Yoga at Radius Healthcare
My Yoga journey began in 2014. I was playing professional cricket and picking up soft tissue injuries far too often (about every 3 months).
I got to the point where I'd had enough and I chose to give yoga a go while on a training camp. I took a mat, grabbed an online video, and went into a corner, did a quick 20 minutes, before rolling the mat up and scurrying away before anyone saw me.
I felt great after, and so did it again the next day, and the next. Eventually I was practicing everyday, undoing the damage that sport and training was doing to my body. I was recovering better, moving better, and performing better.
Soon I was taking my yoga mat everywhere, even to away games, find a empty room, hotel conference room, anything to do my yoga, yoga had become an important part of my training schedule.
How did I know it was working? With no change in my training or competition routine, I didn't get a soft tissue for 18 months (and I have only had one in the past two years).
What has yoga done for me?
The list here could be a long one for what yoga has done for me, so I'll keep it short.
Stronger – I thought that my core was strong through all my training in professional sport, how I was wrong. My core is now the strongest its ever been and continues to improve.
Even stronger – I use to lift weights on a regular basis as a professional athlete. However since I retired I decided to see if my strength would go if I stopped squatting and deadlifting but continued stretching and bodyweight exercise. I went back to the squat rack again about 9 months later. I lifted the exact same weight but to a further range.
Functional – my increased flexibility has given me a greater range of motion in my joints which I can feel when playing sports from golf to tennis, from going for a run to visiting the gym.
Less stressed – We hold a lot of our tension in our physical body and as my body began to release, so did my mind. I found myself getting less irritated at certain situations. I still do get stressed. But if I do, I can calm it down pretty quickly now.
|Wednesday||17.45 - 18.45|
Recovery – DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) use to be my everyday burden. High intensity training, long competition days, little rest periods. Left my body in a continuous cycle of training-DOMS-training-DOMS. Now I rarely feel sore after high intensity training, or if I do, It doesn’t hang around as long.
Leaner – without a change in my diet, my body composition has changed. I have found I am leaner than I’ve ever been. I still train and eat well, however studies showing a reduced level of cortisol (stress hormone) can help with fat loss, which I know have helped me.
Meditation – I'm sure I'm not alone in using the phrase “I can’t meditate, I have too many thoughts in my head”. I could barely sit still for 1 minute, let alone 5, 10, 15! However, after a yoga session, I could find a moment of stillness when my body had relaxed. Now meditation is big part of my daily life.
Body awareness – From posture to sport skills, my yoga practice has given me a huge improvement in my body awareness. I can feel when my body is over compensating in certain areas but when I do any sort of physical movement, I feel far more efficient and in control of my body.
Why didn't I start earlier?
Having known of the benefits of yoga for a while. I was hesitant to start due to the fact that it is stereotypically perceived as 'feminine'. However, once able to put that aside and begin practicing in order to benefit my athletic performance, recovery and general well being, the changes became noticeable.
Having learn't through online video and going to classes I was finding what I was looking for hard. I wasn't connected to the spirituality of yoga yet, but I was interested in how the physical practice could offer me. I soon found I wasn't alone in feeling like this.
Therefore, after training as a 200HR Registered Yoga Teacher, I decided to enter the market by taking classes and private sessions where the spiritual element was stripped away and the physical element became the main focus.
Allowing sports people to focus on allowing their bodies (and mind) to feel better before, during and after their activity.