Yoga for Fitness
So, do you think yoga would be a good addition to your training program?
I’ll begin by telling you that Adell, our teacher used to be a gymnast and was injury ridden. Now she’s fitter than ever. Something she attributes to her obsession with yoga.
She’s passionate in her belief that yoga is for EVERYONE.
But if you are an athlete or regularly partake in a specific sport, yoga will challenge your body in a different way, the outcome of which could be improved performance and endurance.
Adell begins by asking us to approach our bodies and the postures or balances we will work through with intrigue.
No judgment or critique, only curiosity and acceptance.
Each movement has to feel good, the minute it becomes painful, we are no longer listening to our bodies. It isn’t about pushing ourselves to the limit but about investigating where we are…physically and mentally.
The movements are fast paced and require concentration to keep up. And it’s hot.
We are encouraged to integrate the breath with each movement and gradually I begin to give in to the process. At moments we pause to breathe several times into tight areas and I can feel my stiffness softening. We’re breathing and moving into parts of the body that are too often neglected when we repeatedly work within the same discipline.
There is a momentum to both classes that doesn’t allow for unnecessary analysis. Instead we keep moving towards a deeper connectivity between physical movement, the breath and the mind…and a more perceptive understanding of ourselves.
This is mentally and physically challenging stuff, pushing me out of my comfort zone. But it isn’t without immediate progress. I’m beginning to identify when it is good to encourage my body to go further and understand when and why I should let things go. That isn’t about giving up – it’s about acceptance of the self, working with the body to help it reveal what it needs. Ultimately, how it can heal and improve.
Picture credit: Diana Brook
We are building strength too.
Some of the postures are particularly hard. But in trying myself and watching others succeed, fail, try again, there is a clear humility in the practice. There is no room for pride, only perseverance.
And I for one, need to persevere.
I want the kind of strength and stamina that Adell advocates.
And then…I feel a new kind of physical strength, there are poses I can do, ones I’ve never even tried before and I can feel my muscles engaging – literally coming alive.
We are reminded to engage our pelvic floor and TVA (transverse abdominal muscles) and I’m surprised at the difference this makes. My core, something I forget I have most of the time, lifts and the satisfaction kicks in. I’m stronger, more capable.
I’m struck with the real possibility that these classes could be the pro active solution I’ve been looking for. Something that offers a healthy challenge, supports my current fitness regime and works towards improving my physical and mental wellbeing.
See you on the mat!