How should I feel the day after yoga?
July 31, 2013 2:11 PM Subscribe
I took an integral yoga class last night. Today, I am sore and achy -- I feel as bad as I did after taking my first boot camp aerobics class (which combined aerobics and weights and was super hard). I expected the kind of soreness you get when you've stretched a bit too much, or maybe the kind when you've walked further than usual, and your muscles feel open and a bit tired and maybe certain movements twinge a bit. Instead, I have a lot of deep muscle soreness, like I've been moving lots of heavy boxes, and I'm incredibly tired and headachy. Is this normal?
posted by OrangeDisk to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A few more details about me: I'm in my 40s and overweight. I have taken yoga before, but not for over a decade. I like exercise classes and have taken a lot of them, including Pilates, which never left me this sore.
I haven't taken a class that involves flexibility for about 3 years, and I don't really stretch on my own, so I'm not that flexible right now. I did most of the yoga moves badly, and couldn't do some of them at all (for example, the inversion and warrior pose -- I did alternate poses during that part of the class). I had to use a strap for many of the poses. It's a level 1/level 2 combined class, and everyone else there (4 other students) seemed to really know what they were doing and seemed to all know each other, so they've likely been at this for a while. I didn't get a lot of individual help from the instructor, except for the alternative poses and how to use the strap.
However, in spite of all that, I really liked the class. I liked the chanting, I like the meditation, I liked trying the poses, I liked the feeling of doing them. I liked pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I think I need a yoga class, but I'm not sure about this class. Is it normal to feel so sore and achy?
Part of the reason I'm asking is that when I've taken yoga before, the instructor would go around and "adjust" you to help you were doing the poses correctly -- they'd move your foot here, move your arm there, or twist the angle of your body just a bit. This instructor didn't do that -- she was at the front of the room and went through all the poses and described things (I found her descriptions really clear). I followed her as best I could. When I wasn't doing a pose, she gave me an alternative, and as I mentioned she helped me with the strap, but she never came around and repositioned me or anyone else.
So I'm wondering -- did I do everything wrong, and is that why I'm so sore and achy? Or is feeling this crappy and awful normal when you take up a new kind of exercise? Should the instructor have helped me more? Or is this just how yoga is done these days? Maybe I'm so sore because I'm getting older (a lot of things are changing about my body -- is this just one of them)?