I was nervous.
The kind of nervous before your first-ever CrossFit workout, or before doing “Fran”, or before doing any thing you’ve never really done before.
And this was yoga people!
YoStrong to be exact.
Otherwise defined as: Yoga with weights.
I thought so too.
After all, if there is ANY mentality an individual who has done CrossFit has, it is…I can do anything.
Often times a funny saying in the gym is “Your warm-up is our workout.”
And clichés aside, it can be easy to believe that to be the case after having endured and fought through handfuls of tough Hero WODs and daily challenges—whatever the whiteboard, or now, my daily strength & conditioning program reads.
Yet, nonetheless, this month, I’ve set out to embark on an adventure into exploring various types of fitness—outside my comfort zone, outside my ‘rut’ so to speak to, in essence, practice what I preach:
Moving for the joy of movement! Trying new things. Finding what moves you! Variety is the spice of life!
This is a completely new adventure for myself, as over the past several years, I’ve grown to know and love a somewhat similar routine and style of training.
While my current routine is 100% different than the former way of life I had in my eating disorder (wherein I stepped 3-4 hours of my life away on StairMaster’s, and was enslaved to another 2-3 hours of various bikini-body challenge routines and ‘hot bod’ workouts, found in the pages of girly fitness magazines—day in and day out)…I continue to believe that variety is the spice of life; and given we were blessed with arms and legs and hearts and/or lungs to breathe—why not use those gifts for the joy of it and self-care (mentally and physically)?!
Hints: My yoga + weights encounter.
I love lifting weights. I love feeling strong. I love not caring what I look like in the mirror, and looking more inward to dig deep. I love finding new capabilities I did not think were possible. I love a great sweat.
So when I heard about YoStrong, I knew I had to check it out as my first stop in my new adventure of trying new things one day per week to mix it up.
Wanderlust is the studio to see and be seen if you are a yogi in Austin (at least one of them).
Quite honestly, I’ve done yoga a handful of times in Austin, however, yoga has more or less been a ‘forced’ therapeutic practice for myself as something I believe I ‘should’ do…but not something I necessarily ‘love’ doing (#I’mTheAnnoyingGirlWhoChecksTheTimeOnHerPhoneInYogaClass).
Blame it on the years I spent in and out of treatment for an eating disorder wherein yoga was the only mode of fitness that was seemingly ‘allowed’, ‘acceptable’, ‘healing’, and wherein yoga groups were spent primarily in the “Savasana” (shah-VAHS-uh-nuh) pose (i.e. ‘Corpse pose’) breathing deeply and being still-very still.
In other words: It put a jaded vision in my head.
Putting my pre-conceived notions aside though, this week, for my Workout Wednesday post, I decided to check out the class everyone, both in and outside of the yoga community, rants and raves about.
Back to the scene: Butterflies.
10:30 a.m. Sunday morning, I was running ‘right on time’ (i.e. about 5-minutes late Lauryn time) and stepped in to a “moderately” heated room (i.e. a HOT 90+ degrees!) where yoga mats were strewn across the floor, and a warm-up of sun-salutations was flowing.
Gustavo, the man when it comes to “the best, most awesome yoga teachers to follow” here in town was leading the show.
A young guy in his 20’s, if there is one thing that he is passionate about, it is: teaching yoga. I had taken a handful of his regular flow-style classes at other studios in town, and knew, no matter what the next hour held in store, I was in good hands.
As soon as the fifth or sixth sun salutation (down dog, up dog, etc.) was complete, the music picked up, and all 17-something number of us class attendees were ‘in it’ to win it, beginning with…high-knees and weighted squats.
30-seconds of high-knees + 10 squats
30-seconds of high-knees + 8 squats
30-seconds of high-knees + 6 squats
And so on.
Once that set was complete, it was back to up dogs and down dogs, and then back up on our feet:
30-seconds of mountain climbers + 10 pushups
30-seconds of mountain climbers + 8 pushups
On down the line…
Breaking a bit of a sweat…back to down dogs and up dogs…
Then, things began to pick up!
Picking up our 3-5 lbs. dumbbells (yes “light weight”), things got tough fast as we were instructed to lunge forward, complete a variation of tricep, shoulder, back and bicep exercises in various balance poses (#HarderThanItSounds), intermixed with more down dogs, up dogs, side planks and so on and so forth.
“You can do it…just 10 more…5 more…” Gustavo encouraged on.
Between sets, a term that sounded a bit more familiar to me (“Burpees!”) came into play—1-minute of burpees—barefoot, sweat dripping and smiles all around…
Pure movement—and joy in movement.
The climax of the class built to 30-seconds of jumping jacks, followed by 30-seconds of wall sits for 5-rounds, and I had never heard anyone curse in yoga before until the girl next to me let some four letter word fly.
Zen? Perhaps not so much in that moment…however, with 10-15 minutes of class left, Gustavo reassured the crew it was time to bring it on down…
And so the cool down began.
Handstand inversion practice for 3-minutes of fun, pigeon poses, hamstring and hip stretches, and, of course, the end-all, be-all: Savasana pose.
Flat on my back at the end of class, being coached to reflect inward, and take nice long, deep breaths—in and out, “Honoring your body for all the work it just did, and all you are capable of doing…being kind and gentle to it. Affirm it of what you can do, and take care of it…”
If there is ONE thing about yoga that sticks out about it as a mode of fitness to add to your regime, it is the mind-body connection.
At the end of class, I was reminded that—in whatever we choose to embark on in our fitness and health journeys, the mediums of nutrition, fitness and self-care are ultimately meant to be tools for enlivening our bodies and our souls to do the greater things we are meant to do (#LivingWithAPurpose).
Your THRIVE Project this workout Wednesday?
Do something NEW this week…something outside the norm…and think about what it teaches YOU.
And if you happen to live in Austin…try YoStrong at Wanderlust.
I promise you won’t be disappointed.
2 minutes max reps of…
Back Squats (165, 115)
Box Jumps (24, 20)
Dumbbell Snatches (55, 25)
**1 min rest between movements and rounds
Every 2-minutes for 5 Sets:
– 5 Deadlifts (gradually add weight)
EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute) for 20 Min, alternating:
– 8 Pull-ups
– 8 Thrusters @ 95/65 (or Dumbbells)
Front Rack Lunge (Dumbbells or Barbell) (30-20-10 total reps)
21 Box Jumps
500 m Row (or 400 m run- about .25 miles)
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
20 Goblet Squats (Hold Weight)
30 Double-Unders (Or 60 Single-Unders)
Buy-In: 500 m Row (or 400-meter sprint)
Cash-Out: 500 m Row (or 400-meter sprint)