COLUMN: Some like it hot – Stretching and sweating with yoga

Here we are: it’s mid February, and my New Year’s resolution to “exercise three times a week was over about five minutes into 2013.

I decided, while dressed in my cutest Nike athletic wear, (which I purchased in the hopes of motivating myself to move more) to head out for a “brisk jog,” but then I decided that it was probably a better idea to stay home and organize my Pinterest boards instead.

I shut the door, opened my laptop and haven’t looked at that Nike outfit since. But you better believe, I’ve pinned about a hundred exercise regiments onto my board shape up as a way to compensate; I mean, just pinning about exercising is a step in the right direction, right?

I know I’m not alone in this form of unmotivated procrastination. Like many out there, time just seemed to slip away. Time that probably would have been best spent on the treadmill. Now, because of this lapse of time, I wonder if my body actually has the confidence.

Even though I am vegan, too many vegan muffins still amounts to a muffin top. I know my body needs movement and is yearning for some type of conditioning. My body’s not where I’d like it to be, and I know only I can change that.

I am 5 feet tall and currently weigh 118 pounds. I have a small frame, so for me, that’s overweight. The numbers aren’t even the problem, though. I feel unhealthy. I feel lethargic, slow and stressed too often, and get headaches all the time. This isn’t me … this is embarrassing!

My excuse for not getting out there and turning into an exercising queen is finding that the right type of exercise has always been a challenge for me.

Here’s the problem; I hate the gym. Then there’s running; my short legs don’t respond well to it.

I have not always been such an athletic pessimist. I was a dancer growing up. It was my pride and joy. It was a fun way to burn some calories while grooving to a beat. Life happened, and I haven’t been to a dance class in about six years. I miss the stretching, the moving and the flexibility that dancing brings to the body.

In an effort to find something comparable to cater to my now stressful life as an adult and working student, yoga seemed like an obvious choice for me.

I have done yoga classes here and there. I have signed up for many memberships for different studios over the last few years. I would go every day straight for about two weeks, but then I would end up just giving them money for the remainder of the membership duration.

When I did go, I always loved it, and felt an immediate difference after the class. Hot yoga seemed to be the best. It is brutal, but I always felt great after class.

With that said, I am getting back to my New Year’s resolution. Starting now, I’m going to commit to going to hot yoga classes three times a week.

My goal weight is 107 pounds, which is healthy for my height. That weight will also improve my way of living and stamina. Since hot yoga  promises to enhance flexibility, build strength, stabilize breathing, increase focus, help you lose weight and is a great cardio workout, I feel I can do it. With a teacher guiding me through, I feel that I will be more motivated to participate.

Fellow exercise procrastinators, I invite you to follow me along through my hot yoga journey as I document my experience via this column. If you want to join me, I will be attending the Purple Yoga studio in downtown Fullerton three times a week, sweating away both vegan muffins and my muffin top.

About Casey Elofson