Really, really didn’t like it.
I was working in a high end health club in Denver, managing their Pilates and PT programs. It was 2004 and I had never done a yoga class. One of my fellow Pilates instructors raved about yoga and recommended I take a class. So I did.
I figured I MUST be missing something, because so many people loved yoga so much. So I took a class again.
I mean, if I wanted a nap at the end of my workout, I would just go home and take a nap, right?
And that’s where I stayed for another four years.
Then a good friend of mine in Hawaii opened her own studio and I wanted to support her first day of classes. I walked in on a Sunday morning ready to feel bored and kind of annoyed with the whole thing.
Oh, was I wrong.
I LOVED it. Seriously and fully LOVED it. I started going once a week to regular classes and took workshops when I could. I attended Wanderlust and started incorporating yoga moves into my Pilates classes. I was hooked. The end.
I think there are many factors that changed between my “This is seriously so boring” yoga phase and “I can’t get enough” yoga phase.
1) I was ready for something new. In 2004 I had only been teaching Pilates a couple years and was suddenly managing an entire department and teaching 13 classes a week. I barely had enough brain space for myself much less something else. When I took Leah’s class later on, my life was different. I was in a comfortable place with my own teaching. My husband had taken up kite surfing and I was looking for something to challenge me and feed me the way kiting was for him. Something new that I could be a student of. Something that would push me and where I wouldn’t have to think about anything but just doing the exercise. I also was starting to learn more about the spiritual side of being an instructor and how it works with the healing process, so I enjoyed the spiritual aspect. It came at the perfect time in my life.
2) I had done Pilates long enough that I felt safe and comfortable in my body. Yoga isn’t easy, folks. Especially some of the vinyasa flow classes I was attempting to do. Ten years ago when I first attempted dancer or wheel pose (extreme spinal extension) I hated it because I couldn’t do it. I didn’t get it. It hurt and didn’t seem to have any purpose. When I was more confident in my ability and strong in my core and hips, I could support those poses and start to have more fun in them. I was able to do them correctly so I could feel them more effectively. I truly believe that Pilates is what allowed me to be a student of yoga in a safe and fun way.
3) I took and continue to take the classes I love. My first instructors (shout out to Leah Distad and Jenn Perell, my heroes!) spoiled me with their amazing classes. They were combinations of inspiration, workout challenge, shaking poses, upbeat music and fun. As with any other fitness class, I’ve been to yoga classes that gave me no inspiration whatsoever. Life is just too short for boring or unmotivating workouts. I know now what I enjoy in a class, and I stick with it. I’m happy to try new things, but I know to look for vinyasa flow or power yoga. I know I don’t enjoy heated yoga. I know I am ok with an Ashtanga class, but not so much a Kundalini class. This comes with time, but the important thing to remember is to find a space that is comfortable for you and motivates you.
What I find myself doing most often is combining my favorite parts about yoga and Pilates into a Pilates Yoga Fusion Workout routine that just makes me feel good! I love my separate Pilates and yoga classes, but when I just want to jump on my mat and have some fun, I tend to merge the two.
For those of you who might be new to yoga, new to Pilates, or just kind of bored with your workouts, try this Pilates Yoga Fusion Workout!
If you don’t like yoga or don’t like Pilates, that is ok, too! Try it out and see if you like the combo. There is no rule in the world you need to like yoga or Pilates. I just ask that you try it out periodically :).
It’s a 20 minute exercise routine that combines the core stabilization and movement of Pilates with the flow and traditional poses of vinyasa style yoga. It will tone, strengthen, stretch and open your body in some new and fun ways!
As always, check with your doctor before making any changes to your fitness routine. Stop if you feel any pain. Thank you!