Swimming, biking and running for short or long distances requires a tremendous amount of strength, endurance and mental stamina. While a triathlon-specific training regime is necessary in developing staying power, a yoga program will also physically and mentally help take you to the finish line.
Power for the Swim
Stretching is definitely crucial to counter balance the muscle tightening actions of triathlon training, however stretching against a light resistance (as in yoga) will not only lengthen your muscles, it will improve the contractibility of your muscle fibers. This means your muscles will have the range of motion and power required to propel your body through the water. Practice the following stretch for up to one minute, five times a day.
The core of a person can be defined in many ways. In the physical sense, the core consists of the muscle groups between the hips and the ribs. In a psychological sense, the core makes up the deep inner-self some might call the soul. In an energetic sense, the core is what makes up the solar plexus, a place in our body that is home to bundles of nerves responsible for those curious gut feelings. Yogis often refer to the solar plexus as the third chakra, the spirited space in our body that governs our self-esteem and feelings of empowerment.
However you view your core, a regular yoga practice has a strong and powerful effect on it. Whether physical, psychological or energetic, your core will be particularly influenced, and the following is a look into why.
If you haven’t tried yoga because the thought of chanting praises to an unfamiliar deity after Sunday morning mass makes you cringe, fear not. Christian Yoga is making its way across the country and throughout the world as an alternative yoga practice for those who would rather say Amen than Namaste.
Even though yoga is not a religion, many Americans may still be reluctant to try yoga for the first time due to their strong devotion to the Christian faith. DeAnna Smothers and Courtney Chalfant, a mother and daughter team from Chandler, Arizona founded Yahweh Yoga in 2005 for that very reason.
Yahweh Yoga is a Christ-centered practice and is designed to give people the opportunity to feel comfortable deepening their relationship with God, while gaining all of the other health benefits of yoga.
Whether you are a high-powered executive or a stay-at-home mom, some afternoons inevitably make you feel like crawling back into bed. Instead of reaching for a cup of coffee to remedy your post-lunch sleepiness, how about reaching for your yoga mat? Practicing yoga on a sluggish afternoon can revitalize you.
Mountain Pose to Energize
Remove your shoes and stand up as straight and as tall as you can. Reach both arms overhead and stretch vigorously from your feet to your fingertips. Hold for 20 seconds, and for the last five seconds lift your heels up to balance on your toes. Immediately feel light and vibrant.
Standing Twist to Invigorate
Cross your right foot over your left and place it to the outside of your left foot. Stand equally on both feet with your ankles crossed. Straighten both arms directly out to the side. Begin to reach your left arm forward and your right arm back, twisting from the hips. Turn your head and look out over your right arm. Hold for five deep breaths and then switch sides. Notice an energizing tingle through your spine.
Chefs, prep cooks and other kitchen workers will find the following yoga poses helpful in maintaining vitality so their energy doesn’t sink like a tired soufflé.
Poses to Practice in the Kitchen
For a tight lower back, place both hands shoulder width apart on the edge of a clean and solid counter. Step back about a leg length in distance from the counter and fold forward from your hips so that your spine is parallel to the floor with both arms straight. Hold this stretch for up to one minute while breathing deeply. Repeat as often as you can throughout your work shift.