Category Archives: Yoga Training

Yoga On The Terrace

My Wednesday Traveling Workout

When I booked our trip to Amalfi, I had one main goal in mind in terms of accommodations: To book an apartment with a large terrace on which to do bodyweight workouts.

I knew there wouldn’t be easily accessible gyms in Amalfi and wouldn’t be accustomed to my typical yoga class–this region of Italy is much less equipped than Rome or other major cities. I also knew that most of the beaches would be rocky and populated, making beach workouts near impossible. So, I did what I always do: I planned ahead and made a commitment to just do my best–no more, and no less.

As such, I packed a travel yoga mat that folds up into a compact square and my speed rope. Neither of which take up space in my bag, and both of which allow me to perform a variety of body weight workouts on our Amalfi terrace–including, of course, my daily yoga practice.

So, while I don’t have lots to work with this week, I do have lots of space and a fabulous environment. After doing 8 minutes of yoga as a warmup, I did the following workout:

AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) 5 minutes:

Glute Bridge x20

V-up x10

AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) 5 minutes:

Burpee x0

Squat Jump x15

AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) 15 minutes:

Double Under x15

Lunge Jump x20

Efficient and effective–that’s how I like to roll. Afterwards, we walked 3.5 miles along the coast, from Amalfi to Maiori, in order to spend a bit of family time on one of the sandier beaches.

While I’m traveling, I’ll absolutely hit up a gym or a Crossfit box, but I won’t go too far out of my way to do so. I know that the gym will still be there when I get home, and I know I’m not going to set any PRs while traveling, so I don’t stress out over it. I just do my best–which, incidentally, is also what I do when I’m not traveling.

Back in my obsessive dieting and training days, I’d go as far out of my way as necessary to find a well equipped gym, which would typically cut a total of 3 hours out of my day. There was an almost tangible urgency towards accommodating my diet and training schedule, regardless of where I was in the world.

Today, void of such obsessions, I’m happy to get in a quick 20 minute workout on the terrace because I’m not interested in perfection–I’m interested in momentum. It took a lot of trips and a lot of practice to replace this sense of urgency with a more relaxed desire for momentum, but it was totally worth it. The thing is, life is just too damn short to stress out over these things, especially while in a place as picturesque and relaxing as the Amalfi Coast.

I workout when I travel so that when I get home I haven’t lost my momentum, and because moving just feels so much better to me than the alternative. I love having this kind of freedom in my life–it’s no much more blissful than urgency and obsession.

For those that are looking for a quick travel yoga workout or something they can do in a pinch, here is a workout I have done before and will many times do.

Please follow and like us:

Can Yoga Make You A Better Athlete?

As someone who loves yoga, it may come as a surprise that I also consider myself an athlete. I’m not saying I’m Lebron James or anything like that, but I’m always trying to get more out of my body. Like other athletes, I want to be stronger, faster, quicker and have more endurance a year from now than I do currently. I say all this to answer a question that I tend to get a lot, which is “Can yoga help someone become a better athlete?” Well, if someone wants to be more flexible, stronger, quicker, more agile, have better balance, and the ability to better focus, then the answer would have to be “Yes!”

I live in a city where high school sports is a big deal. There are a few local colleges where sports are pretty big as well. In the last few years, I have had more athletes coming to do yoga because they want to gain a competitive advantage. Most come in a bit skeptical. I will overhear the guys usually asking the trainers at the gym about the best test booster of 2015 or which supplements are going to give them an advantage before they will even peek their head into the yoga studio. They may not usually start out looking to yoga, but a lot are willing to try it because they know their teammates or others have done it before. Plus, yoga is becoming more and more popular over time.

Now, I don’t claim to know much about sports. My knowledge of it comes from clients of mine who play sports and inform me of things here and there. What I do know is that the athletes that do yoga at our studio usually report back to me that they feel more athletic, explosive, and, perhaps more importantly, have less injuries. I can’t say I’m surprised by any of this because these are all the benefits that myself and many others I know have experienced over the years. The difference is we don’t play competitive sports like these guys do.

The reason that yoga helps one become a better athlete is hard to quantify, but it helps with:

  • Increased core strength – lack of core strength is a culprit of all sorts of injuries
  • Increased flexibility – joints and muscles that are flexible are harder to strain or pull
  • Quicker reflexes – muscles that are flexible also react quicker, which means better reflexes and reaction time
  • Better balance – balance is often overlooked, but it aids in so many things
  • Increased range of motion – more flexibility means that the joints have an increased range of motion and usually a more pain-free one as well
  • Better focus – so much of yoga is focus and this is something that aids athletes a lot

There are more reasons, but those are the major ones. I’ve even chatted with many of the different school’s strength coaches who say they have noticed better performance by some of the athletes that do yoga with us, so we know it helps.

We’ve even had athletes that participate in powerlifting that say they have been able to increase their strength more than usual, and they attribute that to yoga. So even though myself or most yoga teachers couldn’t tell you what the top rated wrist wraps for powerlifters are (or even what they look like), we can help you bench and squat more. I find that pretty funny honestly.

I personally love hearing how yoga helps so many different people in so many different ways. It’s really a testament to how great it really is. So whether you’re an athlete, powerlifter, or a weekend warrior, yoga can aid you in whatever it is you do.

Please follow and like us:
Mixed race woman practicing yoga in park

A Beginners Guide To Yoga

Yoga is an activity that most people have heard of but don’t know much about, including how to do it or even the benefits it can provide for those that do it. This is especially true when it comes to men and yoga. Seeing it is a mostly female popularized activity, the most knowledge of yoga that men tend  to have is that their wife or girlfriend does it. To provide a public service and help educate newcomers, we have created a beginners guide to yoga.

This isn’t a how-to guide on certain poses, as that would be nearly impossible to do without being able to show you a video or be there in person. This is a guide that will help you understand what to expect from yoga and some things to remember when you’re starting out. Just like anything else, you’re not going to master it by taking one class. It takes time and effort, but it’s something that can help anybody feel and perform better.

Hang Back

If you are new to yoga and are intimidated by the poses you have seen before, you may be hesitant to join a class. Don’t let that deter you from giving it a try. Like anything else, everybody has to start somewhere. With that said, when you do start, it’s probably a good idea to go to the back of a class. This will help you feel like everyone isn’t staring at you (trust me, you don’t have to worry about this, as everyone is probably focused only on themselves) and will let you see others do certain movements that you are trying to learn. Most instructors will interact with you if they have never seen you in class before and will try to help you feel welcome.

Don’t Get Discouraged

Yoga is one of those activities that if you have never done it before, it can be quite humbling. Many movements require a combination of balance, strength, and agility. More than likely, you won’t have all these aspects down when you’re just starting out, but don’t get discouraged. Part of yoga is building strength by doing the movements consistently over time. When you can’t do a certain pose  at first, stick with it for a few weeks and you’ll be surprised at how easy it eventually becomes.

Focus On Breathing

This is one that is difficult for many that come from a background of weight lifting and/or playing competitive sports. This is because unlike other activities, yoga is about breathing as much as it is about performing the various movements. During the poses, part of the challenge is to breathe in and out in certain at times. When you’re used to hitting weights hard, it can be a little bit of a change to yoga. You actually want to be calm during yoga, compared to the semi rage fits that many use to lift weights. Just like getting the poses down, learning how to breathe properly is something that takes time and practice to master. But once you are used to concentrating on breathing, you won’t have to think about it as much.

Please follow and like us: