Stretching – A Note To My Younger Self About Yoga and Flexibility
Dear Nikki, before you do anything else will you please just take 5 minutes to stretch!! You won’t realise it now but all those years of running, cycling, weights and generally throwing your body around will create one tough nut to crack later when you want to work on your flexibility!
Take it from me, I am now embarking on a very challenging journey of yoga in a concentrated effort to complete overall fitness and wellbeing. If only you had taken time to do more yoga CONSISTENTLY over all those years.
Oh well, I guess you were young and had so much energy you didn’t really think about it. I know you went to yoga when you were doing triathlon and you were stretching after every session but I just don’t think it was really enough. So thanks!
Yoga strengthen’s and lengthens, it provides work for your muscles to do but at the same time helps repair and regenerate on a cellular level. Flexibility is a crucial aspect to overall fitness. Weights, running, cycling and sitting all shorten muscles and tighten the body – balancing rigidity with openness is like yin and yang. Stretching and yoga aid in injury prevention, circulation, decreasing levels of physical and mental stress and the effects these have on the body.
So now, my young self, the fact you did not do that means I am embarking on a whole new journey to see what I am capable of. Even though in the words of the amazing local yoga instructor Nada ” you have A LOT of work to do”, I am not deterred. More-so inspired by the benefits I have already noticed and felt within 2 weeks, and those that I can feel will be a result of this weekly practise and mindfulness.
Don’t worry = the older version of you is not walking around in tie-dyed headbands and chanting OM all day. You are still as hyperactive and crazy as ever. However with the yoga comes a certain balance to the energy, a centred focus and a stronger feeling of agility, strength and capabilities.
If I had that time all over again here’s what I would recommend to my younger self:
- Integrate a quality yoga class into your weekly training
- Stretch in your down time, even while watching TV
- Focus on flexibility as a key element for injury prevention and total fitness
- Be aware of the power of mind, body, spirit connection – even if you’re racing around, its amazing to bring things into balance.
What’s the now?
Revelation at Evolation. Luckily just around the corner from our HQ the amazing Nada has set up a new hot yoga studio called Evolation. With fresh white walls, polished floors and infrared heating this is an ideal place for a non bendy person to start. Welcoming for all levels from beginners to truly advanced this studio makes embarking on yoga enjoyable and rewarding.
Overall it’s not just about where you practise yoga but who you practise with, the style of teaching and finding classes and types of yoga that best suit. There are so many options it is worth exploring different yoga practises to find the one that can suit your stage or needs. Mix them up, try different instructors, locations and practise the work you learn in a studio at home.
If you are thinking about yoga or doing more stretching then I would suggest that you just get started and integrate this into your daily life asap. I’m following my own advice and enjoying the journey.
Namaste, health & happiness!