Yoga good exercise, easy for beginners


I get distracted easily during a workout. Cardio is especially painful for my
attention span. I start out
strong, but usually start looking around after spending five minutes on the

I’m not one of those
crazy multi-taskers who can read while working out or do homework. In fact, my iPod barely distracts me
from the constant physical exertion of a workout. But I finally gained the motivation to try one of the many
free group fitness classes that are offered at the Peters Recreation Complex.

The first class I opted to try was the Rise and Shine Yoga
class offered at the Rec on Wednesdays at 6:30 a.m. Taking these classes by myself has
always been a worry of mine, since I could never find anyone to drag with me,
but by some miracle I convinced a friend of mine to wake up at 6 a.m. to test
our flexibility and balance (I failed both tests).

I am not a morning person,
not even a little. I really didn’t expect
many people to be in attendance, especially since this was quite literally the
first group class of the semester. There were actually quite a few people there, at least 10.

Yoga has always interested me, but aside from shakily
attempting it at home by myself, I have little experience. While I had a vague idea of what this workout would be like, I
really didn’t expect much of a “workout.” 

I was wrong. I
wouldn’t compare yoga to running on a treadmill or pumping iron in the weight
room, but I definitely felt the burn. Perhaps it’s my general lack of athleticism, but yoga was not nearly as
easy as I expected it to be. The poses definitely tested my balance and my
comfort, both physically and mentally. 

I didn’t feel that my lack of knowledge impeded me in the
class, since it is targeted toward people of all yoga levels. At the end I felt I had a basic
knowledge and even knew a few of the pose names. ”Downward facing dog” was a common yoga pose in the

I’d have to say that the
pose that definitely tested my comfort levels was “happy baby.” In this pose, participants lie on their
back, grab their big toes, and with knees bent and legs spread wide, rock from
side to side. This pose tested my
mental comfort, because while it’s called “happy baby,” I felt more like a woman
giving birth or visiting a gynecologist. Neither situation is one I expect to experience in a room full of onlookers.

While the class was generally relaxing, I didn’t really feel comfortable
with the location of it. The small
gym was shared with basketball players, joggers and other people working
out. The constant dribble of the
basketball drowned out the instructor’s voice much of the time. 

Another reason I have difficulty making
it to the gym is my irrational fear of people watching me work out. I know, its crazy that I don’t want
people watching me rock on my back from side to side while spreading my legs in
the air, but I just don’t. 

Overall, I enjoyed my experience. The class made it easy for me to come
to the Rec without having a plan for my workout and kept my attention for the
full 45 minutes. And even though I’m a beginner at yoga, I had very little difficulty performing the poses and following the instructor. 

I’m not sure if
I’ll opt for the 6:30 a.m. workout again, but I’m definitely going to look into
attending some of the other yoga classes this semester. I wonder how sore I’m going to be

Kelsey McClelland is a senior in journalism and mass communications. Please send comments to