the llama blog
practicing yoga off the mat.
Some people run. Some people cycle. Some do Crossfit. Some even swim when it’s freezing outside. I do yoga. And lots of it. I’ve been practicing yoga for more than 15 years, and still to this day there are poses that are not easy for me to do.
In yoga, proper alignment in a pose like handstand will only take you so far – lining your wrist creases under your shoulders, extending your legs up and in line with your hips. Sounds quite simple on paper, but there are many other elements needed in order to glide up into a handstand. You need flexibility in the shoulders and hips, core and arm strength, self-confidence, breath and body awareness and mental focus.
Yoga, in its physical sense, can address many of these elements, but a great athlete knows he may need to add other activities to cross train the mind and body. When you combine a yoga practice that includes stretching and opening the hips with a strength training routine that increases core support, a handstand seems more attainable.
Many of us are not training to hold a handstand, but I know a lot of us share a common goal of wanting to feel strong and healthy as we age. Cross training provides a well-rounded movement practice for a healthy lifestyle. It helps build muscle and endurance to prevent injury in your favorite activity and daily life. Cross training also protects the body from the wear and tear of one continuous activity.
Here are a few suggestions to help cross train your yoga practice:
In addition, my good friends, the training team at Ruff Fitness, offer a customized approach to cross training to match your lifestyle goals. Each training session includes myofascial release, dynamic warm-ups, metabolic training and functional strength.
Give yourself permission to go further, to expand and grow. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or simply looking to enjoy your future retirement, cross training will assist your needs.
**Please note I am not a medical doctor nor hold a medical degree. Statements made in this blog post are of my own opinion and educational background.