50 for 50 Idea #2: Start A Weekly Yoga Practice

posted on: January 18, 2018
author: Brian Lomax

In our continuing series of 50 for 50, welcome to idea #2: start a weekly yoga practice.

The first time I did yoga, I hated it. I know that’s a bit of an odd start to a blog post promoting a once a week yoga routine, but hear me out. The class I hated was in Meridian yoga, and the poses were too hard for an old tennis player. I couldn’t come close to executing many of them and others were painful. From a flexibility and joint mobility perspective, I was (and still am) pretty much carved out of stone. That’s not good. I needed to do something about that, but this style of yoga wasn’t resonating with me and I didn’t feel great afterwards.

After a couple of those painful classes, I decided to switch to Hatha yoga as it appeared to be more focused on stretching and flexibility. The class that I signed up for was also geared toward yoga newbies so that was perfect. I was able to work my way into the poses and I started to enjoy the classes for a variety of reasons/benefits:

  • It was a workout (yoga is harder than you think)
  • It helped me sense tension in my muscles better (better communication between the brain and individual muscle groups) and then release that tension
  • The focus on the breath during the poses was a great way to build mental discipline (mindfulness)
  • I felt better on and off the tennis court – more flexible and better range of motion in my joints

After a while, in-person classes became difficult so I spent some significant time looking for a more virtual option. Today, my go-to yoga instructor is Adriene Mishler and her YouTube channel “Yoga with Adriene.” She’s from Austin, Texas, has a great on-camera personality, and I love her tagline of “find what feels good.” She has many free videos of varying lengths and practices, and each January she promotes a 30 days of yoga program that is awesome. I’ve done it twice in the past and felt so good after doing it.

Of course, I’m not asking you to do yoga for 30 days in a row (although you could), but how about trying it once a week? That’s not too much time. I bet you have access to a class, or you could be like me and do it at home with a video from Yoga with Adriene. All of the benefits above will not only help your sport performance, but also make you feel better all the time. Good flexibility, strength, and joint mobility can help you avoid so many problems later in life that a practice like yoga once a week is worth the investment. I have this vision of myself in my 70’s being able to run and move with freedom, and if that’s going to happen, then yoga has to be part of my strategy for making it come true. Sounds like a good reward to me.

Got questions or comments? Let me know below or send me an email and I’ll be sure to respond.

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About the Author

Brian Lomax founded PerformanceXtra™ in 2009 with a mission of helping athletes achieve their goals and their top performances more consistently through a progression of mental skills that enables them to focus on what is truly important.

Learn more about the author: https://performancextra.com/brian-lomax/

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