Monthly Archives

September 2013

Yoga

Why Athletes Should Practice Yoga.

September 25, 2013

Frequently athletes who are into competitive sports don’t give enough emphasis to a regular yoga routine to supplement their workouts.  This leads to workouts that are not holistic.  Such workouts result in bodies that are tense, stressed and inflexible.  I’ve found that gym-goers have flexibility as the lowest priority in their fitness goals.  But it should be the most important.  Why?

Flexibility ensures that you’re limbs and muscles are well conditioned and this leads to a greater resistance to injury.  Ask me.  I see big strong muscular army officers who can run 5 km in under 30 minutes but who have weak knees, shoulder issues, ankles that haven’t fully recovered from injury.  If they would only listen to me and just incorporate a few yoga stretches into their daily workouts they would reap the results of bodies which are more resistant to injury and also which, once injured will heal faster.  Also, yoga ensures that even if you have been injured, your rate of recovery is faster because your muscles and tissues have more oxygen and therefore more regenerative abilities.

Also, the more elasticity your body retains the easier and quicker you can achieve your physical goals.  Whether it’s hitting a ball far far away or kicking it through everything that stands in its way, a person who has a mind-body connection will be able to harness the elasticity, strength, and stamina of their body to achieve the goal.  Usually, those who don’t practice yoga are unable to make the most of the resources their bodies have and so end up not achieving the goals that the yoga practitioners do.

At a purely physical level, yoga helps in increasing your range of motion.  And athletes particularly need greater range of motion to increase their speed and agility.  This directly impacts how they move.  They will move faster, but, at a more subtle level it will improve how they move when they move fast.  Athletes who are also yogis retain a greater degree of motor control when they move fast.  Yoga makes your muscles lean and long and makes your body supple.

Competitive sports are stressful.  Yoga routines help to relieve tension easily so you relax sooner and better.

And most importantly – yoga will help you WIN at your sport.  Yogis feel easy in their bodies and mind.  This translates to tackling life’s problem with ease.  Therefoer yogis find it easier to focus all their efforts on the goal.  This focus comes effortlessly.  So while the other guy or team is working hard on focusing and concentrating, you will be calm and tuned in to your meditative and observant side.  This will give you that edge that non-yogi athletes don’t have…and before you know it, you will be winning at your sport and in your life.

dancing

Supplementing your workout with a few yoga classes a week can go a long way in helping you achieve your fitness goals more holistically.  Come practice yoga with me from Mon-Thurs from 10-11am @Namma Crossfit and see for yourself.

Yoga

Lessons in Peace and Calm

September 16, 2013

Recently I had the chance of getting to know one of my students over coffee. Despite her hectic schedule this wonderful woman took me to her home and offered me amazingly good filter coffee and healthy mid-morning snacks to go along with it. She was considerate enough to ask me whether I eat once I’m done with the class and what I eat if I do. During the course of our conversation I realized that by virtue of being a wife and a mother, there were so many unavoidable responsibilities that she was loaded with, and that she probably had to juggle her schedule a bit to accomodate our little coffee break. She has two daughters in high school, a family business, older in-laws to take care of, and of course the everyday hassles of running a house. Looking at her I wondered where she got the energy from. She seemed the embodiment of ‘Ces’t la vie’…with a smile.

That day I learned from her that if you accept your lot in life with ease then you make space for peace and you are able to deal with things in a calmer manner. Having no time is the bane of modern existence, but sometimes in the middle of it all you meet some individuals who manage to stay focused and calm. These individuals are busy, have responsibilities, and with that, numerous sources of stress in their lives. Yet, they manage. How?

They create an oasis of calm and peace in which they reside and refuel. According to yogic philosophy, everything is an illusion. An event is just a combination of moments put together. Whether the event is good or bad depends on who it happens to and how that person responds to it. So if you choose to respond with peace and calm, you significantly reduce the damage caused by events over which you sometimes have no control.

The valuable insight I received from our chat over coffee:
1. There are sources of stress, worry, strain and anger in everyone’s life. Waiting for the source of stress in your life to disappear so that you can live peacefully again is in vain because there will always be something to worry about.
2. The best way to deal with life is to create reserves of calm and peace within yourself by recognizing that you need to spend time by yourself. Whether it’s going for your closest yoga class, or doing some deep breathing for 5 minutes before you start your day, or reading the paper with your coffee and watching the world wake up…whatever it is, you need to take time out for your body and mind.