Is Yoga Enough?

Many students ask me if practicing yoga is enough to get in and stay in shape. Just like everything, it depends. I personally cannot maintain my yoga practice without strength training. If I don’t strength train, I tend to become injured from my yoga practice. This may not be the case for each person, but cross training has many benefits for all.

Practicing yoga tends to include a lot of repetitive movement. This can lead to repetitive movement injuries as well as muscle imbalances. If we do the same practice over and over we may be building strength, but we are also probably neglecting some muscles. For instance, we tend to stretch our hamstrings a lot in yoga, but often neglect to stretch the quads. We also tend to use our pushing muscles in yoga in poses like plank and downward facing dog, but what about the pulling muscles? Since we use the pushing muscles so much more that the pulling muscles in yoga, we often create muscle imbalances in the shoulders. The good news is that these imbalances can be corrected with well planned stretching and strength training.

Part of a well rounded fitness plan is cardiovascular work. For the most part, yoga just doesn’t get the heart rate high enough long enough to be an effective cardio workout. Of course, I am sure there are some classes that are the exception to this, but in general, yoga is not considered a cardiovascular workout.

Actually, yoga is not a workout at all! Yoga is a spiritual practice with some of the same benefits of an exercise program. Don’t confuse the two. Yes, we move our body in yoga but not to lose weight or gain muscle. We move our body to increase Prana (life force) or to create a particular energetic effect. It is awesome to keep yoga and exercise separate. When you honor the reality that yoga is a spiritual practice, you can let go of your desire to workout, your need to be on the go all of the time, and your competitiveness for the time you are practicing. You end up calming the body and mind and finding stillness that typically isn’t found while pumping iron, and become part of a community of like minded people.

The cross training yogi gets the best of both worlds. The spiritual practice that brings peace and balance, and the exercise routine that builds strength, increases flexibility, and reduces the chance of injury. If you are interested in cross training to compliment your yoga practice, contact a Certified Personal Trainer who is also a Registered Yoga Teacher. They will have the expertise to help you meet your goals.

Namaste!

Advertisements

We Will Never Forget

Scrolling through Facebook this morning brings back so many painful memories. I was working in Baltimore for Legg Mason when we heard about the World Trade Center being hit. It was so overwhelming. We went to the trading floor to watch the TV’s. I was terrified. I was already completely out of my comfort zone working in the city. Now this. Were we next? I was so confused and scared. I was terrified for many months following the attacks. Always looking over my shoulder. Watching video footage day in and day out.

Scrolling through Facebook this morning makes me realize how far I’ve come. Humans really are resilient. Who would have thought any of us would ever feel ok again. I now have such a grasp on my anxiety. I am in my comfort zone, practicing my Dharma as a yoga teacher. I no longer watch the news, but stay up to date by reading it.

I definitely feel a rush of anxiety any time I see a reference to the attacks on 9/11, but I do feel that it’s my duty to remember. I want to remember for all those who died or lost loved ones. I honor them and all those who helped that day and the months following. God Bless us all.

And…..2 Years Later

This makes me laugh!  I guess I started a blog 2 years ago and never came back.  Well, here I am.  Ready to pick up where I left off.  A lot has happened these past 2 years.  My teaching has expanded, my children have grown, and we now have 4 dogs & a cat.  Sadly, the blue fish is no more.  I have been much healthier these past 2 years after having a couple of years where I was sick all of the time.  As a mother of 2 little ones, I was so run down and just couldn’t get well.  Now, things are different.  I am taking better care of myself.  Because of that, I am able to take better care of my beloved family.

I am currently teaching Vinyasa, Level I/II Hatha, Yoga for Beginners, and a few All Levels classes.  I am working on becoming certified as an Aqua Yoga Instructor and begin teaching that later this month!  I have also been able to grow my Beach Yoga classes from one beach to 2!  I have so much to talk about, but today just wanted to touch base to say, I’m here!  I’m ready to share amazing content with you as you move along your yoga journey.