Om is said to be the first sound heard at the creation of the universe. Think Yoga is only for middle-aged women, and crunchy hippy young adults? Think again!
Not only does yoga work on flexibility, balance, agility, endurance, core, and overall body strength; but also helps keep you less prone to injuries. Yoga elongates all of the muscles that athletes spend so long contracting, so it is a great counter-action!
I have been practicing yoga for over 15 years now; and it would be an understatement to say the practice naturally carries over to other activities in my life. Balance aids in my Martial Art practice through Muay Thai, the mind muscle connection built through poses help concentration on bodybuilding and lifting weights, not to mention breathing techniques, and being mindful has benefits of it’s own.
Since training with a more “power-lifter” or “olympic lifting” style; I’ve found it important to implement accessory work as well as flexibility to prevent injuries, as well as keep the smaller muscles, connective tissue, and ligaments at the same progress as the bigger muscle groups being trained.
But at the end of the day; the mental benefits far outweigh the physical.
On the days I practice yoga, verse the days I do not; overall I feel a lot calmer and relaxed. Certainly not in a lazy way either; but quite the opposite, my mind seems more clear and I direct focus to the task at hand. It seems that multi-tasking is the new norm; and while sending out a tweet after checking your best friend’s cousin’s girlfriend’s Facebook status in the midst of double tapping photos aimlessly while watching Roseanne apologize on national television may seem acceptable to many– I no longer entertain this type of “busy.”
Below are some of my favorite yoga poses; some are practiced to warm the body up before training and get the blood flowing, while others are used to stretch and cool the body down post training.
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose
“Anyone who practices can obtain success in yoga but not one who is lazy. Constant practice alone is the secret of success.”
–Hatha Yoga Pradipika