Jesse Jones will try just about any physical activity, as long as it’s not too close to an actual sport. He shares some thoughts on yoga’s benefits.
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I’ll admit it: I was never remotely interested in sport.
With my work these days involving a bit of sports reporting, even getting myself up to speed on the difference between AFL and, um, the other football has been a steep learning curve.
I’ve tried a few different fitness alternatives, and one that’s been engaging me for a while is yoga.
It’s a good workout that combines strength and cardio, without feeling at all like a boring gym session.
The particular yoga studio I go to is very chill about welcoming people of all levels and abilities, which is perfect for someone like me, since I don’t have a lot of coordination, or balance, or stamina (come to think of it, maybe I should be hitting the gym as well after all).
I’ve been doing yoga on and off for a few years.
If I’m feeling pretty energetic and optimistic I sometimes head to an intermediate class, but usually regret it about halfway through, when everyone else starts doing fancy moves like handstands.
Even after all this time, I’m kind of a klutz, and the beginners class is still the best place for me.
Someone recently asked me after a class if it had been my first time. Obviously I said yes, before slinking away.
I do get a lot out of yoga. It’s excellent for building strength and flexibility, and keeping away much of the muscle tension that can lead to headaches and other post-30 aches and pains.
I’m usually juggling about a dozen tasks and projects at any given time, so yoga is also a really great way for me to practise some enforced mindfulness and meditation during my day.
Not a lot of other men seem to come to the classes, and those who do are rarely wearing leggings like I would appreciate, but I suppose that’s better for keeping me focused on the teacher.
My very favourite thing, which gets me to class more often, has been discovering yin yoga.
This is a deep stretch style of practice, and the class involves holding passive poses on the floor for five or ten minutes each. It’s ridiculously relaxing.
I’m not sure if you’re meant to take a little nap but I usually do. I hope I don’t snore.
If you’re interested in yoga but don’t see yourself doing the splits or standing on your head, I recommend checking out some beginner classes or even online videos.
There are plenty of nice easy poses such as corpse pose (having a little lie down) and queen’s pose (having a little lie down but with pillows) to get you started.
Be warned though – once you get into some of the stretchier poses, doing things like hugging your knees up to your chest or bending to touch your toes, there are occasionally… consequences. Someone will fart, is what I’m saying.
Good yoga etiquette is to pretend you didn’t hear anything.