For the past two summers yoga has been a regular part of my training. It is not what my training is centered around but I definitely made an effort to get my butt to class 1-2 times a week. The yoga class that is offered at the YMCA that I belong to over the summer is a very restorative class that focuses mainly on stretching and opening up the body. I am not the best at taking the time to stretch so I found that going to yoga was a way for me to get in some much needed stretching.
Unfortunately I can't stay in Pennsylvania all year and must return to Maryland at the end of August to go back to school. While there is a yoga class offered at UMBC it is the complete opposite of the one I take at the YMCA. At the class at school the first thing the instructor says when she walks in is that we are going to sweat. Her class is pretty intense and leaves me sore for days. Complete 180.
Last fall when I went back to school I had every intention of regularly going to yoga. The intensity of the class turned me away as I didn't want to be too sore since I was also training for my first marathon. This fall is a different story. I went to class on Monday and when I woke up on Tuesday morning I could walk no problem. Huge difference from the morning after my first class last fall. While my shoulders and triceps were sore for a few days my legs surprisingly felt pretty good.
Since I want to keep up with strength work while marathon training I am planning on going to yoga every Monday. I like that feeling when I'm in a pose and my legs are quivering and the cues from the teacher enable me to use my mind to tell my legs to hold on just a little bit longer. When I practice yoga [somewhat] regularly I am more flexible, have better stability and recovery quicker from workouts.
I haven't gone to enough yoga classes to swear by it for anything but I do certainly notice a difference in my body after I stop. I'm not going to try to tell you that you need to try yoga but I would at least suggest trying it. I also recommend that if you don't like it the first time don't write it off forever. There are so many types of yoga and each instructor is so different.