My relationship with yoga was almost never constant. Me for the past few years, and even now, will not say yoga is my main form of exercise. I do CrossFit. A lot. Almost 5 times a week. I enjoy the fast-paced, strength work, heavy lifting, explosive movements in CrossFit. But the issue was, whenever I reach my peak fitness, I get injuries that will stop me from exercising for a few months.
The worst I had was persistent lower back pain. I knew it was serious when I suddenly wasn’t able to get out of bed. Went to the specialist and through a MRI scan, found out that I had a tear in my lower disc. I then took a break from heavy weightlifting for 3 months. After consultation with my physiotherapist, we found out that the reason for the lower back injury was because my hamstring, quad, and upper back was so tight and compressed that the tightness concentrated to an area, which was how my lower back compensated, to “allow” me to continue with all the heavy lifting at the gym.
I’ve never stretched after my workouts. I never did any form of stretching. After 3 months of break from CrossFit and a lot of rehab work, I was given the clearance from my physiotherapist to resume my usual workout. I decided to start yoga again. It was the best decision that I’ve made in a long time! My body recovered quickly, I was energised, with no pain, and good strength and mobility.
Then, I got lazy again. See this relationship I have with yoga? When I reflected on this, I realised I first encountered yoga 7 years back and no matter what other forms of exercise I took up, I’ll somehow always ended up having yoga in my life again. This definitely means something! That was when I decided to take up yoga teacher course at Tirisula Yoga. All the Ashtanga practices with Master Ram and YY gave me another perspective on yoga. It is not only about stretching/flexibility. It is fast-paced, it is strength training, lots of heavy lifting (I mean me, I’m the heavy one), and I’m humbled by all of it. There are many poses that are still a challenge for me but I believe it will soon come to me!
All the yoga practices also improved my strength for CrossFit. My shoulders are so much stronger now that I was shocked when I went back to CrossFit class and did some of the movements that I previously struggled with. Yoga complements my current regime perfectly!
To any of you thinking you can’t do yoga because your whole body is tight/stiff from bodybuilding/spin/martial art/CrossFit, I am one great example that you should have yoga in your life! It complements and you will see definitely see physical improvements in yourself!