So it’s Day 18 of the Challenge, Michelle and I have already got our workout in this morning at 6am with some of our amazing group training clients, and I am sitting here on a Friday afternoon procrastinating on my To-Do List and waiting for the 430pm group training class to begin. The first thing I want to talk about today is Yoga (I know not very “manly” but come on guys lets be serious – if you want fitness results then you need to be strong mentally and physically and trust me yoga is great for that!). I have only really started seeing the benefits of Yoga over the past month – when I actually started doing it on a consistent basis (once per week) and focusing on the benefits of the workout! Should I do it more, and would I see more benefits if I did? Yes, but my schedule does not allow me to attend more than one or max two classes per week!
So Yoga! What is it? Stretching? Relaxation? Meditation? ……
Ya sure, it is all of those things but what does it do???
Here is what is does and what it has done for me:
1. Increased range of motion & flexibility – stretching helps to elongate muscles & tendons as well as release tension. How has this helped me?? Being an ex-athlete I have my achy joints that is for sure (knees, ankles, and shoulders especially) for years of being used and abused! Doing Yoga once a week has helped me increase my range of motion and decrease the aches in my knees and ankles especially! In laments terms: Yoga restricts the blood flow to your joints for a short period of time and then when you release from the pose, it allows the oxygenated blood to rush through the joint and break down the build up of calcium/scar tissue/etc
2. Body awareness and focus – holding a pose for an extended amount of time helps your become present in the moment. In turn you are more mindful of sensations throughout your body. How has this helped me?? There is nothing more painful/grueling to me then holding some of the yoga poses for an extended period of time!!!! BUT as soon as I admitted to myself that the only reason it is painful is because I haven’t practiced/done it enough I realized the benefits. It takes some serious body awareness and focus to hold a pose for 30seconds or a minute without breaking concentration….if you can do this you can do any workout!!!
3. Breathing – through the control of breath and increased oxygen flow in your body, you are able to relax more and release toxins. How has this helped me?? Well, I wouldn’t say I was the best breather or really am the best breather still today BUT Yoga has helped me understand that holding my breath through an exercise or workout really doesn’t help hahaha. I am the guy who you see doing a squat with the veins popping out of my forehead and neck because I am holding my breath!! By taking just a few Yoga classes I have started to understand how to breath in tense and stressful situations (aka working out and playing sports). Obviously breathing is extremely important for exercise and daily activities and this is because breathing supplies oxygen to your body. Without proper breathing you are limiting your body and your muscles from performing at their full potential. I am going to continue working on my breathing to help me improve my workouts and my overall fitness.
These are the main benefits that I have specifically seen from my experience with the Yoga Classes so far. I know a “Yogi” could definitely tell me many more benefits but I thought this would be some great information for you guys to hear.
At the gym we hold a weekly Yoga session for all of our members to help with the balance of our fitness training program and to help with the overall fitness results that our clients are seeing! On a weekly basis we only have a small number of our members attend our Yoga class and I think the main reasons are because of the misconception in the community, the lack of understanding, and the intimidation…..I hope this helps some of our members and any other fitness enthusiasts that are interested in Yoga!!
I wanted to share a little more about my personal goals for 2013 but it’s almost 4:30pm and I have to run to teach the class but I will make sure I fill you guys in as soon as possible….