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3 Ways Yoga Has Balanced My Fitness

Yoga can help in more ways than you think. Once you begin your yoga journey, there is a chance that you won’t be able to stop traveling on said journey. I never thought I’d say this, but practicing yoga has helped me with BOTH my fitness and physical/mental health. Find out how yoga can balance your fitness at http://jillconyers.com. Click through now or pin it to read later. @jillconyers @hellotofit

Please join me in welcoming Jess, personal trainer and yoga teacher, from Hello To Fit.

If you ask me when I began practicing yoga, I’ll say almost 10 years ago. If you ask men when I REALLY started practicing yoga, I’ll say last summer.

After gentle prodding from my yoga teacher, I committed to a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. Why was I reluctant at first? Yoga has been a huge part of my life since graduating from YTT and its benefits have branched out to other parts of my life, including balancing my fitness.

Yoga can help in more ways than you think. Once you begin your yoga journey, there is a chance that you won’t be able to stop traveling on said journey. I never thought I’d say this, but practicing yoga has helped me with BOTH my fitness and physical/mental health. Find out how yoga can balance your fitness at http://jillconyers.com. Click through now or pin it to read later. @jillconyers @hellotofit

Finding MY Yoga

Lets face it. Everyone’s yoga experience will be personal and different, even though we may all be in the same class, or viewing the same yoga lesson on YouTube. When I first started to practice, but not “really” practice I was looking for flexibility, and not much else. The type of yoga I did, more of a Hatha style class, was sufficient, but not exactly what I needed.

Flash forward to last summer, where my studio and the YTT were centered around power vinyasa. Boom. I found my yoga jam. In my younger yogi years I was just going through the motions. A new yogi learning how important it was to connect breath with movement, and to view the practice as more of a moving meditation. Yoga is now a way for me to clear my head, stay positive and be a better human being.

3 Ways Yoga Has Balanced My Fitness

When the goodness of my yoga practice started to seep out into other parts of my life ­ namely, my health and fitness ­ it took me by surprise. Yoga has helped me with stress relief, facing new challenges, and improving my core strength.

Yoga, the Ultimate Stress Relief

Yoga can help in more ways than you think. Once you begin your yoga journey, there is a chance that you won’t be able to stop traveling on said journey. I never thought I’d say this, but practicing yoga has helped me with BOTH my fitness and physical/mental health. Find out how yoga can balance your fitness at http://jillconyers.com. Click through now or pin it to read later. @jillconyers @hellotofit

By connecting movement between poses with breath, I’m learning to get out of my head on “onto the mat”. It’s not fool­proof, but when I can focus on those two things ­ rather than the lengthy to­do list waiting for me at home ­ I can feel a sense of RELEASE. Stress relief, not giving a crap about things that don’t need it, and focusing more on that quality me­time.

A New Mindset for Challenges

Yoga helped me gain the strength and confidence it takes to work up to a headstand, crow, and handstand. So far, I’ve accomplished two out of the three! Handstands still scare me.

Generally one to either, a) avoid huge challenges, or b) tackle them with too­ extreme caution, yoga has taught me to do less thinking, more moving. So what, if I can’t do a handstand yet? I’m getting close, as seen in the below hover for 2.930 seconds! The lesson learned was to take baby steps, and work my way up into whatever feels right at the time.

Core Strength and Endurance

Yoga can help in more ways than you think. Once you begin your yoga journey, there is a chance that you won’t be able to stop traveling on said journey. I never thought I’d say this, but practicing yoga has helped me with BOTH my fitness and physical/mental health. Find out how yoga can balance your fitness at http://jillconyers.com. Click through now or pin it to read later. @jillconyers @hellotofit

In order to prevent injury and “get the most” out of a pose, proper core work is necessary. Through my yoga practice, I’ve felt an increase in core strength and endurance! I’m able to hold planks and strength poses for longer, and I don’t feel as fatigued. This directly transfers over to the fitness floor; I’m finding that my deadlifts and squats are performed with better form, and I can take it up a notch with TRX exercises.

