Chances are, you are doing yoga all wrong. The Big Mac-ification of yoga has left us “going beyond our flexibility” (the Bikram set will get it), dehydrating ourselves worse than my wrestling weight cuts (yoga is hot in India…because it’s hot in India, ahem), and being forced to listen to someone play an accordion while we chant meaningless words (if that’s what you’re into, no offense; God bless you).
So…what’s the “right” way to do yoga? The purpose of yoga itself is to connect breath and body. Period. It is nearly impossible to do so in many of the above formats. It is also nearly impossible to do so when you are “flowing” at light speed. Yoga really wasn’t intended as a workout; it was intended to be a “work-in.” But leave it to the West to make to make it bigger, better, and more intense (today’s WOD: Warrior II, AMRAP for time).
The way yoga was originally intended to be done was slower. It was meant to connect breath with movement. It was meant to give us body awareness; to teach us alignment and control. It was meant to build us up, not break us down.
There are those out there who teach “yoga for athletes” that is meant to match the intensity of an athlete’s training sessions or sport. That is absurd. What athletes really need from yoga is the opposite: the opportunity to take their feet off the “accelerator.” To slow down. To balance. To feed the parasympathetic nervous system (opposite of “fight or flight”), which allows us to recover…and come back stronger. And when done right, this yoga allows us not only to recover better and become stronger, from training sessions (and LIFE), but to also come back moving better.
That being said, I proudly announce the addition of Vital Yoga™ to Halevy Life’s offerings.
Vital Yoga™ is the yoga everyone should be doing, particularly athletes and those who may have left-right asymmetries, flexibility/mobility restrictions or current/past injuries. Vital Yoga™ is a slower and gentler yoga form of yoga, with a focus on form, alignment and breathing, that helps rebalance, rejuvenate and restore the body.