Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Yoga is not only for women

Before I started doing yoga back in 2009, I thought it was just about stretching.  I had no idea how much core strength and balance it takes to maintain the poses for longer than one or two seconds.  At the beginning it was very tough - years of bad posture, pumping iron in the gym and no stretching had made my muscles so taut that you could have played them like guitar strings.  I couldn't even touch my toes, although I could see them at least.

Attempting to perform the dancer pose on a beach in SA
As the weeks passed, I could once again touch my toes.  My overall flexibility increased, and the lunchtime yoga gave a perfect escape from the stress of work.  Each day after the class I would be aching all over but it didn't stop me putting in even more effort the following week.  It paid off as my core strength increased and my posture started to improve.

The thing that I really underestimated though, is just how much yoga can assist your performance in sports.  For the 2008 Marmotte cyclosportive I had put in a fair amount of training, but the race was tough and my back ached from about 50km onwards.  Back then I hadn't yet started yoga.  Then, in the 2009 Marmotte despite the fact I had only done about half the training of the previous year, the race went much smoother and all I had was a dull muscular ache in the closing kilometres.  On top of that I even managed to knock 3 minutes off my previous time.

Yoga will definitely form an important part of my training, and I would recommend anyone who hasn't tried it to give it a go.  Even if you don't enjoy it there will be plenty of eye candy for you.


  1. Yes I need to be doing Yoga my core is rubbish, even though I can reach well past my toes. Not sure there will be much eye candy in the Bracknell Liesure Centre though!

  2. Hahaha I think you are right. Bracknell isn't exactly the eye candy capital of the world. More likely to see the women out of Little Britain there...