On a warm Sunday night…
I was just about to start my yoga class. My nice slow, calming and rejuvenating yoga class. Suddenly a guy busts through the door, expecting that he was going to hit the gym hard! As he normally does at 6pm. I could see it in his eyes, he was ready.
I had to let him know that Sunday’s is for yoga and the gym is closed for all other uses as we need the peace and quiet.
His face dropped.
I felt for him. He was pumped for his workout. He is starting to see some good progression and he knows how much better he feels after it.
I told him: “The class is really easy, you don’t have to be flexible and it’ll progress your workouts”.
Boom! I had him. He raised his eye brow, nodded his head and came in.
I run very relaxed yin yoga class which sometimes have a small flow section. I also include essential oils and a soft massage during savasana. It is complete joy in my eyes.
I made the effort to check in with him after the class to see how it went. He said, in a very relaxed tone and completely dazed from the meditation, ‘wow this happens every Sunday?’. Yes, I respond noticing that he was pleased it was an ongoing class. He said ‘ok I will come each time’.
There is such a stigma around yoga being only for ‘woohoo hippies’ and ‘super flexy gals’. Can’t we just agree it’s great for everyone and that is purely stigma.
A lot of people don’t even stretch after their work outs, let along program in some mobility and flexibility training. If you want to increase your strength and endurance, start implementing yoga into your workout schedule.
I also hear “I’m not flexible enough for yoga”. I always say back, “that’s a great reason to start”.
Like, “I don’t go to the gym because I’m not strong enough”. You see where I’m going with that, right?
Here are some reasons you should implement yoga into your workout routine.
It’s all about your mind.
Yoga allows you to take time to slow your thoughts down and tune into them. When you’re throwing a barbell around, all you think about is how to do it without hurting yourself, activating the right muscles and using your hips not your back. Yoga, especially Yin allows you to see your thoughts and be with them. You’re laying in pigeon pose, stretching that god damn tight hip. You don’t have your phone to distract you from the pain and you’re sitting there for 2 minutes maybe more. What else are you to do other than check in with those thoughts. If you’ve had a big day where your mind has gone wild and it’s in full scatter mode. Get the yoga mat out and give yourself 10 minutes.
Your breathing is more powerful that you’re currently giving it credit.
Let’s do an experiment. Breath in your nose for 4 seconds. At the top hold it for 7 seconds. Then exhale out your mouth for 8 seconds. Do this 6 times.
Notice your body? Feeling heavier and calm. Your mind is at peace. In under two minutes.
Your breath can take you from fight and flight mode (stress) to rest and digest (calm), that quickly. In yoga we focus on our breath. In some yoga we move per breath while in others we sit and notice our breath for 2 minutes.
That’s a lot of calmness hey?
Your body holds onto stress in different parts of your body.
Back pain can stem from financial stress, guilt and the feeling of not being supported. Problems with the shoulders can be a representation of carrying life as a burden. Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life, explains all the unease in our bodies is caused from life experiences and stories we tell ourselves. Yoga and stretching through these parts of our body can bring up these stories to help us heal our perception and re-wire our stories. This goes a bit deeper than just stretching, but you can see how it comes up.
Gaining flexibility will improve your strength training.
This was the main reason I wrote this blog and why we should start implementing yoga into our workout routine. Tell me, have you ever seen one of those guys who are so ‘swoll’ but can’t touch their toes? You don’t want to be that guy. I know most people reading this are girls, but you can see where I am going with this. I believe to be ‘fit’ it’s important to be able to have flexibility, strength and endurance. They are all related to one another. To be able to run faster, you need to have strong legs. To run smoothly, you need flexibility. We need it all to complete the circle.
If you aren’t sure where to start, reach out and I can help. There are also some really great studios and teachers out there in person and online.
Love + Peace
Teags Lee xx