I’m a triathlete, half-marathoner, intramural sport loving amateur athlete. It’s the physical challenge of pushing myself to my limit that keeps me wanting more. It was two years ago, when I started incorporating a mental challenge into my fitness regime. Yoga. I remember my first yoga class like it was just yesterday. “I’m an athlete, yoga is just stretching, it’s going to be easy.”
I was wrong.
Yoga is so much more than stretching. Yoga means “union” in Sanskrit. “Yoga Asana” refers to the practice of physical postures or poses, incorporating one’s mental and spiritual well-being. There are many different types of Yoga and my personal favorite is called Vinyasa-Style Yoga or Yoga Flow. This is where breath is linked to movement. Each posture is connected through an inhale or exhale.
Yoga has increased my flexibility, demonstrated the importance of breath, and helped me connect with my inner-self. In my opinion, holding dancer pose for 3 minutes is much more of a mental challenge than a physical. If I can do that, I can sprint for 30 more seconds or lift five pounds heavier. I have been able to translate my new found “mental energy” back to my normal fitness regime through my breath and my attitude. With the combination of both physical and mental energy, I know there are no limits.
Are you a beginner yogi? Before you go to your first yoga class, make sure you are prepared with all of the essentials. I’ve listed some of my favorite products that I use and love.
- Face Towel: Microfiber Hand and Face Towel by YogaRat
- Headband: Aerie Yoga Headbands
- Yoga Bag: Gaiaim
- Mat Towel: Yogitoes Skidless
- Waterbottle: Pure Balance Water Bottle
- Yoga Block: Hugger Mugger Cork Yoga Block
- Mat: Gaiam Eco Reversible Yoga Mat