Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
March 12, 2018
As a red blooded man that has grown up well before the era of the internet, I grew up knowing yoga for two reasons. People were putting themselves in weird positions that sometimes made me cringe due to the complexity and “WTF-ery” of some of the positions. The other reason, which is why it resonated with me and left me with a positive reaction is not because of women wearing tight clothing, it’s because of Dan Marino. Now Mr. Miami was not my favorite player by any means (though my cousin’s wife will judge me for not agreeing with her on this subject…sorry Lisette…), but he was still one of the premier players in the NFL. Anyway, he blew out his achilles in 1993, and back in those days, such an injury would have been considered the end of a career. This sent a shockwave through the league, messing up two franchises in the process (Scott Mitchell filled in for the Dolphins and then parlayed that into a massive contract with the Detroit Lions where we all watched on live TV him being one of the worst QBs of all time…the Lions deserved it though). Anyway, Marino came back the next season and torched the New England Patriots for 473 yards and had a generally stellar season. He had three solid seasons after the injury before time and too many hits caught up to him (the NFL didn’t wrap bubble wrap around quarterbacks during those days). The biggest thing that aided his comeback was yoga. Back in those days, football players started doing some unusual things to improve their game, like doing ballet and of course yoga. Dan Marino often gave a huge shout out to the new age work out and was a part of the change that taught the manly sport of football to embrace other forms of fitness as a supplement to pure strength and conditioning. So yeah, I always had an impression of yoga as being a good thing, and my feelings were even personified on “King of the Hill,” where manly man Hank Hill gives yoga a shot and actually helps with his flexibility problems and his bad back. Heck, I even gave yoga a shot for a while and was enjoying it!
It is hard to pinpoint just how old yoga truly is due to the fact the history of it is based more in oral traditions, but most people generally feel it is 5,000 years old! http://www.yogabasics.com/learn/history-of-yoga/ Next to the marathon and wrestling, this is one of he oldest forms of sports/fitness in the world. I designate yoga like this because it is not just some cheap thrill for douchebags who get shot down at the gym, it is legitimately hard. Now, for the uninitiated, there are several forms of yoga that you may have never even heard of. Much like me, most people think its all about contortions and such, but several types are available for you to utilize. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8622/14-styles-of-yoga-explained-simply.html When I was helping out our former resident yoga instructor in training Rhue Grandl, she focused mostly on Yin Yoga and Restorative. Yin was probably the most useful to me, mainly because the whole foundation of the movements is to create better flexibility through lengthening connective tissue. The poses can be long and tough to maintain, but that is the whole point since you are seeking to not only strengthen but also stretch you out. In addition, I learned some Restorative when I first started, for mainly this style of yoga is all about beginning your fitness regimen. Anyway, the other two really popular styles of yoga happen to be Bikram (which typically turn the room temperature to 100 degrees) and Vinyasa, or “power” yoga to the people who love it. Basically you do the poses in a quicker and more athletic pace than typical yoga.
I have already mentioned a couple reason why yoga is so beneficial, mainly from creating strength and also creating flexibility. Another health benefit is the fact it can also improve your balance. Several of the poses force you to really think about your feet and think about legs. Muscle memory will fall into place with this method, because teaching your body to maintain this balance will help you in just about everything. Much like creating strength to keep you moving and active, balance will aid you in the recovery process because then your body will not get thrown out of whack every time you do something. I could have used some damn yoga when I was younger, or maybe I would not have gotten all of those darn ankle injuries. Of course, utilizing yoga when you are battling the bulge is also good, because the years of wrecking your balance in your body will need to be rebuilt. But there is something that a lot of people forget about it. Call me goofy on this, but it can really improve your blood pressure and clean your mind out sometimes. The best part about doing yoga was after all of the poses, we would go into a pose called Shavasana. This is typically called “corpse pose,” and this was the part where Rhue took us on her guided meditations. Trust me, that was easily the part I looked forward to. As she took us on a meditation, I ultimately felt so much better. Like all of the issues with my job, my body and my personal life all kind of slipped away. It’s led me to wonder if there is a way I could get yoga back into my life, but due to the clutter of everything else and the fact I am nowhere near any yoga classes, and it is a hard proposal for me. But think about it…is naturally learning to control your breathing and learning to clear your mind worth the time and the money? It certainly is in my opinion, especially when you deal with people who answer the phone “You guys are a bunch of f—ing idiots and I’m gonna tell you why!!!!” Some knuckleheads contend that you cannot really burn a whole lot of calories while doing yoga, but fitness is not always about weights and measurable…you have to include all aspects of fitness into the equation. Trust me, some of he yoga poses out there require a ton of strength!
The only thing I can really say about yoga is to not be intimidated by the whole thing. Ask questions and see if studios have beginner courses, which will go a long way when it comes seeking out the right place for you. Also, don’t start looking at yoga based Instagram models and start saying stuff like “I will never be able to do that.” Rather, look at the positives and think “I wanna do that some day” or do some random hashtag like #goals or #theyogalife or whatever floats your unconscious boat. Trust me, there are so many types of yoga these days, that you got black metal loving women screeching to their music while doing Warrior Pose, people drinking beer in between yoga poses, Aero yoga (or airborne yoga…probably makes more sense that way for it is a cross between yoga and barre, which is kind of an offshoot of yoga) and people bringing horses, goats and dogs to their session (which sadly there are no “Doga” studios in Tucson yet. What, no cat based yoga? Oh yeah, cats are jerks. And just to throw this out there, there is even Harry Potter based yoga. https://nerdist.com/harry-potter-yoga-is-a-thing-and-you-need-to-know-about-it/ Unfortunately, no Lord of the Rings yoga just yet, but on the other hand they do have some kick ass leggings! https://www.amazon.com/Amour-Fashion-Digital-Printed-Leggings/dp/B00E3S2V66 And mats! https://fineartamerica.com/shop/yoga+mats/the+lord+of+the+rings So trust me, finding some form of yoga that can fit your lifestyle should be easy.
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About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.