Work It Out: Yoga

By Xiaofei Mai

The Rough Rider (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Yoga is known for its slow moving postures as a relaxation practice, but no one really knows the benefits behind it.  Many people believe it is for older people only because they cannot do fierce sports. From my two-week experience of yoga at YMCA, it can be as tiring as conditioning for a sport.

I started yoga with my friend who is doing her senior project on yoga. I originally thought yoga would be easy for me because I play tennis. The reality was I sweated as much as I did at practice.  My legs were so sore that I could not handle all the postures. After the first lesson, I felt really tired and slept earlier than I usually do. When I opened my eyes, it was 10 minutes till my wake time.

The yoga lesson is usually from an hour or more, non-stop.  Although the movements are slow and seem effortless, people totally misunderstand. Yoga is able give me soreness all over the body as if I had ran for miles. However, this practice does not require muscular arms or legs because it is all about the core;yoga is an easy practice to build up abs.

I have tried yin yoga, power yoga, and vinyasa flow yoga. The worst one was power yoga. The moves were not hard, but we had to hold it for quite long. This was the longest yoga lesson that was done in a room without A.C.  There were many leg workout and some push ups that made everyone sweat like crazy. Yin yoga had the worst pain because it mainly work out the abs and thighs. For example, side planks.  The easiest yoga lesson was vinyasa flow yoga, it was simple arm and leg stretches that lasted about an hour.

Like what we have all expected, the class is full of middle aged women and a few men. The first twenty minutes were simple lunges, stretchings, and breathing movements. The rest of the movement are sweaty, sore, and tiring. The trainers were constantly encouraging the students to keep up with the pace even though they were tired.

I totally changed my opinion about yoga after trying it out. Our sport conditioning might keep us in shape, but yoga is beneficial in health circulation. It can really improve your breathing and blood circulation. My feet are warmer and I sleep better at night. After starting yoga, I want to recommend it to everyone.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (

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