Yoga is the latest addition to my seemingly Phoenix-like return to exercise.
I went for a run yesterday morning – so after a shower and a change of clothing, it seemed the perfect antidote.
The “Restful Yin” class was ideal – as it involved a much-needed stretch for the muscles I’d used in Guerrillas and running.
Most people are familiar with the idea of yin/yang – with my favourites leaning towards the “Yang” side of things obviously.
But here’s a definition from someone who knows a bit more:
“The term “yin yoga” comes from the Taoist tradition. Yang relates to movement, often repetitive movement, creating heat in the body. Yin is about finding stillness and cooling the body.” Geraldine Beirne, Yin yoga: be part of the yin crowd, The Guardian, 5 January 2015
Breathing techniques also help as you use the breath to intensify the stretch.
Imagine then, what that’s like for someone like me!
In other words, most of the exercises I do almost involve “mind over matter” – envisaging what I want my body to do and dragging it along there with me.
And actively welcoming the idea of muscles “softening” – anyone reading this blog knows my opinions on having a soft body!
Nevertheless, the results were fantastic – the stiffness from my more Yang-ish endeavours diminished.
With the aid of YouTube I have managed to heat a cold living room – and my even colder self – with an Ashtanga session.
My only criticism would be that – in a lot of cases on YouTube – the instructor is far more flexible than I could even hope to be.
Let’s face it, who can resist showing-off if they’re good at something?
So many of the ensuring poses are impossible for me and leave me standing gormless on the mat.
Here’s just one example of YouTube yoga for runners – it’s Ekhart Yoga – one of my most trusted (and less ostentatious) sources.
Believe you me, whether it’s a YouTube front room job or a class, yoga does work!