So, let’s talk yoga. Is it more than just fancy stretching? Is it valid exercise? As a teenager, I must make sure that everything I do is totally worth my time (because I could just be in bed watching Gossip Girl on Netflix). Raquel and I took the risk and decided to take a class together, so that we could answer these questions for you (you should really thank us, ‘cause you know, we changed out of our pajamas for this). We researched it a bit and decided upon Yoga Loft MB, a small studio with a view of the beach. Trying to find the easiest class possible, we selected the Yoga Basics class taught by Susan Nece.
Here’s what we learned from the experience:
Basic yoga is just stretching. Stretching for an hour is not exciting in any way whatsoever – especially when the stretches are stuff like laying down like a scarecrow and lifting your elbows off the ground (yawn). Around 40 minutes in, I checked the clock to see if we were close to being done. I then check again every two minutes, hoping that by some magical force time had sped up. (And the instructor ran the session for an extra 15 minutes, so I was incredibly bored by the time it ended.)
There are a lot of middle aged women in these classes, and I didn’t understand any of the jokes the instructor made about them. They were adults, after all; who ever understands a thing they say? I also didn’t always understand what the instructor meant when she was telling us what to do (like, how do I hitchhike to the floor?).
The whole concentrating on your breath thing is just weird. I don’t get it. I am a teenager, so I am automatically not open to things that seem weird, but I really did try to be open about this, and it just was not working for me. The instructor talked about it for a bit, but really to my brain it was just “Breath, yada yada yada, inhale, breathing is good blah blah blah.”
Somehow, even though it literally felt like I was laying there doing absolutely nothing, I came out of the session tired. So maybe yoga is good exercise. For certain types of people. I am really not one of them. I much prefer active exercise to this. Sports trump yoga any day. Mainly because, I need some kind of reason or purpose for what I am doing (this is also the reason I could never run cross country or anything. Also because, you know, it’s cross country.) I am definitely a competitive person, and I like to know that the exercise I’m doing isn’t just to stay in shape and be healthy (although, don’t get me wrong, those are great). I want to win though. Winning is maybe my favorite hobby. And you can’t win yoga. However, I do realize that not all teenagers feel this way (even though I totally don’t understand why), and yoga could be a solution for them.
Overall, I think I will make an effort to stretch more after realizing how inflexible I was (it was seriously bad), but I do not think I will make yoga a frequent thing.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas you have for future columns!