Iyengar Yoga for Strength, Endurance, & Agility by Stephanie Tencer #movementmonday
(This post is the 4th and final in a series discussing Yoga & Summer Sports)
Yoga asanas are powerful positions. Each asana affects in a particular way and the shape of each asana can impact your body, your breath, & your state of mind. For me, one of the profound lessons I’ve learned from BKS Iyengar’s teachings is how to observe the impact of each practice and then respond to it. For example, if I’m stressed or anxious, I will need to calm my nervous system. If I’m depressed or lethargic, then I’ll need to be uplifted and inspired. There are poses and practices to achieve each of these goals. They are however, very different.
The same kinds of principles apply when you are developing training routines for your favourite sport. Today, do you wish to target your flexibility? Or, do you wish to target your stability? Sometimes, the same asanas can accomplish multiple goals but often, it’s necessary to change it up.
In the posts so far, I’ve talked about how yoga can support you in your need for flexibility, speed, and stability, all of which are key skills in most summer time sports. With each post, I presented a few asanas and with each asana, gave detailed instructions. In today’s post, the final post in this series, I wanted to highlight how a very different aspect of Iyengar Yoga can support you in your training for summer sports. The video sequences below are a few examples of sequences to help build strength, agility, & endurance. They are quick, fast-paced sequences. These mini-vinyasanas are examples of how, inherent to the Iyengar Yoga method, are not only many different poses but also many different approaches to practice.
BKS Iyengar always said, how you practice depends on why. Today, will you practice for endurance? Will you practice for precision in asana? Will you practice to calm your nervous system? Will you practice to foster concentration and focus?
As you approach your practice, whether your goal is to improve your game, your physical health, emotional health, or even your spiritual connections, understand that your approach may need to vary. Sometimes it will be prudent to focus on the specificity of each asana and other times it will serve you best to move, move, move!
Stephanie Tencer is an Iyengar-certified Yoga teacher and co-founder of Studio Po. Through Yoga, Stephanie has overcome chronic and debilitating back pain. Today, she continues to be inspired by the sense of playfulness and self-discovery that Iyengar Yoga affords. studiopoyoga.com