From High Intensity Interval Training to Yoga

Lisa Austin Blogs, Exercise and Form, Mindset to Body, Most Recent

I needed to complete a presentation as part of the YMCA’s yoga training certification and I thought I would share my notes and thoughts about the whole process.

I thought hard about this project and what it meant. I was asked to come up with a topic. Most were choosing things like, ‘Yoga for Runners’ or ‘SUP Boards and Yoga’ but I am very new to yoga without any prior knowledge other than a healthy respect for its practices. It took some thought and creativity to come up with my topic… 

My questions about Yoga… 

My schedule is crazy so the only time I had to give to this was while I was able to take my books to my happy place at the lake. I did my reading and research as I relaxed on the beach. As I read, I thought and reflected over the peace that I felt. I decided that the total oneness that I felt at the time was surely what they were referring to in the books I was reading. They talked about an ‘awareness’, ‘a sense of ease’, and I believe that I feel that now but maybe I could be taking this further as I still allow things to bother me and invade my peace.

Time is precious.  I am all about being efficient. I’m not a fan of ‘cardio’ – or at least not long bouts of steady-state exercise. I prefer the high intensity, get ‘er done, hard and fast kinda workout. Yoga seemed like it was a great option for those clients that needed to unwind and find balance but I never felt the draw to it… until now.

My journey led me here… 

I have been on a journey (by choice) for the last 10 years and yoga is the next thing I need to explore. I like to think that I am strong and very in-tune with my body and it’s capabilities but now that I am unable to train the way I used to, I am finding that I need to search out even more ways to de-stress, relax, and restore, as well as maintain and even strengthen my body. Yoga requires strength and balance and it’s a challenge to achieve the poses. There never seems to be an end to what you can teach your body to do. 

High-intensity training requires skill to complete your movements without injury, focus on your task, control of your breath and your mind… yoga teaches the same things just not under a time constraint to induce the intensity.

I found myself testing my limits in new ways and yoga seemed like the next step.  New questions need to be answered. 

Can I get the same training effects from yoga alone?

I am so new to this that I have not explored that far into this new world of yoga… and I do consider it a new world, just like I did when I entered my journey to health. 

I’m learning that yoga seems to be all about awareness, peace, strength, power, calm, acceptance, and forgiveness in yourself and your capabilities. 

Yoga seems to have changed since it began and there are many different styles so why not create a new style that is still in tune with the practices and self-awareness of yoga and will give me the strength I want? I wonder if yoga has rules? If it does, then I want to break them – even if it’s for a little while as I adjust to find something that works for me. 

I am at a new stage in my health journey… sound familiar? 

I became a personal trainer while on my path to fixing me. I’ve learned I don’t necessarily need to be fixed but there is soooo much more to learn. When you think you’ve learned your fill of any one topic, it’s time to find another teacher so that you can test those boundaries and learn some more.

Like any change in training, there is an adjustment period in your body’s ability, skill level, and recovery – and like any type of training, there is a foundation building stage. 

I believe with a merge in styles to satisfy my need for familiarity and my need to explore the world of yoga I will find something in between. I will be practicing and developing my skills as I keep some of the components of my more traditional styles of physical fitness. 

Will others like where I choose to go with my yoga practice?

The thought crosses my mind but then I think to myself: things I have learned in the past have helped others that are in a similar place as I am at this time. My journey and skillset not appeal to everyone, but it may appeal to those who are transitioning from one style to another. I’m always interested in getting an effective workout, so the effort put in will pay off.