I love my early Saturday morning routine…they start with a little warm lemon water, a quick drive to PYC Oshawa…where I promptly get my ass handed to my by Mr. Brad Strickert.
Brad is PYC’s resident floating yogi, who can make any transition seem effortless. He is also great at convincing you, that you can do it AND walking you through step by step how to get there! However, there is the exchange of hard work to make the magic happen!
Brad is teaching an upcoming workshop at PYC Oshawa called Summer Strength Series. Starting June 6th and running for 4 weeks the 75min classes will teach you the importance of muscle engagement to open up the possibility of your own practice!
I had the chance to ask Brad a few questions regarding Strength and Yoga. Read on for some really great shift 😉
Why is strength important to yoga?
The strength aspect in yoga is all about muscle engagement, body control and awareness. Once you can tap into each of these different areas your practice will transform, your body will feel lighter and you’ll be able to move to more advanced transitions.
What is the best strength gain you have since incorporating yoga into your life?
Yoga has made me very aware of what I would call “weak points” in my body. From years of weight lifting I had developed a number of these areas and was starting to suffer from back spasms. When holding a static pose for a series of breaths I became acutely aware of them and would work to start to find muscle engagement or range of motion which led to building increased overall strength at the same time. This came from being able group muscles together for strength rather than having them fire individually.
What is the biggest myth about strength and yoga?
The #1 misconception that people have about yoga is that it’s all about stretching… which is like saying that hockey is all about skating. There is a huge strength aspect in the challenging static and dynamic movements that take place in each class. Quickly you realize that the strength doesn’t come from having large or bulky muscle but from the activation of all your muscles working synergistically which requires concentration and focus.
How do you continue to challenge yourself?
Lately I’ve been working on inversions like hollow back and scorpion. I find these poses especially difficult because I can’t see where my body is in space, so you need to feel where my legs may be in relation to my hands for balance. It’s in the difficulty of these movements that my mind is free from any outside distraction.
What can people hope to learn/experience from your workshop?
This series is designed for people to reconnect with muscles they already have in order to feel lighter in their practice. In each session we will break down various body weight movements and restorative stretches to understand the fundamentals. At the end of each session there will be “homework” in set of movements that students can do at home to continue to build their strength and range of motion for the following week. This series will test and build your static and dynamic strength and give the student increased awareness of their body.
What is your favorite quote?
“Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things”
-Miyamoto Mushashi “The Book of 5 Rings”