Fighting Workout Burnout with Yoga


Too. Much. Zumba
photo via Judy Baxter

I will admit it; I was feeling Zumba burnout. I love shimmying and booty-shaking my way through a workout. I lose myself in the music and movement and forget that I’m there to burn calories, strengthen my heart, and other healthy junk. But lately my body has felt achy and tired much more than it used to.

I’m sure we’ve all heard it. Doing the same workout for too long creates a negative impact. The body thrives on constant change and new challenges, bla bla bla. After too much workout repetition, the body actually stops improving and burnout can eventually lead to injuries. Maybe 3+ Zumba classes a week for two years is too long? So I decided to take a little break. I subbed out my classes for two weeks so I could do whatever the hell I wanted cross train.

I have flirted with yoga for almost six years. I took a class here and there. I read about how wonderful it is for body and mind. I realized that yoga is “good for you.” Like vegetables, it became one of those things that is so “good for you” that I didn’t want to do it.

I finally gave yoga a serious try a month ago, because I needed a stress reliever. I battle anxiety, anger and depression. I have trouble sleeping through the night because I’m too busy worrying that the world will spontaneously explode. I’m usually looking for something to help, as long as it’s easy not too crazy. I think the universe started ganging up on me, because all of a sudden I was coming in contact with article after article about how amazing and life-changing a steady yoga practice can be. So yoga can cure all that ails my body and mind? Ok, I’ll try it out. No pressure.

I found a 20 minute youtube video by Colleen Saidman and did it before bed. I crawled between the sheets like a relaxed Jell-O person and slept through the entire night. Maybe there is something to this magical yoga thing.

I decided to use my break from Zumba to try out some live yoga classes. I tried a yin/restorative yoga class, which is as opposite from Zumba as you can get. The focus was on breathing and wondering what the hell we were doing relaxing into the easy postures. During the entire class, I wondered what the point was, but as I walked out of the studio, I realized how relaxed and chill I felt. I need some breathing and chill practice in my life. I also tried out a basic yoga class and a couple Vinyasa Flow classes. Tell you what, those flow classes kicked my ass!


Me after two weeks of yoga
photo via Wikimedia Commons

Luckily my break from Zumba allowed me to come back refreshed and ready to dance again. My joints feel better and my legs have mostly stopped their constant aching.

Now, two weeks after going back, I have been trying to do a 20-minute yoga video before bed at least sometimes each night. In usual half-ass fashion, I actually do it three or four nights a week. So far, the biggest benefits I am seeing is an increase in flexibility. My forward bends are deeper than they have ever been in my life, even when I was dancing and stretching 5 days a week. Also, I catch myself deep breathing when I feel tense. Strangely, it’s not a conscious effort. More like something I notice my body is doing after it happens. To get really yoga and weird, my deep breaths have become deeper, which sounds really strange. Before I started practicing yoga on a sort of regular basis, my ribs and much of my body felt bound up and tight. Like there was an inflexible rope around my ribcage. Over time, that tightness has faded away and my breath flows easier.

I wouldn’t say that yoga has cured all my problems, but it helps me feel slightly less stressed and tense. Plus, I sleep through the night now, and anyone who knows me realizes how much I adore my sleep. Plus, knowing what savasana means makes me feel all zen and superior and shit.

Have you ever had workout burnout? What are your thoughts on yoga? Think I’ll ever get myself together enough  to post on a regular basis again?


11 Comments on “Fighting Workout Burnout with Yoga”

  1. OMG! This is the same thing that happened to me except for the yoga part and I was not doing that much Zumba and some other stuff is not the same but the not sleeping thing is the same. Wow, ok maybe not so exactly alike at all but ok…but hmmm… I need help so this is good to read. Glad you wrote to us again we missed you!!

    • Hahaha well you should give yoga a try before bed. I kid you not when I say it was literally that same night when I slept without waking. If you click on the “youtube video” link and watch “20 Minute Yoga Class: Relaxation,” it is a really good one. And if you can’t do the poses just like her, that’s ok. Keeping a steady, deep breath is more important than getting poses “right.”

  2. I love my [old lady] restorative yoga with Kelli, it helps with stress, balance & flexibility (which are challenges after 50). I hope you start posting on a regular basis again. Reading your blog [makes me feel like less of a whiner] inspires me! I tried to be cool like you & do a strike thru, but I can’t figger it out — I hate being a tech dinosaur!!

  3. I have MISSED your words, Kiya. Your strike-out, under-your-breath lines make me smile (always.) Thanks for a Monday pick-me-up in my office when I should be grading all those essays that students DIDN’T lie awake all night thinking about 😉 Take good care.

  4. Kiya!

    I was so excited to see your post in my inbox this morning. Great post, as always. Hope I don’t have to wait as long between posts! 🙂

    Seriously though, it was great seeing a post from you again. Hope all’s well!

  5. Pingback: I Can’t Take it Anymore! | Tonya Joyner Speaks

  6. Pingback: Getting Back on Track: Realistic Tips to Avoid Workout Burnout | WriteForMe

  7. Pingback: Yoga for Better Sleep | Runs With Blisters

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