Yoga Can Help in More Ways Than You Think

Once you begin your yoga journey, there is a chance that you won’t be able to stop traveling on said journey. I never thought I’d say this, but practicing yoga has helped me with BOTH my fitness and physical/mental health. When I can get to my mat and out of my head, yoga offers stress relief. By working towards a new pose, I’m learning to accept challenges and to face them head­on. By tuning into the muscles I’m working in a practice, I’m able to strengthen my core. When it’s all said and done, yoga has changed my fitness for the best.

In case you missed the first post celebrating Yoga Week at Jill Conyers | Fitness, Health & Happiness:

DON’T MISS MORE GREAT POSTS COMING TO CELEBRATE YOGA WEEK:

  • Yoga inspiration and quotes to Live Your Yoga
  • Running and Yoga: The Perfect Pair from Wendy at Taking the Long Way Home
  • What Is Your Yoga Style?
  • What Yoga Teacher Training [or maybe just Yoga] Has Taught Me

Lets chat:

How do you balance your fitness for physical and mental strength?

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YogaJess is an ACSM certified personal trainer and yoga teacher in Charlottesville, VA.

Through her personal training and blogging, she hopes to share her experiences with living a balanced lifestyle: a lifestyle that includes an emphasis on strength and core training, moving as much as we can for health, while also enjoying those moments of indulgence.

Connect with Jess: Hello To Fit | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

 

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75 Comments

  1. This is so inspiring and yoga is something on my lis to start practicing more regularly. Also I think you’ll be at that handstand in no time, I used to practice against a wall and then slowly move farther away from it to build confidence and security.

  2. I absolutely LOVE yoga! I mean, I’m totally a newbie but I love how relaxed my body feels after my yoga sessions. I hope to one day be able to do all the bendy cool poses, lol.

  3. I would love to be able to do yoga again. Unfortunately with my knee and ankle injuries, I can’t get into some of the positions that I need to to do yoga 🙁

  4. I loved yoga. I just moved to a new state and still pretty unfamiliar with the town I’m in. Wish I could find a yoga class here soon.

    | yvonnesowell.com |

    1. I hope there are a few good studios you can try out! Have you heard of the mindbody app? It can show nearby fitness and yoga studios.

  5. Krystle Cook says:

    I wish I could find some more time in my schedule to fit in a yoga class. That would be so much fun!

    1. Have you thought about starting with YouTube videos or DVD’s? Might be a nice way to squeeze it in 😉

  6. Every time I come to your blog, Jill, I am reminded of how I really NEED to find a way to incorporate more yoga into my life! It needs to move up my priority ladder…asap!

  7. Robin Rue says:

    Yoga can definitely be a stress relief. It is so much fun that you don’t even really realize that you are also working your body too.

  8. Reesa Lewandowski says:

    Yoga is such an amazing workout! I would love to do it again!

  9. I LOVE yoga! I’ve been practicing with a studio for 2 years now but I’m moving at the end of the month and I will probably have to change studios because of location! Finding your fit is also a challenge.

    1. Hey, lady!! YES, I think finding the right studio is tough. Good luck with your move, and I hope you find the right fit of yoga for your practice 🙂

  10. Yoga really helps you stay and focus in the present moment – I think that’s what makes it so relaxing and ultimately brings so much balance in to your life and fitness.

  11. Hi Jess! I’ve really gotten into yoga more in the past year too. I started it just to keep from getting injured running, but since I’ve added studio classes to my routine instead of just DVD’s I’ve gotten SOOOO much more out of it.

    1. Hey, Julie!! So glad you are heading to a studio for yoga; I feel better in a live setting, too!

    1. Oh yes, I think you are right 🙂 it’s hard for me to focus on breathing during class, but it really does help.

  12. Yoga has a lot of benefits and it’s good to know that it has helped you in so many ways especially when it comes to your overall health! I really like learning more about the different ways that you can enjoy yoga.

