Do Some Damn Yoga
I get up on my soapbox for very few things, but Yoga is something I will preach about freely. When I tell someone I am a Yoga instructor I get typically get one of three reactions: “ Oh Wow, I love Yoga!” “ Oh man, I am not flexible enough for Yoga” and occasionally “ Yoga just isn’t intense enough for me to do it as a workout.”
The first is the easiest to respond to. We chat about what kind of yoga they like, why they like it how often they practice, how long they have done yoga, and often it leads on to a discussion on how to get back into it regularly and by then then we move on talking about other things. (BTW, If you are into yoga and want to find out more, check back soon for a Yoga type guide as well as some pose guides!).
The other two are a little harder. There’s a lot to say that I don’t want to articulate without first giving it some thought. So I’d like to do that now.
I am going to be bold and say it now, you don't have to be flexible to do Yoga.
Yoga is not about being able to touch your toes, it’s not about how far you can get your splits and it's certainly not about how long you can hold a headstand. It’s not about comparing yourself to others and then being sad that you can't do it.
It’s about personal growth. Yoga is about growing and exploring new ways in which your body can move, It’s about knowing that some days your body is open and flexible and others it takes more work. It’s about helping balance the energies in the body, connecting the body and mind,relieving stress and helping with anxiety and depression. It just does not matter how far you can get into a forward fold, or how high you can get your leg because it's about taking a moment for yourself, being kind and forgiving, and getting to know your body and the way it moves.Yoga is not just for the flexible, the elite, the fit nor the genetically blessed.Yoga is for everyone who wants to improve their overall wellness.
For those that don't think yoga is a sufficient workout, that's because it’s not supposed to be. It's supposed to help increase the longevity of your body, help you recover faster and simply make you feel damn good. If you are someone who is working out 3 or more times a week and usually does the run of Cardio HIIT or heavy lifting (yes you too, beefy dudes), yoga is going to be the thing that keeps your body working optimally so you can go for a faster marathon time,lift more, or do more burpees in your box. Yoga is restorative, it aids in joint function, muscle growth, breathing and can aid in fat loss when paired with other activities.
Cross training is a necessary part of improving your fitness game, and yoga may not be as intense as you desire, but it’s going to be the thing that your body can still do when you are 80.
Taking care of yourself now is going to help you not only get those sick gainz in the next few weeks, but will also keep you feeling and looking good in the long term.
Do some damn yoga, your body and mind will thank you.