Time to bend yourself back in shape!

I am a runner who respects yoga and the benefits that it brings to all levels of athleticism.  I am no expert at yoga but the more I learn, the more I will share.  What I do know...yoga is a great low-impact exercise that can definitely realign your body, rest your mind and energize your soul.  If you have not experienced yoga, I highly recommend adding a yoga class to your workout plan.

YOGA is defined as an ancient Indian body of language that unionizes the body, mind and spirt through breathing, meditation and yoga postures. It is believed that yoga has been around for over 5000 years.  Yoga has transformed into different forms and techniques help people connect with their bodies, as well as their environment. 

Runners, tri-athletes, cyclist and the guy behind the computer are all flocking to their next yoga class. Yoga really is for everyone. Yoga moves can be simple or extremely complex depending on what you are looking for in yoga workout. There are different types of yoga for different needs, such as Bikram Yoga, Kripalu Yoga and Power Yoga. Each practice of yoga provides different benefits to satisfy different lifestyles.

I noticed through my latest fitness research, yoga is IT! It seems like everyone is posting "a pose a day". Athletic wear companies are catering more to the yoga world than ever before and I think yogis have become the new rock stars of modern day exercise! Why? There are so many benefits.  Yoga helps prevent injuries, relaxes the mind, realigns the body and elongates muscle.  Yoga is low-impact, yet challenging and can be part of anyone's workout plan.  

As a fitness trainer, it's great to see clients get stronger, build lean muscle and improve their endurance but I also want them to be safe. When I put together their workout plan, I always encourage them to include a yoga class.  Why? Many times. . .MANY TIMES when a person makes the decision to workout everyday, they only focus on the core of the workout.  The warm up and cool down are usually ignored.  So, I will always suggest adding yoga to help realign their body, stretch their muscles back to where they need to be and get a good full-body workout too.

Every morning when I wake up, there are 5 yoga poses that I HAVE to do in order to move efficiently throughout the day (check them out above).  Even though I am extremely active and still consider myself a high performing athlete, I live with lower back pain.  For the most part, I take care of myself but from time to time, my lower back will get the best of me.  So, to all you YOGIS out there. . .YOU ROCK!

If you want to check out more poses go to yoga.com and join for free!

Nicol A Hodges

Nicol A. Hodges aka "Nic" is fitness professional (NASM, CPT/PES) and product designer living in San Diego, CA. Nicol's athletic background started in her hometown of St. Charles, MO where she earned her 400m state ranking 3 years in a row. Later, at the University of MO, Columbia she earned 8-Big 12 Track and Field titles and a championship title. Nicol currently continues her love for running by competing in local and national running events.