"Universal in its applications, Yoga means “Union”. It is a practice that reaches beyond differences, revealing the similarities of our souls outside the limits of race, gender, social endeavors or religious beliefs. Yoga addresses our differences as opportunities to expand our horizons, revealing a path towards complete transformation of the human being, on all its levels of manifestation. Yoga has something to offer to everyone – from physical conditioning, mental and emotional balance, to climbing the peaks of spiritual realization."
I am not an expert in all things yoga, but I can say that there has NEVER been a day that I've regretted carving out the time for it. It's definitely tough to fit in among the "higher priority" workouts of training, but I do aim to make it happen when the schedule allows (usually about every other week, more in the off season b/c hot yoga especially feels good when it's cold outside!). While my primary motivation to go has always been to maintain flexibility, especially through the hips, I can testify that I've reaped far more rewards than limber legs...
Some days I go to aid in my recovery from a hard race or workout, other times for stress relief and relaxation, and other times as an alternative strength session when I don't want to overly fatigue my muscles at the gym. It can be exceptionally good for working on balance or strengthening the many stabilizer muscles we utilize but take for granted as athletes!! Yoga has enhanced my overall body awareness, my ability to breath deeply and fully and my ability to focus. It's has served as an excellent avenue for relaxing the body, clearing the mind and visualizing races/workouts or simply letting go the anxieties of the day. It has given me a greater appreciation for the powerful tool that is my body which allows me to go out and play while swimming, biking, running and beyond.
Kristen Chang is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and endurance athlete residing in southwest Virginia alongside her husband and dog. Through this blog she aims to share favorite fueling recipes, general wellness and sport nutrition tips and stories from her athletic endeavors.
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