Confessions of a Yoga Dropout

8SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/26/2010 1:00 PM   :  297 comments   :  24,287 Views

See More: fitness, confession, yoga,
There are things that a "healthy" or "fit" person is just expected to do. Go to the gym. Consume copious amounts of water. Run several miles a day. You know what I'm talking about. Sometimes people are shocked to find out that I don't do everything that is expected of me. "What! You don't drink TEA?!" they say. (You must be from another planet if you don't like tea, I've learned.)

"No, I just don't like the taste," I explain, announcing my alien status. I like drinks that are either plain (water) or full-flavored, not some degree of light flavor in between the two. I have tried countless varieties of tea over the years, and they have equally made me want to gag. I love how it smells! I feel like I should be a "tea person" since it fits my persona, but it just isn't for me. Ultimately, I stopped trying to develop a taste for it just so I could add a few more antioxidants to my diet. I think my antioxidant levels are just fine.

"What about yoga. You do yoga, right?"

"No." In fact, yoga is the exercise version of tea for me.

I have tried to like yoga. I have really, really tried. Over the years, I've tested countless DVDs. I've taken classes from various instructors and different gyms. I even took a yoga class in college as part of my physical education credits. Usually, as soon as the music starts and the instructor wants me to think about breathing, I'm mentally somewhere else. It's not that I don't want to enjoy it. I often try really hard to take it seriously and focus the way I'm instructed to, but ultimately, I fail in my pursuit.

It's not that the instructors are bad. It's not that the workouts are too easy or too challenging, although I've experienced both. I think, for me, it's the stillness, the repetition, the atmosphere and the mental concentration. It's all so boring to me!

Like many people, I could probably benefit from the meditation, focus, and stretching you experience in yoga, but after trying it hundreds of times over the last 10 years, should I keep forcing the issue? It's sort of like drinking tea. Why should I force myself to like it just because I "should" or just because I am interested in the benefits it may offer? Stretching, stress relief, balance, mind-body connection—I already incorporate all of those components into my jam-packed workout schedule. While I still try yoga from time to time, open to the idea that I could change my mind about it someday, I have come to terms with the fact that I will probably never love it, even though I think it has done great things for countless people.

A couple weeks ago, I tried Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown DVD, which Stepfanie (our resident yogi) recently reviewed. I enjoyed Jillian's take on yoga more than the traditional yoga workouts I've tried, but it was still a little blah to me. Not even Jillian Michaels can turn yoga into the kind of workout I want to do! (It's not her, it's me.) More recently, I attended a workshop and earned certification in PiYo, a Pilates-yoga fusion class from the makers of Turbo Kick. It isn't just yoga or just Pilates (although my deep love of Pilates is no secret), but it borrows concepts, exercises and poses from both forms of exercise (and others) to create a faster paced, more athletically challenging workout in which you're always on the move, never holding still. I loved my PiYo experience and can't wait to do more of it. To me, it's perfect for the exerciser who wants a physical challenge and likes the idea of yoga, but just doesn't "get" the traditional yoga workouts. Now THIS is one kind of "yoga" I could get into!

My point is that you may never fit perfectly into the mold of what a fit person "should" do. You may never like broccoli. You may never become a runner. You may never return to your high school weight. While you shouldn't give up just because something is hard--everything is hard when you're new to it--you know yourself best. If you tried and tried again and still feel that something just isn't for you, that's OK. Accept it. I will never be a tea drinker and will probably never become a yoga aficionado, but I'm OK with that. Healthy living is about balance and it should be enjoyable! How else are you going to stick with it for the rest of your life? Find the things that DO work for you and you'll do great—with or without super flexible hamstrings!

Are you into yoga or are you a yoga dropout like me? What's one healthy thing you've tried to like but just can't come to terms with?





