Getting back into yoga
Adding sun salutations back in
Since my regular yoga sessions were derailed last year for many different reasons, one of my goals of 2018 is getting back to it.
Since I normally train quite hard throughout the week, I like to add Yin Yoga to my regime. I use it as a restorative, meditative exercise.
In this type of practice, you hold poses for several minutes. This might not sound challenging, but believe you me, it is. With controlled breathing, while you're managing the discomfort of holding the stretch, I gain an important calming effect that helps me get back to base mentally.
You may choose a more vigorous, dynamic style or a restorative style, depending on your needs and what you would like to add to your exercise schedule.
My Strong Friend Asha has been instrumental in helping me get back on track with yoga. Tri Yoga UK has an offer right now for unlimited sessions around London. I took Asha up on this little challenge.
Boy, have I made the most of it.
I have not been able to train as hard as I usually would over the last few weeks, so I threw in some other yoga styles to complement the training that I was able to do. It has been highly beneficial and great fun trying out new types of practice.
One of the most useful classes was the Ashtanga workshop. More of an open class with more hands-on teaching, you learn about the poses, correct your stances and understand the moves in greater detail. I found this to be very useful in helping me gain confidence in my practice and deepen my understanding.
Part of the workshop included handstand training. This was pretty phenomenal, and I've added handstands to my goals list. (Handstands are more of a fear issue than a strength issue for me. It will be very satisfying as I get better!)
As my training regime intensity changes and when Rugby starts up again, my aim will be at least one Yin per week. Let's hope I can stick with it this time!
What's your favourite yoga practice?
I challenge you to go out and try different types of yogas and add one to your schedule.
If you do lots of weight training, go for a Yin, if you do more aerobic and steady-state try a dynamic Yang version. Find out more about the different practices in my previous article.
Very importantly, if you're new to yoga go for a beginners level and work up! It's essential that you give yourself the opportunity to learn the moves correctly and not have to rush. In classes that are too advanced, you are likely to get lost and won't get the whole benefit from the time you are spending at practice. It's all about being realistic.