For the last 2 Tuesdays I have gone to yoga with a friend of mine.
I forgot how much I love yoga.
Here is the thing: when you are training for a competition you kind of focus in on things that will get you to that goal and eliminate everything else. So, things like balance, stability, flexibility and posture were set aside for power, size and leanness.
When I went to yoga last week and could barely get into some postures I used to find easy I was a little horrified. I used to do yoga 1-2 times per week back when I worked at lululemon. I have always loved it and hate that I not only pushed it to the back burner, but completely eliminated it from my regime.
Listen, yoga is not going to get you looking super fit (unless you do a whole lot of power yoga) and it’s probably not going to do too much in the weight loss department (again, excluding power yoga), but it has some unique benefits:
- It improves flexibility and forces you to stretch in ways you wouldn’t normally. Specifically, doing yoga properly makes sure that you don’t compensate for an inflexible area but overstretching in another. It is a safer and progressive form of stretching
- It improves posture by continually forcing you to limber up your back, relax you shoulders and look up to the sky; these are all things that we don’t do at our desk jobs, but that the human body was made for. We need to move in all directions in order to maintain that ability.
- It works on stabilizing muscles by requiring balance while you work. Just standing on one foot isn’t enough. You need to flex you leg in the air and bend to the side while centring your gaze over your palm and not knock the other people over. You are working you muscles in way they aren’t used to and if they aren’t used to it they will need to adapt and get better.
Add to this list the fact that it is incredibly calming and you have something indispensible. Ideally I would do yoga more than once a week, but I still have my other goals and also want to incorporate more high intensity exercises… there are only so many hours.
If you are someone who tends to do the same workouts over and over again, or you can barely touch your toes, or you aren’t sure you want to jump right into weights and want something low impact, or you want to feel super relaxed (aka everyone)… try yoga.