My sister recently learned running daily has caused the muscle to detach from her femur bone.  She will have to give up running and start physical therapy. As well she was told that yoga would be a good exercise for her to do for the next 2-3 months while she healed.  She is a runner at heart and being a yogi is secondary so her first thought was how desperate she felt not being able to exercise for a couple of months.  I see yoga as a great way to exercise and truly if you do it every day the strength you will build would be amazing.  Being in downward facing dog every day strengthening your shoulders, chest, back and stretching out your calves. I make reference to the downward facing dog because I know her yoga of choice will be hot vinyasa.  I myself
would choose Bikram and there is no downward facing dog. Actually trying different types of yoga every day would be so much fun but of course would become pricey for a college student.

She did say that I would see her in the Bikram studio again in the next couple weeks.  That was thrilling for me to hear. I know she thinks Bikram is too militant but I think she also realizes that when it comes to getting your heart rate up and feeling totally fatigued after 90 there is nothing like Bikram.  It will be interesting to see what she decides. My first thought was she would take some time off but after more thought I don’t think she has it in her to take time off from exercise and when you are use to exercise it can really mess with the psyche to not do it.  However, no matter how desperate she may become not being able to run she can do a lot more damage to herself if she just goes ahead with running so I hope she chooses yoga.

I started to think in terms of myself and how I would feel if all I could do was yoga.  A year ago I would have had an entirely different answer.  I was in a different place last year before I started Bikram yoga. I was running and working out 3 hours a day as well as taking all kinds of classes and pushing my body to extremes.  I would flare and push some more.  I loved the exercise and strength I felt but not the flare-ups. I was working out so hard to make sure my body would stay limber and just dealing with the flares when they came.  My mindset was that I was doing all this for me and I still love that rush of working hard and
pushing myself to new limits and adventures, however I have changed my thinking.

After being in yoga for a year and seeing that my body responds better to lower impact work it just makes sense for me to work out using a combination of cardio, weight training and flexibility training.  I like all 3 aspects but I love Bikram yoga. I feel like I have been running or swimming or been on the elliptical because my heart rate is up and I’m sweaty as can be. I feel like I have worked every muscle and joint in my body and
done so without pain during or after.  There is something to be said for being able to push your body to extremes without pain.  Every practice is different so even after a year I don’t feel like my body is getting use to the exercises like it does when I use the elliptical day after day.  I am able to press harder into poses or
hold poses long so I’m always striving for more. 

There may come a time in my life where impact on my joints and muscles just won’t be feasible any longer and when that happens I will be ready to face yoga daily head on.  Until that day comes I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing but fit in a yoga challenge in this summer.


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