Yoga Plus – the good, the bad, and the sweaty

Yoga Plus – the good, the bad, and the sweaty

Hello, my name is Heather, I am a runner, and I have ZERO upper body strength. I run and I run (sometimes adding swimming, yoga, and cycling, just for variety), but admittedly, I haven’t ever truly focused on building my upper body strength.

The first step to moving forward is admitting you have a problem right?

During the Hot Chocolate 15k last weekend, I really noticed that my arms and shoulders were getting tired way sooner than my legs were. While my legs were still tired, by the end of the race, my upper body and core were more fatigued than I’d like them to be.

Enter Yoga Plus. I’d seen signs posted at my yoga studio about it, and after reading the description on their website, I decided to give it a try.

If you, like me, are not familiar with Yoga Plus, it’s a combination of vinyasa yoga, pilates, and HIIT in a one hour class.

Since it was my first time in class, I tried to follow along with what everyone else in the studio was doing before class started – so, I grabbed two different seemingly small dumbells (2lbs and 3lbs) and a yoga block.

The class started out with a flow of different poses to get us warmed up – I was already sweating profusely after the first set of these poses, so I guess you could say I was warmed up 😛

The rest of the class built on these poses, adding weights and additional squats and planks throughout. The high intensity and energy in the studio was definitely different from the relaxing bikram that I’m used to (although I was just as sweaty).

Each of the poses was focused on balance and maintaining a strong core, while also targeting a specific muscle group. We rotated from lower back, to legs, to upper back, to arms, and back again.

We were moving the entire class, and my jello arms were struggling through every push up. There’s nothing like shaky arms to make you realize just how weak you are, haha.

Those “small” weights that I picked up at the beginning of class? Yeah, they didn’t feel so small by the end of class.

BUT, like a hard run, my tired muscles (and the awesome endorphin rush) made me want to do it all over again. And, you know, not wanting spaghetti arms, haha!

What do you do to help strengthen your core/upper body?

Do you do pilates, yoga or some combination of something else?