When I first started yoga, I used to giggle whenever the instructor showed us advanced balancing and inversion poses. I thought to myself, “I could never do that, they are crazy!” Well, after dibble dabbling in yoga for around 7 years now, I have finally found the strength from within.
It wasn’t until I was able to let go of my EGO that I was able to really connect with my yoga practice. Once I stopped comparing myself to the person next to me and stopped pushing myself into poses that weren’t right for my body, my yoga practice started to improve drastically. Now I proudly use blocks, straps and blankets to support poses that are right for my body. I still work hard, I still sweat and I get an even better stretch.
This concept of “letting go of your ego” has allowed me to be kinder to myself both on and off the mat. It also allows be to be kinder to others. I feel much stronger and much more comfortable with who I am because that I am doing what is right for my body.
Well, I am a little bit put off by the fact that Rich Roll just wrote about the exact topic that I was going to write about this week on my blog. However, since he was an Olympic athlete and he further validates my philosophy, I am very pleased to share his article with you.
My Yoga- Athlete Paradigm
I have phased in and out of yoga since I was 16 years old. Sometimes I am super into it and sometimes I can’t convince myself to make time for it. Every time I return to my yoga practice, I gain more insight as to how yoga has the power to make me a better person. I can always apply what I learn in class to my everyday life.
Some athletes would rather spend more time training than spending time on yoga. In reality, taking the time to incorporate yoga into your workout regimen actually improves your capabilities when you are training. Yoga not only increases the flexibility of your muscles, it also increases the flexibility of your mental capacity. The more control you have over your mental state, the more you are capable of achieving.
It takes some time to find the kind of yoga that suites you. Since there are so many different types of yoga and so many different teaching styles, you have to be open to a little bit of experimentation. Some classes are more spiritually challenging while others are more physically challenging. I really like to have a balance of these two elements. I like to walk out of yoga feeling like I got a workout both mentally and physically. Other athletes really need the restorative yoga to counteract the intensity in their workouts.
No matter what type of yoga you choose, you can be sure that your athletic performance will benefit.
Most jobs require us to work in a seated positions. When we are not at work, we also sit in the car and the couch… now that’s a lot of sitting. Humans are not designed to live such a sedentary lifestyle. Our bodies are designed to move through out the day. In previous generations, people were physically active in their work. They did not have to spend time in the gym or designate time to exercise to stay healthy.
Since this is no longer the case, I encourage you to incorporate movement throughout your day as much as possible. Some suggestions are to:
- do a few jumping jacks to get warmed up for your day
- park further away from the grocery store
- walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator
- take mini breaks to stand up and walk around while you are at work
- if you are waiting for food in the oven, do some squats or lunges
- during commercial breaks do a set of abdominal or push-up exercises
- take a 30 minute walk after you eat dinner