Be­yond mind­ful­ness

Dis­cover why there’s more to yoga than de-stress­ing

Men's Fitness - - Pb | Yoga -

Use yoga to... ADD MUS­CLE

“In the gym we tend to work iso­lated mus­cles though pretty lin­ear ranges of mo­tion, which slightly misses a trick,” says Vinyasa yoga teacher and Man­duka am­bas­sador Adam Husler (@AdamHusler). “Lay out a sup­port­ive yoga mat in your house and through con­sis­tent yoga prac­tice, you’ll start to ap­pre­ci­ate the ben­e­fit of in­te­grat­ing all body parts into par­tic­u­lar move­ments as you nat­u­rally be­gin to build more func­tional mo­bil­ity. You’ll de­velop that sweet bal­ance of flex­i­bil­ity and strength. Over time the in­juries will hap­pen less, re­cov­ery will be faster and your gym work will be­gin to have more real-world use.”

Use yoga to... SCULPT A SIX PACK

“Yoga might not specif­i­cally tar­get those sur­face-level mus­cles that get you wash­board abs, but ev­ery pose does bring your aware­ness to ‘the core of the core’ - the mus­cles that in­ter­act with the pelvis, par­tic­u­larly the psoas,” says Husler. “Once you get to grips with ac­ti­vat­ing these mus­cles in ba­sic poses you’ll start to en­gage them as you lift or do cal­is­then­ics. To feel what I’m talk­ing about, get in a plank po­si­tion, then touch your right shoul­der with your left hand with­out mov­ing any­thing but your arm, then your left with your right. Keep al­ter­nat­ing and go slow - no fly-swat­ting. It’s not as easy as it sounds.”

Use yoga to... AVOID IN­JURY

“Yoga isn’t a stretch­ing class and as you get more ex­pe­ri­enced, you’ll un­der­stand the sub­tleties of what’s hap­pen­ing to your body,” says Husler. “As that self-aware­ness in­creases you can start to ap­ply it to your gym ses­sions, your sports and your re­cov­ery regime. Yoga got me to en­gage my core more ef­fec­tively in box­ing bouts and helped me sur­vive an ul­tra­ma­rathon. An ex­tra bonus is that there isn’t any win­ning at yoga – you just have to do some­thing that’s sub­jec­tively hard for you and breathe through it. And some­times you get to just lie on a bol­ster, with your legs in the air and sneak in a lit­tle nap. Just don’t snore.”

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