Elise and I got back to our yoga practice this week. I don’t know when we stopped doing yoga as part of our normal fitness routine, but it has been a while since we practiced yoga at all. We love it and we’re trying to get back to doing yoga regularly.
For me, yoga combines all the components of fitness that I practice separately. My weight training, cardio, flexibility and especially mobility all have to work together when I practice yoga. Weight training gives me the strength to hold poses. Moving through yoga poses inevitably gets me out of breath, meaning I have to tap into the training effect of any recent cardio sessions. Then there is the question of whether or not I have stretched enough to get into the pose I would like to practice. My favorite component of yoga is mobility. Contrary to popular belief, yoga is not just stretching and meditation. For each muscle that is being lengthened, or stretched, a set of opposing muscle groups are actively stabilizing the correct posture for any given pose.
Keep in mind, yoga should not be this athletic for everyone all the time. The word yoga means practice. What are we practicing? We are practicing the use of your body in its present state. It is an exercise in understanding your own current self. No, I am not about to go transcendental here. Six months ago I could hold a textbook downward facing dog. My brain, knowing that I had done that less than a year ago, wanted to go for an excellent down-dog pose. However, my hamstrings were telling me that they are a little shorter and my shoulders were telling me that, right now, they are a little stiffer. Listening to the present state of my body, I did not attempt a textbook down-dog pose. I did a mostly-down-puppy instead. Listening to our bodies and acting accordingly is what yoga is all about.
When I practice yoga and effectively combine all the components of fitness and get it all in sync with my breath, my other activities of daily living get a little easier. I am more likely to get in and out of the car with good form. I walk around a little straighter. I think stress gets to me a little less.
How does yoga benefit your other activities of daily living?
- Posted on June 26th, 2013