The power of yoga

The mind and body that I have, are the only mind and body that I have. They deserve my attention.
— 'Waking' by Matthew Sanford

Iyengar yoga informs every aspect of my training and teaching as a pt. It has been (and will continue to be) an invaluable source of knowledge throughout my fitness journey. The Iyengar philosophy is full of precision and subtle technical nuances that can be applied to any form of human movement. 

I apply much of what I have learnt from yoga over the years to all sorts of situations in and outside of the gym. It has application well beyond the yoga mat and is particularly powerful when it comes to various forms of strength training both resistance and bodyweight. 

It helps us to identify strengths and weaknesses from the toes right up to the crown of the head. No stone (or rather muscle or joint) is left unturned. Yoga fosters a greater awareness of our body and we're able to develop strategies to strengthen and nurture it from the ground up. 

One common belief is that yoga is about flexibility and being able to twist yourself into a pretzel. But flexibility is just one of the many benefits from a long list of perks. Iyengar yoga is characterised by precision and alignment. Not only in a physical sense but also the integration of mind and body. 

The benefits can be felt in a physical and mental sense but also on a deeper cellular level. When we start to talk about tapping into the flow of energy within our body. The idea that the cells in our body contain the blueprint for our optimal health. We just need to give them a nudge in the right direction. Now that's a pretty cool and empowering concept. 

When I'm coaching a client through a specific exercise I don't suddenly start chanting and wafting incense all over the place. But I do look at the way they train and the overall integration of movement. Precision, alignment and the distribution of energy can all be assessed to varying degrees.

Hopefully this somewhat peculiar but ultimately encouraging mindset and approach is having a positive influence on my coaching style.