Over the past year and a half, I’ve been exposed to the Oming, Chaturanga’s & Vinyasa Flows in the world of Yoga.
I never would of thought I’d ever be sitting in a steaming hot class room, with about 15-25 people, sweating my ass off and holding balance postures for record times.
I’m a big dude, recovering Powerlifter, Strongman enthusiast and now a complete freak-show of a Yogi (A term that Yoga folks use to call themselves, sorta like a Crossfitter) 😉
What I’ve come to realize over the span of my practice is that it never really ever get’s easier, and that’s why I love it. It’s one of the most humbling forms of training that I’ve ever done, especially being a fairly strong guy in the weight room, I walk into a Yoga studio and I’m the biatch curled in the fettle position, like Leonardo DiCaprio in Basketball Diaries detoxing off of Heroin.
Yoga beats you up in a truly amazing way, and the more you commit to yourself and stay consistent with your practice, the more you’ll start to breathe better and deeper and find a different meaning that you can approach to all of our crazy fast paced lives.
For you Masters Athletes, I can’t think of a better thing to do for yourself than adding Yoga into your lives. Does it have to be a BRUTAL class? No, not at all. There are so many forms of Yoga that I think would balance your training during the week and not interfere with your precious #gains. Some like more of a challenge with a heated flow class while others may be more apt to a restorative more grounding class.
Whatever you choose, just choose it and find the right teachers that will lead you to become a flexible god(es) to keep longevity in the forefront and have a better sense of your own self.
The more I look at our society and how awful our posture is deteriorating, how tight and immobile we are all becoming from lack of movement, it keeps me so focused on this aspect of my training to make sure it’s never out of my life.
I do not want to get any shorter as I get older, I do not want Kyphosis (rounding of your upper thoracic spine) and I sure as hell do not want to ever stop being able to throw some weights around (no matter how light).
I remember walking into my first Yoga class a couple of years ago (before I started taking it seriously) and I sucked so miserably bad that it detoured me from stepping back into a class for about a year or so. This is the exact thing that you need NOT to do.
Learn from my mistake and do not get discouraged from your lack of knowledge, lack of balance, and lack of being able to keep up with more experienced members. Your practice will come around the more you show up, so all you really need to do is………Show up!
It’s just like walking into the gym for the first time, or at least it was for me. I remember walking into the YMCA when I was about 13 with a few of my idiot friends, looking at all these ripped dudes pushing weight and straight intimidating the shit out of us. I remember picking up a 10lb Dumbbell and feeling like all of their eyes were burning holes through my soul.
I went home that day and told myself that I would read as much as possible so next time I went to the gym, I had a plan for my friends and I.
It wasn’t too long, maybe a few months that some of the older guys came over to invite us to train with them. They saw that we were dedicated and serious about it so they gave us the open invite to the “C00l Kids Club” and from then on, my training went through the roof.
I used this same approach to my Yoga practice.
Yes, it’s intimidating at first. You will completely eat it hard I’m sure and fall on your face, kick your mat, internally scream to yourself “Why the fuck are we STILL in this position?” But that’s all part of the journey. It’s all part of learning how to free your mind and just be present and truly embrace all the tension that’s building up in your joints/muscles to release.
That’s all Yoga is for me, it’s a massive form of release. I’m able to now focus and breathe so much better than I did this time last year, things have gotten better but never “easy”. I don’t ever want to feel like I made it through a class, I always want to know that on that given day, I left it all on the mat (usually it looks like a chalk outline at a crime scene, just without the chalk and a lot of sweat…Maybe a sweat angel?)
Someday’s I will feel like a champ, other days I will feel like an amateur, and other days I will just not be into it and that’s totally fine. When we stop trying to force so much shit into our lives that should not be there in the first place, you’ll start to understand your individual practice so much more.
I am very fortunate to be surrounded by some amazing Yoga studios and have access to some of the best teachers in the world. Each week, I get so fired up to see which classes I’m going to hit and mentally prepare to wreck some havoc (in a grounding non-wreaking-havoc kind of way)
My life is all over the map almost all the time. I take on way too many projects and things with my business that I probably should not, but that’s me, that’s what makes me me and I’m okay with it. I’m also okay with finally learning to say NO! And to stop trying to please everyone else, and start pleasing and saying yes to me.
Yoga is a big massive yes in my life and I’ll always have it with me each week.
No matter where I am in the world, I’m almost 150% positive that I can find a little hole in the wall with a few other like-minded individuals, trying to get flexible and limber and live a longer more sincere life.
Don’t wait, don’t say you should do it, jump on Google and hit the ground running.
Go tonight, go right now, but do yourself and your body a solid and just go.