeared.

Arms are toned and muscles have appeared shock

I thought not being able to run anymore meant that I would go round and weak, but yoga picked up the pieces smile

stevienickstophat Sun 19-Jul-15 10:45:24

What type of yoga are you doing and how long did it take to see the changes?

DunelmDoris Sun 19-Jul-15 10:48:26

I'm fat and love running but would like to fit yoga into my life. My knees don't like it when I run too much Just don't know where to start.

daisychain01 Sun 19-Jul-15 10:49:11

It has changed my mental attitude to life as much as it has my physical balance and posture. I can't actually remember my life without yoga in it!

Every week, the things my yoga teacher says are a new discovery,and a lesson of some description.

CrockedPot Sun 19-Jul-15 10:54:05

Itv has improved my back problems considerably, and given me much greater flexibility. As someone else has said, the mental benefits are just as good...I feel immeasurably calmer and more focused when I am practising diligently.

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jul-15 10:54:52

I've been doing Vinyasa, which is similarly-paced to Ashtanga (breathe in: one position, breathe out: another position, etc) but not as rigid re sequences of movements.

It's been less than a year. Changes were gradual but I think my knee started feeling much better within a month. In three months, I was wearing ski clothes that were too tight the previous year. Shoulder blades went down and in within 6 months.

I would really recommend it. Physically quite demanding but not impossible to do even with dodgy knees like mine.

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jul-15 11:01:45

Dunelm - Just find a yoga studio near you and try a class. Maybe start with a Hatha Yoga class and if you find that too slow (as is quite possible, since you are use to the pace of running) you can try a beginner-level Vinyasa or Ashtanga class.

stevienickstophat Sun 19-Jul-15 11:04:45

How many times a week do you practise?

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jul-15 11:09:59

I've been going to yoga classes twice a week. I know people who go more often, but my poor old body needs time to recuperate.

I have a rather infrequent and very light home practice as well, but I doubt if that has helped shaped my body much. It does help me calm down and focus, though.

JimmyCorkhill Sun 19-Jul-15 11:16:21

I want to start yoga. I'm quite spoiled for choice when it comes to classes in my area. I am drawn towards a pricey beginners course at a yoga studio but they also do classes at my gym or in the local church hall. I have this mindset that if it is more expensive/in a proper environment it is therefore a superior experience. Is this nonsense? Would the church hall class be just as effective?

ShootTheMoon Sun 19-Jul-15 11:31:51

I've been doing yoga on and off for 15 years. I have a sense of calm and control which has been valuable in terms of learning to manage my natural introversion when necessary. The yoga was incredibly helpful with the birth of DC1 - with strength, positioning, breathing, and calm, and also some fabulous ante-natal yoga classes which helped to prepare me mentally.

I don't do nearly enough at the moment but a proper yoga retreat is on my list of things to do before my next big birthday. I'm so envious of a friend who can access daily yoga classes during her work lunch! She's more toned and balanced than she's ever been before.

ShootTheMoon Sun 19-Jul-15 11:35:50

Jimmy it depends on the type of class, the teacher, and how you enjoy the class. In my experience, in a fairly rural area, gym classes have been taught by yoga-qualified fitness instructors and are much more fitness oriented. The best classes have all been with very experienced, very qualified yoga instructors, who don't teach anything else. They are involved in ongoing training, retreats, and have a holistic view rather than just a sense of basic yoga practice.

I'd do some research and look at the qualifications of the instructor.

My favourite yoga DVD btw is 'yoga for happy hips' with Eoin Finn. It's designed for athletes and not for beginners, but I enjoy the inclusion of some inversions and balances.

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jul-15 11:52:04

Jimmy - Imho a yoga class is primarily about the teacher, and you can find a very good teacher in a gym or church hall as well as a dedicated yoga studio. Try a few classes in all of these places until you find a class, teacher, and yoga style that you click with.

Once you are used to doing yoga and wish to move to more advanced classes, you might like to consider going exclusively to the yoga studio if you are not there already.

Peppapissinpig Sun 19-Jul-15 12:02:02

I do Pilates twice a week and would like to try yoga but not quite sure what difference is??

I enjoy Pilates (quite an advanced class) but can't say it's improved my general physique much.

ShootTheMoon Sun 19-Jul-15 12:08:26

I've done both Pilates and yoga and they are very different in my experience. Setting aside the long cultural history of yoga (especially outside the West), Pilates is focussed on core control and stability while yoga is focussed on breathing, flexibility, and balance.

I'm hypermobile so Pilates is much better for me, but I enjoy yoga a lot more smile. It comes down to how it's taught and of course in some settings (I'm thinking of gym classes I used to attend) there wasn't much difference at all.

