So I've recently been approached by an oddly high number people who are either training intensely for something or who are avid gym-goers wanting to lose weight. It seems strange that these active people are having difficulty losing weight, and being holistic in my approach, I know that each individual has differing reasons. There is one common thread though- recovery. Recovery is so important for muscle repair and growth, hormonal re-balancing, and even body/mind connection.
Amongst nutrition, yoga can help with recovery, which is why I wrote this short little blog geared towards those active people who have yet to try a yoga class......
It’s heard it all the time- ringing through the halls of gyms- when people are asked about yoga:
“I’m not flexible enough”
“It’s not physically active enough for me”
“I’m not very co-ordinated”
These three common excuses prevent people from trying and incorporating yoga into their workout schedules. Here are three reasons why they should:
Yoga gets us out of our head and into our body.
Yoga teaches us that our body (and our breath) are better than our mind at determining our limits. Have you ever experienced the nagging desire to stop halfway through a workout? That’s your mind. Have you ever puked after an intense workout? That’s your body. In a yoga class it’s quiet, and the environment is calm which gives us a chance to really listen and understand when it’s our mind that’s telling us that we’ve maxed out or when it’s our body. Every cue is different for everyone. Come to a mat and learn what yours are.
Yoga teaches us about the power of breath.
I’m sure you’ve heard your trainer say (or yell) “BREATHE!!”, that’s because your breath gives you life and if, when you’re working out, you don’t breath, you die....ok well what they actually mean is that if you don’t breathe you don’t experience your full potential in the exercise. The same thing happens in yoga except the teacher doesn’t (usually) yell. When we are reminded to breathe through a pose we notice that our body can hold it longer than our mind thinks.
Yoga assists in physical training (and mental) recovery.
Are you one of those people that despises their recovery day? Do you usually find yourself in the middle of a two-hour “slow” run on your rest day? Recovering from intense training is KEY to seeing results. Our muscles need rest days so that they can focus on repair and growth. Most yoga classes are a great way to fulfill our desire for activity without overdoing it. In fact the warming and stretching in yoga can assist in muscle recovery by increasing the blood flow to those muscle groups in need of repair, in turn, supplying them with the nutrients necessary for their recovery.
Not only our body needs a recovery day, but so does our mind. Thoughts run rampant for most of us at the best of times, and when we get to a yoga class we can start to train our minds to slow down and clear out unnecessary thoughts. This creates space and silence to hear what our body (and our heart) is truly telling us.
So don't be intimidated, don't be shy and try a yoga class!
Jana Roy RHN RYT