As my “Almost Ready” month of March continues, I am reuniting with the habits and practices needed for a successful training season. Scheduling and completing brief work-outs, inputting data into TrainingPeaks, stocking the fridge with fresh veggies and fruits, experimenting with new recipes, getting regular sleep.
The month also allows me to stretch and twist with my secret lover, yoga. By resuming a yoga practice at the very beginning of my training season, I can evaluate my body’s condition and fitness to get a sense of where my body is weak and stiff. I pay attention to how my breathing is in or out of synch with my movement. With regular practice, I both track the progression of my flexibility and accept the return of my training.
I return to its mat, straps, and poses when my true love – triathlon – and I are taking a time out. In past seasons, I practiced yoga for about four to six weeks and stopped as the triathlon training increased. That was not a smart routine since yoga can do amazing things to your body, especially increasing physical balance and steadiness. My fitness from triathlon training would most likely go deeper if I committed to practices at appropriate times within my training schedule…and commit before my training overtakes my schedule.
Thanks to an Instagram post by Natalie Sisson, I discovered YogaGlo, an online collection of yoga and meditation practice videos professionally recorded at a California studio. YogaGlo describes itself as the “first website to create the experience of being in a real class in your home,” and after one month of my practice, here are three reasons why yoga may be more than just my part-time training lover now:Easy to find the right session: The videos are grouped by their primary focus (body, heart, and mind) and about thirty sub-focuses (backbends, tutorials, stress reduction, etc.) You also can sort by duration (5 to 120 minutes); style (Hatha, Kundalini, pre/post-natal, etc.); music or no music; and level (1 to 3. I have been using the 1-2 level videos, and they are sufficiently challenging); and by the 35 instructors each with their profile. In writing this post, I discovered another nifty YogaGlo category: body parts, from the shoulders to “what’s that about?” parts such as the nose. Each video includes a brief description of the poses and props. Easy to play video: I’ve watched videos on my laptop and Kindle Fire without any a/v problems. That is a big big plus. I downloaded the app for my Android, but haven’t tried it out yet. I also like YogaGlo ’s My Practice feature that allows you to save and return to favorite videos.
Easy to support a training goal: YogaGlo ’s collections explicitly created for the athlete convinced me to subscribe ($18/month). There are collections for cycling, running, strength building, and cross training*. Within the running series, ten videos offer practices related to core strength, IT band relief, post-marathon stretching, and more. I don’t stretch enough, so the 15 minute Hamstring Class for Runners session after the 30 minute Morning Yoga for Strength and Focus is a good combo.
Once my formal training season kicks in, I know that I would seek out sites like YogaGlo , and would miss another chance to bring yoga into my triathlon training. Let’s see how this works out.
If you practice yoga, how do you incorporate it into your triathlon training?
*I sent a Tweet to YogaGlo asking if there are any plans for practices targeted to swimmers. YogaGlo immediately responded that yes, a collection of yoga videos for swimming will be available (TBD), and in meantime, perhaps check out the surfing collection.