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Why I Started Going To Yoga In Highschool

For an athlete, all physical activity, whether sports or yoga, is a form of energy work, and therefore it can be thought of as spiritual. The science of yoga is in a state of transition. It is gaining more and more acceptance as an approach to yoga — and there seems to be more and more people who experience the benefits that it can bring.

You’re most definitely not alone in this: it’s one of those “oh yeah, right I was told that thing by my mom” moments. Yoga is a very personal thing, like any other.

There are many myths and misinformation surrounding yoga, so make sure you are getting a good, accurate understanding of the subject matter before diving into practicing it.

There is also a lot of misinformation surrounding the concept of training to achieve one physical goal as opposed to the many possibilities that arise from exercising in many different directions.

When it comes to training in any form of fitness, one can focus on strength vs. hypertrophy, a workout vs. health promotion, or a competitive vs. non-competitive mindset.  It’s important to understand how your body is changing in the meantime to be able to make the proper decisions about your training.  We want the healthiest, strongest, most resilient bodies possible.  It’s also important to keep an open mind on what you are doing and why you are doing it.

My Experience With Yoga, and Physical Therapy

I first came across yoga in high school (my high school gym, in a small town in Illinois, is full of former Olympic figure skaters, but with a small number of people who are serious about bodybuilding and powerlifting) and fell in love with it.  I thought it was a total “fuck you” to the rigid, structured world of high school gyms and made a decision to make the “dude” part “yoga” for a bit.  I found an instructor in a local park who started talking to me about yoga on the weekly basis.  I was very intrigued, because I’d always heard about the benefits of yoga, and I had absolutely no clue what to expect.  

In high school, my workouts consisted on cardio and weight lifting, and we had a little bit of yoga in our workouts at most.  My friends who were into powerlifting and bodybuilding started giving me a hard time (which I had noticed before, but I didn’t think anything of it), and eventually I started getting really mad at them for being too mean (to an outsider) to me.  My school was located within a 30 minute drive from Chicago, hence the workout was pretty easy to get to (I drove).  My powerlifting buddies were even worse, and started giving me the side eye every time I did a hard set.

Now, as I was getting older, I found myself looking for fitness programs that appealed to me more, and one that really caught my eye was Yoga on a Budget .  The instructor there was incredible.  He was cool and friendly, and he made me believe that I really loved and respected the whole thing, not just the physical aspect.  The only reason that I’ve never taken his course again is the fact that I don’t feel that I could handle the level of commitment that it would take me.  I know that it was a great class, but my body has changed enough that when I do that, I go straight back to doing the regular stuff.  It took me 8 months. YAG was definitely a great idea, and still is, but sometimes you just can’t do it, or you can’t do it because of your previous commitments.  If you don’t have a job, or aren’t doing anything to get healthy, then it’s best to just stick to cardio (and don’t really listen what anyone else tells you). For me, for several years, I have just been using a combination of yoga and running to work out each day and be active with friends and family.  My body has had no problem giving it a shot, and the results can be quite spectacular.  I have gained 40+ pounds of muscle on the last 3 years, as my body has adapted and adapted fast and hard.  It’s just a great feeling to come out and do something new and different for the first time in years.

I got my first ever injury this last summer: a tear in my rotator cuff.