Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

The Yoga Unchallenge

By Healingyoga

I tend to keep my exercise and my yoga separate. I know that this raises eyebrows for many, as most folks think that yoga is exercise. I don't agree with that thinking (I speak from personal experience here -- I used to use yoga as my sole method of exercise), so I like to mix in some high intensity interval training into my weekly routine.

When folks come to me and they want to lose weight, I often do something that makes many yoga teachers gasp -- I recommend they do high intensity interval training (which can be done in anywhere from 15-25 minutes) two to three times per week in addition to their yoga practice. I know, I know -- shocking, eh? Why wouldn't I just recommend that they lock themselves in a room heated to 100+ degrees and sweat it out during a 90-minute yoga session? Or why wouldn't I put a student through his/her paces by recommending a vigorous practice with some cardio-friendly Kundalini moves thrown in for a little extra calorie burning?

I guess you could say I'm a bit of a purist who believes yoga is yoga and exercise is exercise. Never the twain shall meet? Possibly. If I were putting on my common sense hat, I would say this -- a short daily yoga practice combined with 3 high intensity interval training sessions per week ends up in the less is more category. It takes less time than a daily 60-90 minute yoga practice and it's more effective in terms of fat burning, cardio conditioning, and hormone balance. Not only does this work for me personally, but it works for my clients, as many of them claim that they are too busy to squeeze in a daily 60-minute practice. Let's face it -- if a practice takes too long, a client won't do it. And if a client won't do the practice, he/she won't get results.

Still, I don't recommend it simply for ease of use (although this often leads to a high adoption rate in regards to my time-pressed clients) -- I recommend it because I do it myself and I've found it to be effective (not to mention fun and not all that time-consuming). I won't go on and on about high intensity interval training, but I will recommend these two sources for a bit of interesting info on the subject: Suck This 'Magic Hormone' into Your Body and Transform Your Health - Takes Just 20 Minutes and The Major Exercise Mistake I Made for Over 30 Years...

The other day I came across an interesting little fitness video challenge (it starts around the 1 minute mark):

 

Maybe I've been drinking too much of that Vanilla Spice Perfect Energy Yogi Tea (Sipping this stuff turns me into the Road Runner on steroids. It's the yogi's version of Red Bull, me thinks.), but I was intrigued enough by the 4-minute challenge to do it. Suffice to say, I felt the burn. And it got me thinking about a challenge of a different type. An unchallenge, if you will.

What if you set a timer for 5 minutes and did as many Sun Salutations as you could in that time? As I mentioned before, I'm not a fan of yoga as exercise -- that means this isn't about cramming in as many Sun Salutations into the 5-minute space as you can or moving as fast as you can, as hard as you can. It's like the anti-interval training. It's simply 5 minutes of Sun Salutations done at your own pace. There's no need to count how many you do during the 5-minute interval because it's not a contest and you're not trying to beat your personal best. You're only taking 5 minutes to focus on your breath and movement (which should be coordinated throughout -- expansive moves in an inhale and contractions on the exhale).

How's that for a challenge? Now, I can't whip you up a smoothie at the end of the 5 minutes like they did on the above video (although I wish I could because I think that it's pretty darned cool to reward yourself with something healthy after 5 minutes of yoga and damn, those smoothies looked yummy), but I can bet that you'll feel pretty darned good if you keep up this yoga brand of low intensity non interval non training. Rather than do it to lose weight or to brag to your friends or to get some t-shirt that says that you made it through the challenge, do it for you.

And for those of you ambitious folks who are looking for a little extra -- add 5 minutes of pranayama to your day as well. Keep it simple -- sit in a comfortable upright position and inhale through the nose for 3 counts and exhale through the nose for 5 counts. Keep it up for 5 minutes.

I challenge you to a yoga unchallenge -- 5 minutes of yoga a day (blending up your own green smoothie is optional) or 10-minutes (5 of yoga and 5 of pranayama) for you overachievers. Ready...set...GO (or maybe I should say GLOW?!)!

Namaste!

 


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Father James Martin's Bridge-Building Metaphor and Call to Mutual Respect Betwee...

    Father James Martin's Bridge-Building Metaphor Call Mutual Respect Between Catholic Leaders LGBTQ Community: Critical Commentary

    I have not read Father James Martin's new book Building a Bridge, which calls on the pastoral leaders of the Catholic church to collaborate with the LGBTQ... Read more

    6 hours, 38 minutes ago by   William Lindsey
    LGBTQ, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Caution: This Can Cause Addiction

    Caution: This Cause Addiction

    I opened my low-carb/keto clinic with Nurse Sylvie in February 2017, inside the medical clinic where I do my regular general practice. To get people to enroll,... Read more

    6 hours, 57 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Review - Vichy Mineral 89 Skin Fortifying Daily Booster

    I'm always battling with dry and dehydrated skin.. even when I do nothing different, my skin will... Click for Read more

    6 hours, 58 minutes ago by   Chantana
    HAIR & BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE
  • Talk Show Host: Not Here to Make Friends

    Talk Show Host: Here Make Friends

    photo: Harley Haskett Toronto based Talk Show Host are quick to release a new EP. Not Here to Make Friends sounds cheerful and angry at the same time,... Read more

    7 hours, 40 minutes ago by   Hctf
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC
  • The Human Design... Not All Bad!

    Human Design... Bad!

    Whatever or whoever it was that designed the human, had to have been at the least, a sadist. Now the design isn’t all that bad, it’s just that there were a few... Read more

    7 hours, 43 minutes ago by   Skip1957
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Citrus Marshmallow Sundaes

    Citrus Marshmallow Sundaes

    We all know what a Sundae is, and I am sure we have all secretly had one at some stage in our lives even those of us who are now on the healthy no sugar […] Read more

    7 hours, 45 minutes ago by   Shadesofcinnamon
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Konkani Style, Hog Plum Pickle…

    Konkani Style, Plum Pickle…

    Summer is full of Sun, fun, travel yumminess.. For those who love Mangoes its the season.. The kids have vacations... The markets are filled with an amazing... Read more

    8 hours ago by   Anithanayak
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES