Director of YYoga College, Rachel Scott, shares the importance of diversifying your fitness routine, after learning firsthand that practicing yoga to the exclusion of all other exercise was not the best thing for her body.
About five years ago, my body staged a protest.
I was playing touch football on the beach with my family. To my consternation, I couldn’t sprint without become painfully winded. Then, when I made a break for the ball, I felt a sharp tearing sensation at the attachment of my hamstring. Although I made the touchdown, I was limping. I spent the rest of the holidays sitting on ice.
That injury forced me to take stock of my physical health. I was an avid yogi and practiced about five times per week. I was very flexible, and – I had thought - very strong. After all, wasn’t yoga supposed to be a one-stop shop for your body, mind, and spirit?
“Your glutes are weak and your hamstrings are overstretched,” my physiotherapist said. “You’re strong, but everything that you do is slow and low impact.”
“So… my body has gotten really good at yoga, it doesn’t do anything else very well?”
“Exactly. Yoga is great for many things – mobility, flexibility, core, relaxation – but it doesn’t address some of the other pieces that you need. If you want to be functionally fit, then you have to change up what you’re doing.”
I had been practicing yoga to the exclusion of all other exercise. And while the practice had served me in many ways, it had also left my body vulnerable in some key areas. I made a simple goal: I wanted to be able to run for twenty minutes without pain. It was a simple benchmark that was – at that time - out of reach.
I said a temporary goodbye to my dedicated yoga practice and started taking fitness classes instead. I hired a personal trainer. I did squats. I did lunges. And I started a slow walking and jogging practice to build up my running goal.
Over the course of the next year, my body soaked in the changes. My hamstrings and glutes became stronger. I increased my capacity for dynamic movement, like jumping and jogging. My cardio improved. I could even do the Grouse Grind and not cry. And – finally – I could run for twenty minutes. And when I came back to my beloved yoga practice, my body felt stronger, more functional and more balanced.
I didn’t want to be good at only one thing; I wanted my body to be healthy enough to deal with anything that might come my way.
I learned a valuable lesson from my experience. I didn’t want to be good at only one thing; I wanted my body to be healthy enough to deal with anything that might come my way. I wanted to practice yoga, but I also wanted to be able to ski, hike, and – yes! - play touch football when the opportunity arose. A happy and resilient body is one that can deal with a wide variety of stress with ease.
YYoga is an intrinsic part of my commitment to whole health. The diversity of class offerings at YYoga offers me everything that I need to stay strong and resilient. In addition to a wide variety of yoga classes, YYoga offers fitness classes such as YFit, YSculpt, YExpress, YRide, TRX, and Floor Barre. This range of offerings is a veritable feast of movement for the body!
I am thrilled to be part of a community that recognizes the power of diverse movement. YYoga is continually innovating new programming in order to support a commitment to functional fitness. Whether you’re a yogi, biker, or skier, YYoga has a class than can help to support your health – on that mat and in life.