Yoga for Hockey Players

My husband and I work out twice a week with trainers – it’s the only way we’ll do it. When you have an appointment, you make the time. But we’re aware that we should be doing at least one other activity every week. I thought yoga would be a good supplement to our program and the trainers thought so too.

Here’s the thing about yoga: I don’t want any philosophy.  I don’t need to be told what to eat or how to think. I’ll laugh when something is funny. I don’t mind the breathing thing but it only takes me about 30 seconds to figure it out. I just want to stretch and move from pose to pose in a fairly swift manner because I’m easily bored. I don’t want to breathe in and breathe out and breathe in and breathe out for fifteen minutes. Inside my head one big scream just builds and one day it’s coming out. Not very yoga, I know. Apparently this means I need it more than anyone.

I tried Bikram yoga a few times but the high temperature caused me to nearly faint on one occasion. On another occasion I got so dehydrated I got a terrible headache afterward. On all occasions I’m put off by the fact that the temperature in there is so high that it’s essentially turned all the sweat into steam and I’m breathing in the steam of other people’s sweat, OMG OMG OMG. Bikram is popular so the classes are usually crowded; this means your head is usually in fairly close proximity to someone else’s feet. You’d think people would get pedicures. Also, the heat, the moisture, and the fact that they run many classes per day makes you wonder about the state of the walls. I bet there’s some black mold in there. Sometimes the rooms are carpeted! They literally squish with moisture.

So, no Bikram. No Kundalini. I haven’t tried Ashtanga or Power or Hatha yoga yet because I haven’t been able to find a class to fit my schedule.

I found out about a yoga called Yoga for Runners – apparently it’s a no-nonsense yoga and this sounded good to me. So we dropped in on a class.


This is Justin doing yoga, only not so flexible. Or in a tux. I couldn’t find Ken’s board shorts and the girls have him dressed to get married. Again. We have about 50 Barbies and only 3 are male so you do the math. It’s like Bountiful only with snazzier clothes; check out Ken’s pink tux. (If you are not from B.C., “Bountiful” is a town in British Columbia run, essentially, by a Mormon-ish cult. Like all cults, the main thing is the older men securing all the young girls for themselves. Our Bountiful scenario here is actually not accurate; in Bountiful they would have have given Justin Bieber five bucks and a peanut butter sandwich and run him off and Ken and John Smith (from Pocahontas) would be running the show.)

Back to yoga.

We spent a lot of time sitting on our feet, it was like one long Japanese tea ceremony. We would then go into a downward dog, then plank, then do a slow pushup, then downward dog again. Lots of this. We got up on our knees once:

Justin Bieber is actually pretty good at yoga

But that, plus some lunges, was it. Oh, and sometimes we lifted one leg off the ground:

John Smith can really maintain this pose

The instructor was good – very self-deprecating, funny, and he was very responsive when people seemed in pain. He spent a lot of time with Justin (not Bieber). I heard the words “rotator cuff” a few times, and my hands were actually killing me from all the pressure. (I think I’m getting a little arthritis in there. After a session of Beethoven at the piano my hands go all stiff and clunky.)  It was hard for me to remember to breathe properly because I was so worried about my husband; it was difficult to refrain from checking to see if he was ok. Waves of pain were emanating from the mat on my right.

Finally we got to go into “corpse” position for about 10 minutes. Justin was asleep after about 2 minutes; I could hear his breathing change.

Verdict? Well, we’re not runners, so it was probably best for actual runners. I liked the instructor but I wish we had moved into more poses. So I’m going to keep looking. I have a few leads and will check them out. Justin needs Yoga for Hockey Players; he’s incredibly stiff. He makes the Ken doll look like a Beanie Baby. Also, he injured his shoulder a year ago playing hockey and informed me the day after yoga that it felt like it was injured all over again. This is, of course, my fault.

Justin is going to try Bikram.


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