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Comments

  • 297
    I don't really like Yoga that much either - it's hard to breathe when you're folded in half! I much prefer Pilates, but I do like a few of the more Yoga-poses, so PiYo might be worth checking out. I don't feel guilty about not liking it - I know lots of people who do and, to each his own. I DO like drinking tea, though - black, not green (yuck!). - 9/19/2013   9:28:40 AM
  • 296
    I was interested in yoga for years and finally a new studio opened in my town. I have been practicing for 6 months now and really enjoy finding that my body can do some of the things I never would have thought it could. I do have a problem with the initial sitting still, getting your breathing right and clearing your mind part of it (my back usually starts hurting during this time) but overall, I like the practice.
    Oh, and I don't like tea either! - 2/10/2013   12:24:56 PM
  • 295
    Actually just getting started & learning yoga techniques! Enjoyed your blog! :) - 9/14/2012   10:31:52 AM
  • 294
    I LOVE yoga! It is perfect for my fibromyalgia. I can't do cardio for more than 20 minutes nor strength train more than 15 minutes without causing fibro-flare ups. But yoga-----I could do it several times a day--as long as it holds the poses and moves gracefully and slowly. - 12/21/2011   8:50:31 PM
  • 293
    What a timely article. I have been seriously considering a yoga class too add to my fitness routine. Not only is my body too tense in enabling me to sleep better, I think if could help my golf game. After reading this article, I won't feel so guilty if I don't care for it. - 9/28/2011   8:34:49 AM
  • 292
    I took a few classes in yoga and it didn't work for me. Instead of relaxing, I tightened to the point of almost passing out. I think I might like it if I stuck with it and learned to do it correctly, but there are so many other workouts I enjoy more.

    I've tried meditation in the past -- I'm no good at that, either. Either my minds refuses to focus on nothing, racing from one thought to another, or I fall asleep. There seems to be no middle ground for me. - 5/18/2011   9:24:00 AM
  • 291
    LOVE LOVE LOVE yoga! I just started it recently and wish I had tried it YEARS ago! - 5/11/2011   9:18:54 AM
  • 290
    I really don;t like yoga or pilates I can live ith tai chi so. - 4/26/2011   10:21:39 AM
  • 289
    I love yoga with RODNEY YEE. His videos are great. PRISCILLA PATRICK is wonderful too, as her web site is at www.yogaone.com

    I don't like playing baseball. - 12/27/2010   1:12:09 AM
  • JAZZYJAZZ86
    288
    At least you can say that you have tried something. If it works for you great, if not then try something else. Rome wasn't built in a day, the perfect workout may take years to find. - 11/25/2010   11:10:38 PM
  • 287
    Running! I was required to run for almost ten years (military) and I hated every second of it. I swore I'd never run another step after I was done. But on my own, I tried it again -- it's so simple (so cheap!) and seems like it should be so natural. But I still can't stand it. It kills my knees, regardless of shoes, terrain, or pace -- not to mention the spandex whole-bodysuit I'd need to control the jiggling. ;-)

    I understand that yoga doesn't feel like a traditional workout -- less hard breathing, sweating, limb-tingling in each session. I like circuit training with free weights because they feel like they work quickly, although against my body. But I like yoga because it feels like it's working with my body instead of against it, helping it to grow and change. - 11/23/2010   6:57:14 AM
  • 286
    Tea gags me, but I love yoga and yogalates (must be similar to PiYo). I am stronger and my thighs are probably firmer now (in my early 50s) than at any point in my life. If you can't stand yoga, stick with your PiYo. Treadmills and weight machines are what bore me to tears. Biking and hiking are big favorites of mine, as well. - 8/10/2010   3:38:55 PM
  • 285
    Well, I somewhat agree, Yoga is a little boring. However, it is a really a help to my body. And, nothing is as boring to me as the dreaded treadmill! - 7/25/2010   2:24:35 PM
  • PAINTFAIRY
    284
    About 4 years ago, I was having serious pain in my shoulders and back. I'm a quick tempered person and I was working fast food and in college at the time. I was stressed out all the time. My doctor told me I was retaining anger/stress in those areas and I should either do heavy cardio work-outs to work out the excess energy(i.e. stress) or try yoga or tai chi to calm down. I voted on the yoga and have been doing it ever since.

