Yoga hearts the gym

It’s nearly Valentines Day, and I’ve found the perfect match: yoga and the gym.

In an earlier post, I told you I have a hamstring injury. I think it might be because I supinate, (where the foot rolls out more than it should) but that’s a different post.

It’s not serious but I’ve been dealing with the dreaded ‘sit bone pain’ on and off for a while. To help with recovery, I’ve modified my yoga practice.

And I’ve been going to the gym.

I had always shied away from the gym because I thought: hey, the world is your gym! (a la Jeremy from Peep Show). Who wants to run on a machine?

(I haven’t used the running machine because I still sort of feel like that).

But the weights! Oh boy.

If anyone has overstretched their hamstring and has sit bone pain (a super common yoga injury) – let me introduce you to deadlifting. Or leg curls.

It feels amazing to use gentle weights to strengthen an overworked hamstring. Seriously.

Yes, yoga provides a full body workout – there are plenty of hamstring strengthening exercises (locust, warrior 3).

But if you have hurt yourself and need to build strength in targeted muscle groups, then get thee to a gym.

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Balance

We are all attracted to certain things. We often pursue activities we love, and why wouldn’t we?

But we need to make sure there is a balance. If we love cardio, we need to do some restorative exercise. If we love fast yoga, we need to practice slow yoga. If we are lethargic, we need to choose activities that demand more energy.

Not all the time, just sometimes.

According to Ayurveda, if you are a person with a vata-dominated constitution and you naturally love fast yoga classes, you should make yourself go to slower ones sometimes.

We practice yoga to restore balance in body and mind, but our choices also influence that balance.

It is important at this time of year when things get busier and the weather gets colder. We need to pay attention to our energy. We need to observe our body as we would any other complex living creature, with curiosity and respect.