I want to be able to do the things that I love for years to come. But, inevitably, having used my body for years I have probably not looked after it the best I could. I also believe strongly in always being a beginner in something.
I became aware of Yoga 25 years ago, and whilst played at it now and then, I never really 'got it'. I thought "it's all a bit flexibility focussed", and I can't do that. Instead I looked at 'fixing' things when they went wrong, soft tissue therapy, osteopaths and then qualified myself as a mobility and movement specialist.
However, I couldn't quite get the balance [pun intended] of training, mobility, strength and recovery.
It took me until August 2020 to really focus on doing Yoga more consistently. And then, my journey hasn't really been exactly as I planned! I went, wholly goal focussed at the bendy bits, and then realised there's a bit more to it than that. It took me more than 100 practices to 'feel' more of the mind connection to Yoga than the physical challenge. Here is a picture of me smashing (!) the bit of Yoga that I'm most proud of! It's not the strength or flexibility that I'm proud of. It's the stillness in my mind.
Why "Yoga for Adventure Sports" then?
Yoga benefits everyone, there is no doubt about that. With Yoga you are always a student and never the master. This is a useful mindset when playing in the great wide world.
For people who love outdoor sports, there are some clear physical benefits:
Strength, Flexibility, Balance, Endurance, Core, Stability and Recovery.
See any parallels with things that make you a good runner, climber, paddler, cyclist, paraglider, skier, surfer, sailor or general athlete?
How much do you need to do? Well, again, of course, I went straight for as much as I could, but then learnt that consistency (like running, kayaking or cycling) brings results, and fast. I have achieved more in 40 hours of practice than I have in many years of training for strength, stamina and speed. I'm maybe even start to quite like my body - very strange!
To create a community of Yoga for Adventures Sports, no-mad is collaborating with Emma Yoga PT (https://emmayogapt.webs.com/) To begin with this will be an online collaboration, but with some exciting weekends ahead of us.
Why Emma? Well, I've known Emma for 20 years, her Uncle is one of my closest friends and my regular partner in Mountain Marathons.
As well as being a very inspiring person, Emma is also an outdoor person, a sailor, a kayaker, a cyclist and a Yoga instructor. Emma has had an amazing career as a professional dancer, and it was Yoga that helped her with an injury and staying at Disneyland Paris as an entertainer for 10 years. Also, crucially, Emma knows Meirionnydd, for her whole life. So when we're talking about an adventure on a mountain, in the water, or on a trail, Emma probably knows it!
Emma can enthuse and demonstrate about all the elements of Yoga, and that enthusiasm is infectious and inspiring.
no-mad Adventures collaboration with Emma Yoga starts as a community in a Facebook Group - Yoga for Adventure Sports
Whether you are a seasoned Yogi, or fancy lurking to see what's what join the group.
Over the coming weeks Emma will explore Yoga with a focus for leg sports, or with a focus for upper body sports and hopefully in the Summer we will work together to offer some interesting weekends that combine adventure sports and Yoga is a new and exciting way.
Keep a look out for our blended logo's - Namaste