The word ‘yoga’ suggests a lot of stuff to some folk. Something that old ladies do before tea and cake perhaps, or loads of chanting and religious-heavy chat, or maybe something for cave-dwellers to do for hours on end. I’m so so so (so so so) keen to dispel these myths, as you can probably tell by my previous ramblings on here. So what *is* yoga? And how can it help you?
This post is for cyclists (hello Rich and Deb if you’re reading!), runners, crossfit folk, or anyone who throws themselves around in some other interesting way. Because yoga can seriously help you with this stuff, honest. Here’s how:
1. Be-gone tight places. Taking gym-folk as an example, (and I’m speaking from experience here as somehow I’ve been coerced into going to horrible classes) all those lifts, squats, pulls and pushes are awesome for your strength, but you’ll end up tighter than a Yorkshire wallet. So, if you end up moving in a way to get l o n g e r with all that strength, you’ll find the strength comes easier, you’ll get injured less, and you’ll have (surprise surprise) a greater range of movement. Winning.
2. Strength. Yeah, you’ll get seriously strong with a decent yoga practice. It’s always a balance between length and strength in yoga, and one without the other more often than not leads to injury. So along with the length we end up getting stronger too. Especially in our core, and what sports don’t need core strength? And trust me when I say you work a different set of muscles in yoga than when you’re lifting weights (can I lift the teeny dumbells please?!).
3. Balance. O’course. And balance makes you younger*. You’re less likely to injure yourself when you’ve got mega balance, you’re more able to cope with falls, and you’re less likely to fall in the first place. And balancing really helps stabilise muscles and joints – often something other workouts miss.
4. Recovery. The right sort of yoga can be like getting into an epsom salt bath. Find the right teacher for private sessions and you’ll be able to jump back on the bike/gym floor/<insert your chosen sport-related item here> in no time (get in touch if you’d like to book something in).
So get on your mat, skip the chanting and chakras if they’re not your jam, and get way better at moving around. See you in class soon!
*Probably not, but we can pretend, yeah?