I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I actually taught Yoga as a certified instructor before I fell in love with it. I was in the fitness biz and I thought a yoga certification would allow me to take care of my body and add more classes to my roster. I took a fully accredited course and worked very hard to earn that certification. I enjoyed the hours that I shadowed other instructors and co-taught and learned from everyone I could…but I far from LOVED yoga. I appreciated yoga and I was grateful for my own practice, but I couldn’t allow myself to fall head over heels in love.
People (men and women) who spend hours in the gym, track, pavement, or studio don’t give yoga the credit it deserves as a legitimate work-out. “It can’t burn the calories I need.” “My heart rate won’t hit the fat-burning zone.” “It won’t develop my muscles”….. I couldn’t bring myself to see yoga as an all-encompassing body workout.
I have seen many athletes discount Yoga time and again. I now know that they are absolutely missing out. Since I discovered Power Yoga through the PYC community I have seen yogis who lose 100+ pounds only using yoga. I have seen people prepare for marathons and Spartan races predominately using yoga. The most amazing part was the muscle development I saw. Using HEAVY weights in hours of strength training I couldn’t get my arm and back muscles to pop the way they do now. The other shocker was how sustainable yoga was, it simultaneously stretched and lengthened my muscles at the same time it tore them down, allowing them to grow back stronger. That’s not supposed to happen!
We workout junkies need to burn calories, define muscle, lift more and do MORE. Yoga has provided the balance I so craved. I can take the same class for months and never have it be the same twice. It adapts to what your body needs and gets harder as your body gets stronger. I still love running and swimming and a good muscle shred class. Those activities are now enjoyed in and around my yoga practice.
I now see that my misconceptions around yoga were partially the stories I told myself about yoga and partially finding the type of yoga (and community) that best suited me. Once I found Power Yoga I not only considered it my workout, but it satisfied my need for community connection, AND it helped me find my focus.
The greatest thing is so many I-Don’t-Yoga-I-Work-Out junkies are trading in some of their workouts for time on the mats. Yoga is helping to fill the gap, between caring for your body, and giving it a great workout. You won’t find any professional sports team that doesn’t incorporate yoga into their training on a very regular basis.
Now, one of my favourite things to do is bring non-yogis to the dark side. I love seeing that expression of understanding flitter across their face as the sweat pours from everywhere.