Close your eyes.
Engage your ujjayi pranayama: your victorious breath
On your next inhale, reach up: Tadasana.
Oh your next exhale, fold forward and flow through on your breath and meet in downward facing dog.
When a posture begins to get the best of you, it’s because you’ve disconnected from your breath. When your mind takes over, it’s because you’ve disconnected from your breath.
Reset your breath and begin again.
Yoga’s got it together. Every time I practice I hear the same thing over and over.
Next time you’re at the gym, apply this:
On your next exhale, engage your core and pull up. Lower slowly on your inhale.
Congratulations you just did a pull up.
Going for a back squat PR? Try this:
Slowly lower your hips. On your next strong exhale, engage your core, shift your gaze upward and lift your chest, lift your hips, drive through your heels and keep engaging your core!
Congratulations, you just PRd.
Noun: repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.
Practice used in a sentence: My practice today was great! I almost nailed side crow. I can’t wait to try again tomorrow.
Why do we think of yoga as such a practice and then totally disconnect from that when it comes to practicing our pull ups? Or our kettle bell swings? Or our box jumps?
Too often we think of our workout as an hour that we take in the morning or afternoon to burn calories. This is why we only sometimes workout. This is why we fall “off the wagon.” This is why we, as a nation, don’t like to use our bodies to the fullest of their abilities, are overweight, and dying from heart disease. Mashable posted a funny video with Nick Offerman from Parks and Recreation where Nick points out:
Every week it amazes me to watch clients come in and they’re suddenly able to do something that they couldn’t do the week before. It’s because they’ve been putting in the time to practice both in the gym and outside of the gym. It’s because they’ve been seeing the benefits of their practice. They’re getting stronger. They’re eating well. They’re drinking more water. First it’s a forearm plank, then it’s a straight-arm plank in the TRX, then it’s TRX knee tucks and then it’s TRX pikes! You have to crawl before you can walk, and you have to plank before you can pike.
So this week, I encourage you to practice living a healthy lifestyle instead of burning an hours worth of calories. To practice getting stronger instead of trying to get a bigger butt. To practice building core strength so you can pike into a handstand instead of trying to get a 6-pack for summer.
I also encourage you to take a deep breath before your next back squat as well as that moment before you flip off the guy in the car next to you.
I encourage you to listen to your body as much as you listen to music.
I encourage you to give yourself as much grace and understanding as you give your dog when she’s missed you all-day and chewed up your blanket in a moment of weakness…
I encourage you to flip the box to a level that’s higher than you thought you could do.
I encourage you to try something new.
I encourage you to take a child’s pose when you feel like you need one, instead of paying attention to the person that’s in birds of paradise on the mat next to you.
I encourage you to take a step towards the TRX anchor during your next chest press. I bet you can do it.
I encourage you to play, to see what your body can do. And when it can't today, try again tomorrow. And when it can today, see where else you can take it.
I encourage you to breathe.
I encourage you to practice.