The practice of physical yoga asana has become incredibly popular in the last decade. It seems to have shifted from being a fringe activity that a couple of people you knew practiced, to a global phenomenon that is sweeping across the western world. Many people are taking up the physical practice of yoga asana as they come to realize that it is not just good for strengthening the body, but is an effective way to relax the mind, reduce stress levels and allow us the opportunity to have some time to ourselves on a daily basis, an increasingly difficult task in the modern world.
Unfortunately, due to the rise in popularity of yoga, classes are now being taught to large numbers of people in the same classroom or gym, and teachers are finding it incredibly challenging to give the necessary ‘one on one’ attention that yoga teaching requires to their students. Yoga was initially taught from Guru to Disciple in a one on one format, and only since its transition from East to West, has this changed.
One of the key factors that appears to get glossed over in most yoga classes these days is the importance of ‘cross-training’. There is no doubt that the physical practice of yoga is really good for you, but like all facets of life, balance is incredibly important. Most yoga asana classes focus on stretching and toning the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints in the body. This is great, especially considering the trends in modern day western lifestyles in which we spend a large portion of our adult lives, scrunched up in front of our desks or on our couches. However, prolonged periods of stretching into ligaments and tendons can lead to some serious instability in our joints. Muscles are designed to expand and contract, ligaments and tendons however, do not have the ability to contract on their own so once they are over stretched, they stay that way. It is for this reason that the Shades of Yoga team not only encourages you to ‘cross-train’ but also introduces some aspects of cross training into our yoga classes. The act of strengthening the muscles, through cross training, around hyper-extended ligaments and tendons stabilizes potentially weak joints that would otherwise be at risk to serious injury.
Shades of Yoga wants to enable you to find balance in life, we want you to get stronger and fitter and lead a more fulfilling life, so whether it be running, cycling, surfing, going to the gym, doing martial arts or any number of other forms of exercise, Shades of Yoga really encourages you to get out there and get fit. Not only will this benefit your daily yoga practice immensely, but the act of being outdoors or out of the house environment, and pushing your comfort zones out a little, will benefit your entire state of mind.
Shades of Yoga is a yoga teacher training company running year-round yoga teacher training courses in Bali and Costa Rica. Details here.