ThoseAwfulCurtains Sun 19-Jul-15 12:43:34

I went from working part time and being active 4 days a week to a full time sedentary job. 2 years later I hit 50 and realised that my body was finding it more difficult to do the things I enjoy like heavy gardening, cycling, walking up mountains, jogging etc. I started to feel physically older and I didn't like it. Lifting my feet to wash them in the shower was an effort.
Luckily, there's a group of women on my street who are 20 years older than me. The women who went to yoga have aged loads better than the ones who didn't. A friend recommended an excellent studio locally so I went with her.
That was in January. I now go twice a week and it's given me my lovely strong body back. I can throw bags of compost into my trolley with ease at the garden centre. I no longer grunt when I get up from an armchair (or from cross legged on the floor). I can paint a room including ceilings all day and not be wasted for a week afterwards. It's a joy.
And I bought and wore my first bikini since I was a child last week. I looked good and felt confident.
I genuinely think one of the best health initiatives the govt could introduce would be free yoga classes for the over 50s.

JimmyCorkhill Sun 19-Jul-15 13:58:01

Thanks for letting me hijack the thread!! Those answers are just what I was looking for. I think I'll give the gym yoga a go because I think it is run by an actual yoga teacher and not one of the all round gym staff. This will give me a taste to see if I like it. Then if I do, I'll stick to my plan of asking for the beginners course at the yoga studio for my birthday present.

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jul-15 14:09:30

Re differences between Pilates and Yoga - I'm no expert but me Yoga is more about flexibility and control, whereas Pilates is more like exercise with repetitive crunches, for example.

maybemyrtle Sun 19-Jul-15 15:55:49

I feel calmer when I practice frequently. It's really increased my flexibility, core strength and balance. It's changed my view of myself and I don't compare myself to others as much or as critically: I do what I can do and that may be different to every other person in the room, but we're all exactly where we are supposed to be on that day.

Thinking about it, one of the most liberating things has been going to lots of different classes with different teachers, I worry less about doing each asana "correctly" and can concentrate more on what I need from it that day. It's opened up my mindset and practice immeasurably.

TheRealMaryMillington Sun 19-Jul-15 17:22:00

I've done yoga all my life really in different ways - my mum was into it in the 70s so I used to do it with her (like my kids do it with me now), then in my 20s and 30s I did it in a "fitness" kid of way. Did it in pregnancy and with the kids as babies but then about a 5 year hiatus until a hot yoga studio opened just down the road about 2 years ago.

My attitude to it is very different to in the past. I mainly go for my head rather than my body though my body has changed quite a bit too. It is the best stress relief I know and has totally changed my attitude to life - I am much more accepting and tolerant, especially with myself and I find myself much more able to be in the moment and enjoy life even when it is going tits up. Body wise, the arthritis in my knee doesn't bother me anymore, as my legs are much stronger, I am stronger and bendier all over, and a bit--slimmer too, I can see muscle tone where I never saw it before, even when I was a gym/circuits maniac --before the kids.

Pilates misses the point for me. I know it is good exercise, I know it strengthens your core amazingly, but it's the mental benefits that keep me going.

TheRealMaryMillington Sun 19-Jul-15 17:26:13

Those Awful Curtains - I totally agree. Since September I have been going to a free class run by the local train company aimed at promoting active living. I went because the teacher also runs family yoga which me and kids go to when we can, to support her initially but it is such a lovely class with a wonderful energy. I'm 45 but the youngest by @20 years and the other ladies who go there are so fab, getting so much out of it and it is amazing to see the progress that people are making.

tomatoplantproject Sun 19-Jul-15 17:43:27

Hot yoga has been an absolute life saver for me since I kicked out my husband 3 months after discovering his affair. I have been going at every dd-free opportunity (3+ times a week). I am getting physically stronger, toned, my posture is improving and its been helping mentally.

I've discovered which instructors I enjoy, and like a pp get different things from different styles of teaching.

My friends are saying I am looking better than ever which confidence wise is definitely helping since emotionally I'm all over the place. My arms are looking much better than they have for years.

I have a long way to go with my flexibility and in particular my hips which have been troubling me since early pregnancy (and caused a lot of pain in the latter half of my pregnancy).

I seem to have become utterly addicted to it, which is a very good thing because the alternative methods of coping would have been alcohol or food, both of which would have had very different side effects.

candlesandlight Sun 19-Jul-15 19:20:43

I do yoga and mindfulness every day...it has definitely changed me , both physically and mentally, wish I had discovered it a long time ago.

CoteDAzur Sun 19-Jul-15 20:04:33

Well done, tomato. It's great that yoga has helped you in such a difficult time, and made you stronger. Onwards and upwards smile

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Sun 19-Jul-15 20:45:58

I started Iyengar four weeks ago. I'm really stiff compared with other members of the class, but I think it's coming on. I like that the teacher explains how the poses should actually feel, and concentrates on correct alignment, which I've never seen an exercise teacher show any particular concern about before. And, of course, being qn Iyengar class, she encourages the use of blocks and other props, so that you still get a good stretch even though you can't get your head on your knees! I think it's loosening me up, although it's early days, and there's a lot I can't do because it aggravates my dodgy shoulder.
She's stopped for the summer now, so I might try some other classes - bit nervous though, in case it's too hardcore.

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