    Yoga definitely isn't for everyone, but I think people should at least give it a good hard try, who knows, might like it, might not. People don't expect me to love it, but hey, I do.

    p.s. Tea, barf - 6/16/2010   2:40:51 PM
  • 283
    I love yoga, but can understand why some people don't. I think it's just a step that people try it! you never know what you'll like and what you'll hate and even if you hate something you might learn to appreciate those exercises you love! - 5/8/2010   11:39:44 AM
  • 282
    I'm turning into an avid mountain-biker, and I might even run (or drink tea). But Yoga? Sorry, not my cup of tea (I couldn't resist that:-) - 5/8/2010   6:28:00 AM
  • 281
    I don't like tea and I will never be a runner. And I'm ok with it! there are many other things I do like and I go for them. Why waste time on things that wouldn't make you happy!? - 4/26/2010   1:29:25 PM
  • TOKEEPMYPEACE
    280
    next time you're in los angeles try out a class at santa monica power yoga with vytas, bryan, or anaswara---even if you are SURE that you'll hate it!!! i can totally relate to you, but really there are SO many different TYPES of yoga, and the mainstream one definitely doesn't do that justice. even jillian's dvd won't give you the other side--anyways if you're ever in LA seriously try it out just once! it's donation based, so you can always walk out whenever if you don't like it :) - 4/13/2010   12:37:08 PM
  • 279
    To those who said 'yoga doesn't burn fat or build muscle'... can you balance on your hands? What, arms not strong enough? Maybe you should try a yoga class!

    Yes, I love yoga, and I love tea! Maybe they go together?

    The one thing I've never figured out is my friend who does not like chocolate?!?!? That DOES make you an alien! - 4/12/2010   1:17:44 PM
  • MIEZEKATZE
    278
    I HATE yoga. I've tried to give it a shot multiple times, but it's definitely not for me. I prefer to work up a sweat and move to a catchy beat! Doing poses to classical music? BLARG. Gag me.

