I’ve gone to yoga a few times. I hated it. Every time. At my last attempt, at my current gym, the instructor told me I am way too young to be so tense. Well, yeah.
I found yoga boring. I found it long. Time seemed to stand still in the 90 minute classes, each pose lasting forever. The poses were difficult for me. I am not at all flexible and I just hated it!
And then my daily Vital Juice newsletter presented a special offer — 2 free yoga classes at The Fierce Club. The VJD description was intriguing:
The atmosphere here is laid-back and boisterous compared to more traditional studios. Still, you’ll get a no-nonsense workout. Their Core Strength Vinyasa class combines cardio and muscle toning with an emphasis on firming your middle.
Missy and I decided to try it out last night. Our instructor was Sadie, one of the co-owners. From the website:
If you get bored easily in yoga class, want an incredible workout and are adventurous, whatever your level, this class is for you! Sadie will expand your edge without pushing you over it, with a vigorous, core-centered and creative flow. You’ll sweat, tone, sculpt and burn calories, all without becoming overwhelmed. But you will leave stronger, more lean, flexible and ready to face the day head on. She plays the music you might have on your ipod rather than purely “yoga” sounds, and to this rock and roll soundtrack, you’ll move, play, laugh and learn an incredible amount of the alignment and anatomy in your poses.
Hmmmm let’s see. Get bored easily in yoga? Check! Want an incredible workout? Check! Want to sweat, tone, scuplt and burn calories without being overwhelmed? CHECK! It appeared this class was designed specifically for me.
As soon as you walk in, you’re in the studio. I walked in and told them I read about the free classes on Vital Juice and Shannon, the other co-worker, was sitting there and exclaimed, “We love Vital Juicers!” She was extremely friendly and introduced herself. The guy at the desk was great as well, and explained where I could find the mat and the changing rooms. I got ready and was relieved when Missy arrived. I reserved spots for us and then went up to Sadie to tell her we are new and have no idea what we are doing. I also told her that I am not flexible and that I have taken yoga classes and hated it.
She said, “I used to hate yoga, too, until I developed my own style! Don’t worry — even if you hate this, at least you’ll get a really great workout!” I loved that. So friendly, so open. She understood what I didn’t like about yoga, which is pretty unusual for a yoga instructor! She had Missy and I move up to be closer to her so she could correct us and assist when we needed it.
The class began and we started with abs. It BURNED. So much that when it came time to do a plank my abs were on fire! The class flowed quickly after that as we moved from one pose to the next. None of the poses were strange or boring — they were all strength exercises. They involved holding our bodies up with our arms and supporting ourselves with our core. If a pose was particularly challenging, it wasn’t a big deal since we moved on to the next very quickly. It was tough on the arms, the thighs, the abs. I was sweating.
It really felt more like a strength class than a yoga class. It was nonstop, the music was awesome, and it was a real challenge. I was surprised by how well I did — I was able to do most of the poses! One of the more advanced moves we did was almost impossible until Sadie came and helped; I was shocked to see I was doing it!
My arms burned most at the end of the class, when we did two sets of these 20 jump things, with only our arms to hold us up. By the last 5 in each set I could barely do it, my arms were worked so hard! When they claim to give you more of a workout in 60 minutes than other yoga classes give in 90, they weren’t joking.
And you can all get a free class at The Fierce Club too! Just click here.
The class was incredible and unlike anything I have taken before. I have another free session to use, but there is one caveat — the class brought out my shoulder injury. You must all think I am a big complainer and all I do is talk about what hurts me. But for some reason these things just happen to me.
My shoulder story
One morning a few months ago I felt a sharp, intense pain in my left shoulder. I figured I must have slept funny on it. But it continued to hurt. I experienced that same sharp pain every time I bent my arm back to put on my coat or put on my scarf. It happened if I leaned on my arm. It happend if I turned to the left. I ignored it, thinking it would go away, but after a month it was clear it wasn’t going anywhere.
I went to an orthopedist and he sent me for an MRI. The MRI revealed that I had bone marrow edema in my shoulder. “You must have gotten it from lifting weights,” the doctor said. Nice theory, except that I had never lifted weights. “It seems like post-traumatic osteomitis,” the doctor said. Nice theory, except that I experienced no trauma. So basically I had this shoulder injury called bone marrow edema with no known cause. The orthopedist sent me where all orthopedists send me — physical therapy.
I went for a couple months and then stopped. By this time, the sharp pains had ended and I was left with a constant, dull pain. We did nothing in physical therapy that I couldn’t do on my own. My left shoulder feels very different from my right. I am always aware that it is not as it should be. I feel a tightness all the time. I can’t sleep on my left side — it hurts so much to lay down on that side. I often feel pain but not that initial sharp pain. But I always feel a throbbing. And it hurts. I figured it was just something else I would have to live with — like my knee, like my stomach.
I felt sad and defeated as I mentally made a list of the exercises I can not currently do because of my injuries: running, spinning, yoga, stairmill, possibly elliptical. Sigh. I am just trying to be active and do good things for my body. Is that so much to ask!
Back to Yesterday
I was so focused on my knee yesterday that I completely forgot about my shoulder. I didn’t even think to tell Sadie about it. During class when the pains started I knew I had messed up, but I wanted desperately to continue with the class and get as much out of it as I could. But I felt the pull, I felt the pain, I knew that the class was making my shoulder worse.
I finished the class (trying to put more weight on my right side when I could) but feeling like I really hurt myself. At the same time, I loved the class and was excited and happy about it, wishing I could do it again but knowing that my shoulder wouldn’t let me. I went to talk to Sadie and I told her how great the class was — and how I reignited an old shoulder injury. I sadly admitted I didn’t think I could come back for another class.
“You should have told me before the class that you had an injury!” Sadie exclaimed. “I know,” I said, “But I forgot all about it until the pain started!” Sadie understood. She said that next time I take class, to tell her first about my shoulder and she can help me with poses that will put more strain on my arms (as I think I was supposed to be doing in this class) and less on my shoulders. She told me that there are definitely ways I can avoid straining my shoulders in her class.
Today when I go to the doctor about my knee I will tell him about my shoulder. I got my MRI at the hospital where he works, so he should be able to see the report. Maybe he will have something new to say about my condition. I was even thinking it was a good thing yoga hurt my shoulder because I might have forgotten to mention it to the new doctor otherwise. I am curious to hear what he says about both my knee and my shoulder — fingers crossed!
In happier news, I LOVE my new doormat! Here is a picture of me standing on my new mat. No, i didn’t put it out yet!
Andrea loves her doormat as well! And she took cuter pictures! Of course, Logan is adorable. But I didn’t think to hold my mat up like that, I was so intent on it being on the floor. Haha.
Another big thanks to Coco Mats ‘N More for their generosity!