I wanted to write a post to share how I exercise and keep my body strong and healthy. I have had some people asking me how I train so this post will be about that!
As you know I practice yoga if not every day, every second. That's a mixture of studio and home practice. Twice a week I practice with senior teachers, and the rest of the time at home. When I practice at home there's no schedule really. One day I'll end up in a Yin styled practice, other days I'm flowing through Vinyasa and some times I end up warming up to only practice inversions. It all depends on what in up for that day. I tend to practice my home practice in the evenings after 7, before dinner, or around noon before lunch, as I don't like to move my body on a full stomach. I am always on a fluid schedule so there's never any timings set in stone. Which I truly love.
However, not only am I practicing Asana and Pranayama. I incorporate other physical exercise weekly. It all comes down to have fun whiles training, it's easier to keep it consistent and commit to it then. So I wanted to share these three exercises with you as it might benefiting your yoga practice and general health.
As some of you might know I've recently picked up climbing. I climb once or twice a week (I would love to climb more, I just don't have time for it). We end up spending about three hours at the climbing gym. That would include warm up, climbing, mid climb handstand play and post climb stretch. Guys, I can't even tell you how this has changed my game. I have, for a very long time, worked on gaining strength in my arms, shoulders and rhomboids. I've done so many exercises, working with calisthenics and functional fitness. But nothing has build strength in those areas as fast and as sustainable as climbing has. Climbing for me doesn't feel like exercising at all. It's so much fun, you get this amazing sense of achievement once you've finished a route and the adrenaline that arises when you're close to falling is addictive. With climbing there's so much concentration (Dharana) and breathing awareness (Pranayama) similar to Yoga. Theres also a lovely, community vibe similar to what we often find in Yoga studios. Yoga offers Sangha, community. And so does climbing, Like minded people gathering to practice, change experiences and listen.
Poses that has become stronger and more integrated since I started climbing.
Vashistasana (side plank), Adho Mukha Dandasana (downward facing staff pose), Bakasana (Crow Pose), Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Balance), Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand) and many more.
I climb mostly at The Arch (it's south of the river, woaaaa, I go there for their fun and innovative routes. Off peak prices makes it worth the travel as well. They also have a great gym and make decent coffee). When I can't be asked to travel south I climb at The Castle (it's a five min bike ride from home. They offers Bouldering, Top Climbing and Lead Climbing). Both the climbing gyms are great in different ways. Sooo give climbing a try, you won't regret it. Just don't forget to stretch it out after a session!
Working with the body and the body only. I don't have a general gym membership as I don't feel like I need it (probably wouldn't have time to go). But something I do about once or twice a week is to practice Functional Fitness, or HIIT. I do this at home because all you need is yourself and a mat, right! I love to target muscle groups depending on what improvements I'm after. I really enjoy it as I love pushing myself (and get sweaty!). Even though I am targeting muscles groups depending on mood, I always have core and butt in. It's helped me to tone up big time, for sure!
Poses that has become stronger and more integrated since I started with Functional Fitness.
Virabhadrasana 1,2,3 (Warrior 1,2,3), Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose), Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose), Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose).
Running has been my nemisis since the day I was born. I've always wanted to be good at it at the same time as enjoying it. I was neither. I thought it was boring, it was hard and I wasn't very good at it. So why did I start running once a week? We'll running is that one thing I never committed to. Never actually tried hard enough, never actually sticked to it and thats why it's not my best friend. But every time after a run I feel great and I always note some kind of improvement. As I saw improvement, faith grew and I all of a sudden started to enjoy it. I run around Clissold park and I see it as a Prana (breathing) exercise. Call me stupid I don't know if that's legit, but I focus so much on my breathing when I'm running that I forget that Im actually out on the track. And all of a sudden it's over. So even if you're not into running, start gradually and it will slowly unfold.
So that's basically how I train! Every week is different exercise wise, but it really works for me. Just make sure that if you are living an active life, give yourself rest days as well, eat good food and remember that the most important thing for improvement is to balance Tapas (discipline and passion), with a bit of Pitta (fire)!
All the love,