    I also am not a big tea fan. - 4/12/2010   12:01:59 PM
  • 277
    I do love Yoga, but this is exactly how I feel about chickpeas and edamame!! I also feel like I "should" love them but I just don't have a taste for them at all. Want to..but just don't. Thanks for the article! - 4/9/2010   3:30:38 PM
  • 276
    Haha! I LOVED this. I thought I'd like yoga, I really wanted to like yoga, but it's just too...boring? I don't know, I guess I don't like to relax. I'm the type of person who should take a nap when my kids are napping, yet I don't. I'd rather bust a move to a good beat than do a downward facing dog. LOL! - 4/7/2010   8:07:02 PM
  • 275
    I understand how you feel about yoga. I only recently came to appreciate it and it's mostly because I've been working out so much that the stress on my lower back and tight leg muscles require it. I'm still learning and trying to find the right poses and techniques for me. As someone who rarely stops to smell the flowers, I figure it's a good life lesson for me as well. To each their own. I think that it doesn't matter what you do - just do something! - 4/5/2010   3:41:13 PM
  • 274
    I love yoga. I love drinking tea and coffee and chai tea also. Over the years my practice has changed with all these activities. Flexibility and responsiveness to what
    my body needs has been one lesson learnt in yoga. I used to practice a very intense & active form now I do more relaxation, flexibility and loads of breathing! I used to drink 8 cups of coffee a day, now only desire 2. - 4/4/2010   12:39:19 PM
  • 273
    I did Yoga twice a week for almost 2 years. I never liked it! Loved the instructor - she is fantastic. I would get in the class, look at the clock and just keep looking until it was over. I was good at it; could do most of the moves well. But....boring........ I finally decided that I didn't have to do Yoga if didn't want to! - 4/3/2010   4:37:54 PM
  • WHEELS54
    272
    Love yoga for strength and flexibility and pilates for the core work. And iced tea and hot tea too. Working on becoming a runner. - 4/2/2010   5:06:27 PM
  • 271
    "Yoga is the exercise version of tea." - Haha, this is perfect. I so get it. I actually DO like tea, but only the kinds that have more of a "plain" taste like green tea. I cannot do herbal. I also can't help but feel like yoga is a waste of time...it's exercise, I guess, but it's not going to burn much fat or build much muscle. I apologize to any yoga enthusiasts, but this is my deep-down confession about how I personally feel about yoga! - 4/2/2010   10:53:39 AM
  • 270
    I had to laugh when I read this. I so get this! I've never tried Yoga but I HAVE tried meditation of various types to "relax", "calm down", etc. All I experienced was irritation and annoyance. Kinda counter-productive. LOL I think it's because I find it boring and I have zero tolerance for boredom. On the other hand I can sit around a campfire and stare at the dancing flames for hours. Go figure. - 4/1/2010   8:12:07 PM
  • 269
    I think it is okay to not like tea or coffee. As a southerner, I grew up some periods of my childhood around sweet tea (thinking about it, I don't think I really had until I was 12), which I like. I used to drink it every time I was at a sit down restaurant and no other time; then after a while, I got tired of it and and started drinking lemonade instead. Now, b/c of that and b/c of reflux, I rarely drink tea and it's not usually my beverage of choice. I have tired various types of hot teas, some are okay and some are good, but it's rarely that I would want to drink any (or trade drinking it for the occasional chance of pain). As for coffee, I never had until college. I never liked the straight black taste of coffee, so I would put a lot of creme and sugar in it to make it taste good to me. Then I tried flavored coffees, which were good, except ironically, the coffee taste. Now, if there is one thing that flares up my reflux, it's coffee, so I gladly avoid it.
    Now as for exercises, I'm with you on the yoga, except I never fully tried it. I always was curious of Pilates, which I tried it and like it. Then I leaned some of moves are from yoga. Seeing people doing some of those yoga poses is a bit daunting to me, so I think Pilates(whenever I get back to it) is the thing for me.
    Though I have been on this kick of trying things that are challenging to me either mentally or physically. Running has not been on my list of favorites, but last year I started to get hooked on 5Ks (where I mostly walked; I'm still trying to figure that out, possibly b/c I want to be to run for a long period again). There were different groups classes that at first were challenging and I kept coming back and enjoy the challenge. I tried an aerobics swim class and enjoyed that to my surprise b/c I don't usually go swimming without it being a group activity initiated by friends. Now, I am thinking about spinning. I tried it a few times, and it was okay until the last time I tried it; it was not challenging b/c I could do the intensity right and the seats hurt. But I am thinking of trying again. I am not expecting to become addicted to it (I like doing the stationary bike growing up but that was maintaining one speed), but I am going to back down from a challenge. Maybe that's just me b/c there are times in my life I forced myself to like certain foods or do certain things. - 4/1/2010   1:48:04 PM
  • 268
    I get that exact same look & questioning when people find out I don't drink coffee. WHAT?!? No seriously...I don't drink coffee. I am the only one? - 4/1/2010   9:50:34 AM
  • GLOBALSHERRI
    267
    I have had amazing "Yoga Experiences", but just can't seem to do it regularly or on my own! Why is that????? Weird! I am like another poster who said she really wants to like it for the gains, but just can't seem to do it! I need the Yogi right next to me, I guess. I think I will try that yoga pilates combo! - 4/1/2010   8:49:27 AM
  • 266
    I loved this! If something doesn't appeal to me, I cannot stick with it. I couldn't agree with you more. :) - 4/1/2010   8:10:34 AM
  • 265
    When I was in college, my sister took a yoga class, and since then (a good few years ago!) I've always wanted to try it. I just found an intro. to basic yoga moves here on Spark, and am looking forward to adding it to my workout schedule.

    But I agree with Nicole: you have to find what works for you and stick with it. Sometimes that means trying different things and tossing them out; sometimes the new things stick. It's all about enjoying healthy living! - 3/31/2010   11:48:01 PM
  • FLUBBERS
    264
    I have never really liked Yoga. i have tried several dvds. I might try Jillian's new one. - 3/31/2010   3:41:25 PM
  • 263
    I'm the opposite...I love yoga but I HATE Pilates. For me, yoga is my down time where I can totally space out but still get some exercise.

