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Yoga + swim (on the same day) = Exhaustion

Written by Fiona April 20 2011

If anyone imagines that yoga is a soft option you might want to think again. I have been a regular attender at Yoga Jo’s Ashtanga-style yoga classes in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire, for some three years and it still amazes me how tired my arm, shoulder, core and leg muscles are after every session.  Even when Jo announces that it will be an “easier” session “because you’ve had a couple of weeks off over the Easter school holidays” I can still feel the weakness in my body for the rest of the day and the following morning.

Yoga Jo doing the warrior pose. (This posture is sore on the quads, core and shoulders!)

I’d no idea of the extent of this tiredness until I attended my usual Tuesday evening Glasgow Tri Club swimming session during the school holidays. It felt remarkably easier! Now, that’s not to say, that a tri club session is “easy” by anyone’s standards. It’s just that it is “easier” for me to get through the hour of punishing swimming reps if I haven’t attended a Yoga Jo session that morning.

In my mind, until recently, yoga was a nice added extra that would help with my flexibility and aim to combat all those nasty tightening muscles caused by running and cycling. I didn’t think it actually caused much fatigue! But it does, and surprisingly so.

Without the yoga session over the past fortnight my evening swimming sessions have gone, well, aherm, far more swimmingly than normal. I’ve been able to keep up with some of the faster swimmers in my lane and my arms and legs have endured all the many reps.

Then, yesterday, after what Yoga Jo described as a “nice, ease ourselves back into yoga session” my evening swim felt like hell. Within the first 10 mins of the swim I thought my arms would burst and by the half way point I would have loved to have pulled myself out of the pool and headed home! I did get to the end of the swim and I felt proud of myself for doing so, but I could hardly find the strength to open the shampoo bottle in the showers afterwards. This morning my arms are still feeling weary as I type this blog!

So, as I said, yoga isn’t an easy fitness option. It’s also highly likely that it’s doing my muscles a great deal of good, too. The chances are that the yoga workouts have aided my swimming strength. And I did well again at the plank competition at the recent Aberfeldy Triathlon Spring Training Weekend. If only the yoga and swim sessions weren’t on the same day though!

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