Yoga can get a bad wrap in the weight loss community. I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "I love yoga but I don't get any results from it." I can totally understand this sentiment. However, I've found that a continuous yoga practice has strengthened my mind and core in a way that no other workout has done.
I can't rely on yoga alone for dramatic weight loss in my body. However, as soon as I started practicing regularly it was like something shifted in my body and my jelly like core started to develop some strength. My posture improved. I slept better - which in turn meant better workouts and food decisions the next day. I also found yoga so healing for my soul.
While part of me loved the dynamics of boxing: the hard punches, back elbow strikes and knee to the gut type kicks. Part of me also craves the serenity of a peaceful heated room yoga class. A good flow class can take me out of my head and really relax me after a busy day at work.
The hardest part for me about yoga is focusing and settling my mind for an hour. Many teachers will tell you to forget about anything outside of the mat during class. That visual representation helps bring me back when my mind starts wandering to To Do lists, emails unanswered and laundry piling up.
When I first started practicing yoga regularly over a year ago I chose one word a month to focus on. Whenever I'd get distracted in class I'd go back to my word: Forgiveness, Strength and Peace were examples of words I selected. These words helped as my body adjusted to the awkwardness of Downward Dog, the shakiness of a plank and the misery of a yogi squat (hello tight hips).
I've done yoga in hotel rooms using my iPad and the 30 Days of Yoga series on YouTube. However, I prefer to go to a studio in person. It's easier for me to focus and separate that hour from the rest of my day. If you're just getting started, check out Groupon and the Mind Body App for first time deals at yoga studios in your city. It's a great way to check out a variety of studios and instructors and see what works for you.
In Dallas a few of my favorite studios include:
1. Uptown Yoga (photos below) www.uptownyoga.com
2. City Yoga www.cityyogadallas.com
3. The Yoga Factory www.theyogafactorytx.com