    And the only tea I can stand is the Typhoo brand, or the iced green tea. If one more person tries to shove chai down my throat, I'm going to scream! - 3/31/2010   1:41:08 PM
  • 262
    I have just realized that I dont like yoga and I too tried the JM Yoga Meltdown in the hopes that if I was going to like it JM would be the one who could do it for me and it did not work. - 3/31/2010   7:46:12 AM
  • KIANOVA
    261
    since i have started taking power yoga classes, my anxiety has decreased, i'm more aware of my surroundings, more patient, and i feel so much better afterwards. i also am getting ready to start back running after a hiatus from a concussion back in oct. yoga may not be for everyone but it's good to try something new. - 3/30/2010   9:51:47 PM
  • 260
    Ditto on the squats and lunges! - 3/30/2010   5:17:11 PM
  • TMAWHINNEY
    259
    If you can't still your mind, you might have difficulty finding the peace and calm that all of us are capable of attaining
    - 3/30/2010   2:11:37 PM
  • 258
    I love this blog, and I love the ground level message it's trying to convey. No one should feel as though they can't succeed because they truly don't enjoy a particular workout or food or anything that is supposed to be really good for you. Focus on all the good things you do like and don't worry about the ones you just can't get into. There's never just one way to get where you want to go. - 3/30/2010   1:37:16 PM
  • JOSIANE2934
    257
    I love Yoga, I sleep very well after yoga class
    and I love yogi tea and herbal tea! - 3/30/2010   5:28:05 AM
  • JUDYPOPPINS
    256
    I've taken yoga classes I didn't like, but now I take a combo pilates (really tough part), tai chi & yoga class and this instructor is phenomenal. I'm much more pliable and strong and am losing that belly fat that's so resistant.
    However, I have tried and tried to learn to like green tea (any tea actually) and cannot get my taste buds to cooperate. - 3/29/2010   10:37:51 PM
  • 255
    I've never taken a yoga class, or done a yoga video - except for the yoga in Wii Fit. I enjoy it, but not enough to make me want to take a class!

    But the fitness model I really hate is Pilates! I think it might have partly been my instructor, but I just never felt like I understood what I was supposed to do, never saw any progress, and felt like I never would. - 3/29/2010   10:03:56 PM
  • VETMED
    254
    I'm with Grendlesgirl, I injured a knee last year an lunges are killing me. - 3/29/2010   8:46:31 PM
  • 253
    Beans. I just can't do beans, unless it's baked beans in the summer at a picnic. But then, those aren't the healthiest kind of beans to eat! I could probably go vegan except then I'd be stuck with little to no protein in my diet because of those darn beans. Blah tasteless and I don't need the musical side effect either! - 3/29/2010   8:45:27 PM
  • 252
    For me, the healthy thing that I *should* like and don't is fish - any kind of fish, really. I've tried, I really have. I just can't do it. Mild white fish, oily strong fish ... just can't. I get that fishy taste in my mouth and I heave. Every once in a blue moon I have a craving for tuna fish salad or fish sticks, but that's it. I take fish oil every morning with my other meds and supplements and call it good. This is just one of those things I'm never going to like. - 3/29/2010   7:56:11 PM
  • 251
    I've recently thought I should try out yoga and after searching around a bit found a class that sounded appealing (and it didn't hurt it was at a great time of day/week for me). It's Pilates-Yoga Fusion and starts in 2 weeks. Now, reading this I can't wait! - 3/29/2010   7:50:34 PM
  • 250
    I love yoga....I struggle with strength training. - 3/29/2010   6:48:50 PM
  • 249
    Great blog! I've tried yoga many times, but I hate it! I always feel guilty about not liking it, because there are so many benefits, but I've given up on forcing myself to try and like it. Glad to know I'm not alone! - 3/29/2010   6:29:37 PM
  • JMLEE509
    248
    I just tried yoga for the first time on Friday and didn't like it. It was hard for me to sit with my legs crossed and after 10 mins on my hands and knees they ached! I have carpal tunnel and wasn't able to push myself off from the floor with my hands. Yoga standing up was a good workout but then my knees started hurting again doing the squat poses. - 3/29/2010   4:23:47 PM

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