Athlete Meets Yoga

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With my beautiful, fearless yoga instructor, Tracye

 

As I sit in a coffee shop, sipping my morning coffee and writing this blog on yoga, it seems a far cry from the workout I just put in this morning….

a strong hour on the rowing machine, sweat flying everywhere, breathing hard, heart beating fast with edgy rock music blaring in my ears.

Nothing but pure, strong, energy. I love it. I thrive on the hard work required during a workout I’m throwing myself into.

It’s why I love running and cycling too… just the constant strong, fast movement  and the heady rush that comes with it.

Therefore…. the idea of yoga… seemed so…tame to me.

Quiet. Still. Slow. Chill music. Peaceful mind emptied of thoughts.

The polar opposite of everything I feed on.

YET…. I have read articles galore about how good yoga is for a runners body, overall for the athlete in general. I had often pondered trying a class. I have a lovely friend who has taught for years and encouraged me to come… then the other day… the planets were all in alignment haha 😉

I read a post where she was doing an afternoon class for 5.00. Seriously?  Timing and price were perfect… how could I not finally go try?

Ok I will admit to teasing her about not killing me.. torturing me in some awful moves. The reality probably was closer to… I didn’t wanna look goofy 😛

So I showed up to my first class ready to be bent, contorted, and peacefully molded.

I’ll tell you what I learned….

Ok first, she was awesome. And patient. And carefully showed the class modifications from easy to hardest moves.

Athletically, I’m used to using my strength to power through what I do whether it’s lifting weights, running or being on my bike. In yoga I quickly felt and understood that it would be my strength under focused control.

There were moves that I felt instantly grateful for my strength training as I had to rely on holding moves out ( hello deep lunges, with my arms outstretched over me and to the side) my muscles responded and did what was asked of them..it was still hard.

Balance moves? “The tree” you are posed on one foot with the other tucked to the inside of your thigh… planted.. like a tree… and hopefully…just standing strong and still like that. Hello…. thank you single leg deadlifts that I’ve been pounding out that has helped me develop really good balance.

There were a lot of flexibility exercises that it turns out.. hey…for all I do.. I’m pretty darn flexible. Bending, twisting, holding poses.  Some weren’t easy but that made it even more challenging to me.

And speaking of that… challenging… I also learned… it appears I’m just as competitive with myself in yoga as anything else I do. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing haha

When she showed us all the moves from easiest to hardest… my mind immediately went to the top level. If it was suggested you could “try to do it” … I immediately went for it.

OMG… it’s a sickness… isn’t it? That competitive streak in me…

the icing on the cake of that? It showed me what I’m capable of that I didn’t know I could even do. When she had us tucked into a bridge position, she moved her hands over her shoulders and behind her head… and seamlessly moved into a backbend.

She indicated we could do that… I laughed… like that “there’s no way” kinda laugh….but as I started pushing myself that direction… and… oh my.. it was working… I felt somewhat like a sea whale attempting the move and dropped down… hoping I wouldn’t look like I was helplessly floundering on the floor…

at her encouragement that I had it… I went right into it again.. doing better the second time. I practiced last night… it’s starting to feel easier.

A back bend.   At 51.

I’ve never done one in my entire life.

I was pretty excited over that stunt haha 😛

I also just learned a lot of great stretching moves which feel amazing. I find myself just stopping to do some of them during my day.

Of course, it is an activity where you focus on quieting your mind, breathing ( ha… I must remember to focus on breathing!) and just learn to relax in what I’m doing.

I admit… this will take a little time for me….turning my mind down is hard….

But… I like challenges… so I’m trying a class next week… we’ll see how that goes…

 

Tell me… do you or have you done yoga? Do you find it beneficial? What do you like about it?  If you’re an athlete, do you find it has helped you?

 

 

 

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Published by

Sassyfitnesschick

8 years ago I began what I now refer to as my "journey into lifestyle fitness". After a yearly check in with my Dr he said I looked "really good on paper, but I might consider losing a few pounds" I wasn't offended... I knew I needed to but it seemed like to much work at the time. In that year we had adopted 2 girls out of foster care, plus caring for my 3 sons & husband sort of left me on the back burner taking care of "me". I told him I "used to" walk & he encouraged me to at least get back to that. I left his office that day, started, & never quit. As time moved on my walks increased in length & speed. I started mingling some jogging into it...then after more time some short sprints. One day I realized I was doing more running than anything else. I learned to run longer and farther. I constantly challenged myself to do more. I realized I had turned into a runner & was loving it. I have since run 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, and my first 50K scheduled for March 1,2015. Not bad for a girl who just started off walking not quite 2 miles! My body was now beginning to show the results of my work as weight & inches dropped off. I began to add in boxing & weights on days I wasn't running. Over time as the fat left, my new muscles were waiting underneath =) Obviously, I also made some food changes. Nothing drastic..just started eating less and trying to eat better.. I hated diets and how they made me feel....deprived & left out of all the fun...so adjusting & eating less of what I liked and moving more.. I found myself getting in decent physical shape. It began my thinking of lifestyle and not "dieting". As I got stronger,healthier & more fit it was an easier process to "let go" of some of the foods I had enjoyed. I had more energy, strength and confidence in what I could do. It was empowering. It made me realize that I probably wasn't the only one who wanted to lose weight, be healthy & strong but not always be on some sort of "diet". Maybe my journey & what I had learned & been doing might possibly help others to success in their lives... I consider myself to be rather normal and ordinary ( meaning I haven't always been into fitness and healthy eating) it has been a steady, daily, learned process with good days and bad days and my hope is that you too, will see the greatness in you, and that you have the ability and power to change and do anything you put your mind to. If you want change, you can make it happen. It's just one day at a time, making smart moves and better choices, and before you know it, things are happening. Get started on your journey, really, what do you have to lose ? And yet, so much to gain =)

2 thoughts on “Athlete Meets Yoga”

  1. I LOVE adding yoga into my fitness routine. It’s a great way to make sure I stretch my muscles and calm my mind. I meditate often with Yoga at home and I will occasionally go to a hot yoga session at my local studio. I mostly do cardio and lift weights so adding yoga to my routine is a really great challenge and change of pace for my body. Here is my blog post on yoga if you’d like to read more :): https://trimwithjenn.com/2016/03/28/how-yoga-entered-my-life/

    Liked by 1 person

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