  13. Great post! I really enjoy practicing yoga and when I went regularly, I definitely felt the benefits in my core. I think my body is begging me to get back into it!

  14. I have finally gotten back on this path after over two years away. And I can already feel the balance. Both literal and metaphorical

  15. I love my yoga class and look forward to it every week which is a total surprise to me. I still have a lot to learn on my yoga journey but I do feel like I am becoming stronger mentally and physically!

    1. Yoga journeys are never-ending, right? 🙂 I LOVE that you look forward to it each week. It’s time for YOU on YOUR mat 🙂 xoxo

  16. You have really inspired me to get back into yoga. I know I could use a new stress relief in my life.

  17. I enjoy shorter yoga sessions. I tried one over an hour long and kept wondering when it would be over.

  18. First, congratulations on completing your training! I am currently training for a marathon and have often considered using yoga for all its wonderful benefits! You have inspired me to look into adding it to my training plan

  19. I have only taken 1 intro yoga class 10 years ago and couldn’t make it through 5 minutes. It was so hard I was shaking and couldn’t hold any poses for more than a couple seconds. I think people who do yoga are so strong!

    1. Hi, Carolyn! Oh gosh, that sounds tough! What format was it? There could be other formats that would be more appropriate for you (yin, restorative, hatha).

  20. I’m more of pilates girl than a yoga one, but each time I do yoga I notice the benefits. For me the perfect workout helps me feel stronger, more relaxed, and improves my posture. Yoga does help me accomplish all three, even when I curse downward dog.

    1. Haha downward dog can be a tough one! I like Pilates too, but I don’t do it as often as I’d like.

  21. well done on committing to the yoga teachers course. I love yoga but because of back injuries I can’t do it. poo, I’m sad.

  22. I think yoga would be wonderful for helping me to relieve some stress. It is very overwhelming sometimes juggling a full-time career as well as raising a family.

    1. Hugs, friend! That sounds like it can be overwhelming. Yoga is a HUGE stress reliever for me.

  23. Yoga not only makes my muscles feel so good and stretched, my mind is clearer. I admit I don’t keep it as I should, but seeing these poses gives me some inspiration to get started again.

    1. Yes! It’s hard for me to fit it in right now….it’s like a 2-hour commitment if I go to the studio (hour-long class, travel time, etc.)

  24. Yoga has helped me in so many ways over the years. As a stress reliever to muscle builder, and now a way to stay healthy. Love it!

  25. I love yoga for the meditative practice. It helps to quiet my mind. Concentrating on the different poses helps me get ready for my day!

  26. I have always been hesitant about starting to do yoga. But then I read articles like this and they motivate me to start very soon! In my local gym they offer classes once a week so I think i’ll start there 🙂

  27. I’ve been thinking about getting back into yoga again. I took a class in college and loved it, and did it regularly a few years ago as well. I’ve totally gotten off the wagon with it and haven’t been in quite a while. I really valued the mind-body connection of the classes though and would love to get back into it!

    1. Oh I bet you’d enjoy it, Chrissy! There are a bunch of different formats to try (hatha, vinyasa, hot, etc.) to find the one that works best for you!

  28. Yoga has balanced my body and mind and challenged me but also been a refuge at times. Like running, in many ways!

  29. Love this post! I keep telling myself I neeeeeed to add yoga back into my routine.

  30. though yoga challenges me becuase it makes me slow down and just be still in my mind…that’s why i NEED IT and need more of it in my life ASAP

    1. Yes, it’s FOR SURE a mental challenge as well. Many times I’m thinking of everything else but breathing and the poses…it’s a work in progress!

  31. I started doing yoga in the morning with my daughter and I noticed a difference in both of our attitudes throughout the day. It is a great stress reliever.

  32. I love doing yoga. It is really great for relaxing and the core. I just need to be more diligent in doing it consistently.

  33. Such a great post!!! I love the pictures too – very inspiring!

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