yoga on the beach

I started doing yoga consistently a few years ago when I was bodybuilding. This is around the time I coined myself a "fitness freestyler". I was into everything. I had lost a tonne of weight - okay, not a tonne but 80lbs, I was feeling good and nothing could stop me.One day, after training shoulders I was being a good little lifter and had gone down to do some cardio after my session. As soon as I got going (had the turbo charged playlist going and everything) my trainer and good friend Jordan came whipping down the stairs telling me to get OFF the stair climber (a.k.a. ass-buster).You don't have to tell me twice.He said we should go do a yoga class instead. And that was the beginning for me.Depending on the type of yoga or the instructor , the class can be everything from fun and musical to serious and silent. One thing that I find is consistent across the board is - even if you're having fun, you will have to do the work in yoga.


The most basic of poses can be done by anyone, any age, any gender. There are modifications for beginners and power moves for the elite. Keep in mind that no one is judging your abilities when practising yoga. You're definitely not there to judge yourself either. Be present. Do what you can. Move at your own pace.  Everyone is there to work on themselves. This is a totally non-competitive deal.


You can find a class almost everywhere, in every style of yoga. But the best part is, if you're not ready to join a class or finances don't allow a membership then you can do it at home! A yoga mat is beneficial to your practice as it prevents slipping and adds some cushion for the knees and back but there is no fancy equipment needed to get started. AND you can wear what you want. You do yoga in bare feet and can go in your best LuLu's or a pair of sweats. Heck. Do it in your jammies! When it's good for you. Be comfortable and don't force anything. One of my favourite free yoga channels is Yoga with Adriene.


Yes, strong and flexible go together. Or it should. I had a real problem with flexibility when I was bodybuilding five days a week. This greatly improved when I started going to yoga at our gym. With a regular practice it will stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion therefore increasing your flexibility. That being said, there is no doubt that even with modified moves, you will get stronger because there are a lot of body weight poses. Don't worry. You will be able to move afterwards but a day or so after, you'll feel a little nudge from your muscles to let you know that you did a little something there.


We have all had that flower holding, Kumbaya feeling, hippie version of yoga in our head at some point right? It's real. Okay, well, the floods aren't so much a thing anymore BUT the good vibes, the well being and less stress is definitely real. The combination of poses, breath and meditation give you an overall sense of well being. There is a mind-body connection and studies have shown that with a regular practice your stress levels decrease.


When you do yoga you will become more aware of how your mind and body feel. You will begin to look at the choices you are making in your life including how you're moving, your relationships, what you eat, etc. As you begin to feel the benefits of yoga, you will want to continue to feel good mentally and physically. You will sleep better, eat healthier and seek community that is positive and encouraging.


You may not be busting out your best moves like say, in a hip-hop class. And there's no cardio equipment here but if you're looking to shed a few pounds and you've committed to a healthy diet* most people experience some weight loss and tone up. But let's be clear. Yoga is for everyone. Every body type. Gain, lose or stay the same. Your body will thank you regardless.A regular yoga practice can be whatever that means to you. Once a week to everyday. You will gain focus and mental clarity, your self esteem will increase, you will be more creative and after you're done being all Zen - your energy will increase too.My yoga practice has evolved to much more than just poses and postures at this point but I now do yoga, in the physical sense, everyday. I am especially loving hot yoga or Bikram yoga. I get down to a studio at least three times a week for the hot variety.NOTE:* You will see the word diet throughout the blog and this site. I use the word not in a way  of restriction as it is commonly used but to describe a way of eating. The S.A.D. diet, a vegan diet, a Paleo diet.  Just eat more fruits and veggies, drink more water and eat mostly whole foods, most of the time.