Normally, a terrible pun like the one that appears as the title of this episode and related blog post/show notes would be all Hillary’s idea. But alas, it appears her
bad influence brilliant ideas have rubbed off on AJ. (Read: Hillary is not to blame for that groanfest.)
Puns aside, it’s not a “stretch” (shut up, we’re on a roll now) to say that yoga is pretty damn good for you, as far as low-impact workouts go.
Just look at this list of benefits we totally stole from John Hopkins because they seemed reputable and shit and because it was the first Google result that came up:
- Yoga improves strength, balance and flexibility.
- Yoga helps with back pain relief.
- Yoga can ease arthritis symptoms.
- Yoga benefits heart health.
- Yoga relaxes you, to help you sleep better.
- Yoga can mean more energy and brighter moods.
- Yoga helps you manage stress.
“But AJ and Hillary,” you may say, “what’s the difference between yoga and stretching? Or yoga and Pilates? Or yoga and barre? Also, what is barre, anyway?”
Well, damn, grasshopper, aren’t you just full of lots of interesting questions, like a tired toddler coming down off a sugar high?!
OK, OK, so those are all good questions.
Stretching is usually where you try to lengthen or release one muscle or part of your body at a time. Yoga definitely has stretching elements, but it’s made up of multiple poses and generally more of a full-body exercise. Yoga can be stretching or strength training or even cardio, depending on the workout.
Yoga vs. Pilates is more nuanced. There tend to be fewer Pilates movement variations, whereas yoga has a ton of different options. And some would say yoga has more of a spiritual side to it, though that’s not always the case. Both workouts do have similar movements though.
Barre tends to have more of a cardiovascular focus than most yoga workouts.
If you’re just getting started on your “yoga journey” (no, you have to call it that. Yoga police will come for you and take away your mat if you don’t.) take it slow. You probably don’t wanna hit your mat running, so to speak, with a 90-minute hot yoga class where you’ll spend 89 minutes doing headstands. So we’ve heard. From a friend.
But the nice thing is that entry to yoga is cheap and fairly simple. A decent mat is nice but not required. And there are a ton of free resources on the interwebs, one of our favs we’ve linked to in the “More Info and Deets” section below.
What about you? Have you tried yoga? Love it? Hate it? Get Downward Dog with us in the comments!