Hey, happy Monday!
Today is a big day for all Boston Marathon runners. I admire you all and wish you the best of luck!
My weekend was pretty active, featuring some yoga and running. Both of these activities are making pretty serious comeback into my trainings and I'm really happy about it. Some time ago I reduced my running remarkably because it was just so darn cold or rainy to run outside. I did no yoga at all, because I just didn't have it available in my gym. So I went with the conditions. I worked at the gym and focused much more on lifting, which is fun as well.
I think it's really important to be able to adapt to the conditions. I don't want to do only running or only lift heavy or do only yoga or only [insert whatever activity], because what happens if because of whatever reasons, I just can't do the this one thing that I'm used to?
Say I'm traveling. What if I'm only lifting heavy, but there is no equipment in my hotel gym? What if I'm only running but the weather is freezing cold or it's constantly raining? The more things you practice, the more you have to choose from. Doing different things makes your workouts more fun and prevents you from getting bored.
But back to yoga. On Saturday I attended the Yoga To the People Vinyasa Foundations Workshop.
In three hours, we went through 12 most important, foundational Vinyasa positions. Our teacher Annemaria was incredibly nice and friendly, walking us through the theory of each pose. All of us practiced the positions and there were six more teachers to check each and everyone of us to make sure we get the things right.
I found the workshop really useful for me. Here's what I learnt about most usual poses. Maybe you have come across to similar things?
1. Downward Facing Dog. That's the pose you probably do tens and tens time in each yoga class. I have overextending elbow joints, which means that when doing downward facing dog, I shouldn't lock my elbows but keep them slightly bent instead. It totally makes sense, because in a long run, putting extra pressure to already overextended joint may start to hurt it.
2. Forward Fold. I've always tried to keep my legs fully extended when doing forward fold, but it's totally fine to keep the knees little bent. The goal is to fold from the hips but not waist, and this is way easier to do with slightly bent knees if your hammies are a little tight. A really good tip!
3. In Half Lift the main goal is lengthen the spine. It's so much easier to do when you put your hands on your thighs instead of shins. When you're having your hands on your thighs, you can push yourself much further and lengthen your spine way better. I'm definitely going to remember that.
4. Plank. I made just a little adjustment to the pose, but I totally felt the influence of it the next day. Apparently I had rounded my upper back every time I did the plank – something you really can't see yourself, right! So flattening my upper back made it totally feel in my shoulder blades. Today I'm feeling like I've been trying to fly but not successfully… My shoulderblades are sore just from such a small change.
5. Flow. Now that's major. I didn't know how important it is to move not only down but also forward when traveling through the flow. You should move forward so far that your wrists and elbows are pretty much in one line. This is so much harder! What I've been doing thus far was more similar to tricep push up.
6. Warrior Two. My knee tends to cave inward when I'm trying to rotate my hips towards the side wall. I would twist myself as much as I could, but either my knee would turn in or my hips wouldn't rotate as much as needed. As I know now, the main focus here, however, is to avoid the knee turning in and there are not actually too many people who are able to rotate their hips parallel to the side wall.
All very useful tips! I understand that it's not possible to teach everyone individually in a big group yoga class, so I'm really happy that I went to the workshop and came back with a bunch of useful information.
Can't wait to put it all into use and start practicing. It takes a lot of repetition to actually remember new things. My form wasn't terrible before, but these tips definitely helped me to correct my poses and get more out of my yoga practice.
What's the one thing you learned lately – about your yoga, running, lifting, life?
I'd love to know!
Nice! I think it’s so important to vary workouts. It’s great for the body and it keeps ya from getting too bored. I feel like I learn something new every time I go to yoga. Recently I’ve been really concentrating on my hips and learned I was doing a lot of stuff wrong. Glad you had a great weekend and some great workouts! Keep it up!
Thanks Carissa! Yes, it’s incredibly important to do those things right. And it’s pretty amazing how just a little change in your pose can make such a big difference!