On Sunday I completed a program called the 3 Week Yoga Retreat. Prior to starting this program, I had made it more than 30 days into a high intensity 60 day program called PiYo. PiYo is an awesome workout program that includes elements of Pilates and Yoga into fast-moving, high intensity workouts designed to build muscle, cut fat, and improve flexibility. Most people who complete a round of PiYo see their bodies get leaner and appear longer, and they certainly get stronger.
I, however, found myself forced to takes naps every Friday for a few weeks. I’m fairly certain my fatigue after a few days of PiYo workouts was because my body was transitioning away from burning carbs for energy and toward burning fat for energy. See, I had started the Autoimmune Protocol the same week I first became fatigued enough to take an extra rest day. And the following 2 weeks I had to take naps on both Fridays, and take an extra rest day or two! My body was telling me I needed to take my workouts down a few notches.
So I decided to take a break from more vigorous exercise and try the 3 Week Yoga Retreat. This is a program geared towards beginning yoga students. The first week is called “Foundation” starts off slow and gives you a solid foundation with a few basic poses. The cueing is awesome with this program and I found I didn’t have to turn my head toward the screen at all. The second week is called “Expansion”, and it builds on the first week. I found my flexibility had vastly improved by the start of Week 2, and my wrist and shoulder strength were noticeably improved from the first day. The third week is called “Progression”, and you get to try out a few more advanced poses. Each class has a specific focus, from stretching to balance to strength, but all of these areas improved with each day. The sixth and seventh days of each week include relaxation and soothing stretching routines.
I found the first 10 days or so to be extremely beneficial to my body and brain, and my normal level of energy (normal, as in before I had thyroid surgery normal) returned. Once I felt my daily energy was back, I started to get bored with the slow pace of the yoga classes. I stuck with it and continued to improve flexibility, balance, and strength. But by the end of the third week, I was eager to jump into more active workouts. I prefer high intensity workouts, and these yoga classes are low intensity. As with any yoga class, everyone has different balance, strength, and flexibility, so there are certainly some poses that are challenging in each class. For me, however, I wanted more movement and more challenge.
The good news for anyone who wants a more challenging yoga class is that Beachbody has a whole Yoga Studio section of Beachbody On Demand, and there are plenty of classes suited to any ability. The next time I feel like I need to move away from very vigorous workouts, I’ll try out some of the more advanced yoga classes. This time, I jumped back into another round of Country Heat. Today was Day 2 of 30.