Okay so I know little to nothing about Yoga… And I don’t really consider myself to have a “yoga body” (something I made up in my mind as being very lean, petite, graceful, and perfectly pretty). Also out of concern I wouldn’t know the names or poses, the practice seemed a little too daunting. Recently that mindset has changed – blame the new year or the incessant ads for Yoga apps on my IG feed – I’m now seeing the potential of Yoga to positively impacting my work, fitness, and health.
I recently began a new role as a Behavioral Interventionist (or therapist). In this role I will be working with clients with behavioral needs, including (but not limited to) ASD. During a recent meeting with a coworker we were discussing the physical demands of our job. It’s certainly not as intensely laborious as say a construction job, but the need to be constantly moving, getting on and off the floor with clients, and generally the level of energy (both physical and emotional) that our work requires got us onto the topic of Yoga. She shared with me the many ways it helps with physical strength, easing body tension, and developing a keen sense of inner harmony and peace. Not to mention the appeal of having a specific outlet for physical tensions; it is certainly a worthwhile skill to be able to tap into a calm state of mind considering the psychological and emotional demands of our field.
That Fit Life Tho:
At this point my interest was piqued and I turned to youtube to find a channel I could follow. I discovered Yoga With Adriene 🙂 and gladly started watching a few of her videos. In addition to her calming voice and careful descriptions of movements into each pose, she recently started a series called “yogarevolution” that contains 31 days of Yoga. I’m about to embark into day 3. If you are interested in getting into yoga and need a little motivation I HIGHLY recommend her channel. That said, if she’s not for you I do encourage you to check other yoga challenges, channels, classes, etc – find one that meets your need and skill level.
SO as I mentioned I started looking into the benefits of Yoga for runners and triathletes. (I’ll post the links below). I am seeing how Yoga has the potential to aid my day to day active lifestyle. For example, Yoga:
- Helps reduce the physical stress of running – the rigidity and excessive tightness can be difficult to overcome – Runners can use yoga to balance strength, increase range of motion, and to train the body and mind.
- Teaches the cultivation of body wisdom and confidence – This helps endurance athletes to develop a greater understanding of the body and how it works by becoming more receptive to the messages your body sends you (I don’t know about you, but I have become accustomed to IGNORING the little tweaks and twinges that I’ve been getting since 9th grade XC and could stand to be a little more in touch with what my body NEEDS)
- Focuses on balance, symmetry and alignment – components of fitness that, when ignored, lead to injury! (Again, cyclists, runners and swimmers alike, the time has come to give attention to those weak, neglected areas that over time result in strains, fractures, and agonizing chronic pain)
Migraine, Migraine, Go away:
I get Migraines
They are bad
I get Migraines
They make me sad
I hate you
What will it take
To be ride of you
I’ve tried it all
To my inner healing
I must call
Help me now
Soothe my aching head
Ease my furrowed brow
Okay so I won’t go into this TOO much, but inevitably I have come across claims for the benefits of Yoga on one’s health. Specifically, I discovered that some use Yoga as a means to combat their head pain. While it isn’t a medication replacement, it can certainly help by increasing blood flow, reducing anxiety, and aiding meditative rest.
One more thing…
Lastly, because I imagine many people had or have the same predisposition (potentially acting as a deterrent) that to do Yoga you have to be really skinny or know all the poses — I want to say, It’s just NOT TRUE. Amongst my extensive reading I came across the concept of ‘Yoga at every size’. Hearing that phrase really helped turn my attitude around. So here are the basics, learn what your own physical limitations are and stick with what is comfortable. Yoga, unlike many other forms of working out or exercise, IS NOT about losing weight, or targeting heart zones, or being the best. Yoga practice is meant to serve YOU and “integrate mind, body and spirit to achieve a state of enlightenment with the universe”- YOGA 101 . Okay, I know that may sound a little hokey. If you don’t already know, be prepared that many yogis talk a lot about being centered, connecting with the earth, and generally focusing on your breathing. That said, if you think that maybe just possibly your tension from work, aches from physical activity, or general health could be improved by simply being a little present for 30 minutes a day, I really do urge you to give yoga a try.
Those links – go on find out for yourself: