Why Hot Athletic Yoga? By Jessica Proctor
Why Hot Athletic Yoga?
Lets start with a little background of myself. I am a movement junky. As an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher I’m sure you can imagine I have tried it all. I am also a bit of an endurance junky to boot, if it isn’t a challenge then I’m out the door. I started practicing yoga over ten years ago in hopes that it would help my running, little did I know I would become an addict. Out of all the weight training programs and boring drills I played around with I found that the dynamic strength and endurance I gained from a well rounded yoga program to be the best to enhance my athletic performance. After practicing for some time I started to notice a change in my body. I could run faster, longer and stronger. But why? Lets chat a little more shall we.
First of all let me mention that you don’t have to be an athlete to do hot yoga, in fact at one point in my life the thought of running a mile made me hide so I’m sure you can imagine what I thought about yoga. The truth is if you stick with the practice you will notice the many benefits of a balanced yoga program and you may exceed any boundaries or limitations you have placed on yourself. Still wondering why?. Well, let me take a few min to explain.
Yoga doesn’t just train the body, it trains the mind as well. If you think about it, how often do you get uncomfortable in life? Probably a lot throughout your day right. Start to pay attention as that discomfort bubbles up and you will realize how quickly you change directions and run the other way. You don’t like the show on tv you change the channel, you don’t like the song on he radio, you change the sstation. Our minds get used to changing out of the uncomfortable situations instead of living and learning from them. Yoga teaches us to sit with discomfort so we can reach the point of change before we run, give up or walk away. Can you imagine how much that could help the next time you run that race, or step up to your next competition. Strength comes from the heart people, but the mind will often override and send us packing.. Thats why we have to put ourselves into sticky situations on and off the mat to explore ourselves in discomfort so we can learn to deal with it. I know I’m blowing your mind now, so what else can yoga do.
Many of us get stuck in repetitive patterns throughout our day. Think about it. What do you do all day. You drive, you sit at your computer, you walk and if you are an athlete you run, cycle, swim, lift you name it. What do all of these activities have in common? They all work in only one plane of motion, the sagittal plane. All of these activities keep us moving forward and we are likely very good at that but when it comes to busting out of the sagittal plane into all planes of motion thats where we struggle. Try it, get up and do some jumping jacks or some twisting or hold side plank till you shake, not so easy huh? Yoga will get you moving from side to side, back and forward, up and down, it will even get twisting and back bending. All of which will train and tone your stabilizing muscles. I know what your saying, who cares about the stabilizing muscles, I want bulging biceps and ripples in my abbs. Now I admit those muscles are pretty but they are superficial. Its the deep stabilizers that will give you balance and flexibility and push your endurance to the next level.
This all sounds wonderful and I know your curious. There is much more than this, yoga can teach you of your hidden strengths, it can take you on a journey you may never expect all you have to do is have an open mind and try. So where to start? Find a studio, try many until you find your home. All studios are different. If you are an athlete or even if you just love movement look for a studio that specializes in hit athletic yoga like Torch Yoga in Virginia Beach, VA.
When you practice hot yoga at Torch Yoga, don’t expect to sit much. As soon as you come on to your mat you will be moving in all directions using a combination of strength, flexibility and endurance to take you outside of your comfort zone and into new spaces. Spaces that you may have never explored before. Through dynamic movement you grow. Why dynamic movement you ask? A dynamic yoga practice is a great way to break old patterns and to build strength in areas of the body and mind that are otherwise underused. Have you ever noticed that when you bend over you cant touch your toes. That does not mean your not supposed to move in such a way, it means there is a muscle imbalance which can lead to injury. At Torch we heat up the body and work on moving against the resistance to find deep internal balance. Compound this with strength and core conditioning to put the body back into alignment and reduce risk of injury. We pump up the music, heat up the room and set the challenge so each individual can reach beyond their own expectations. Come prepared to sweat, stay dedicated and you will see a change in both mind and body.