Sarah Fretwell

Yoga, Movement, Mobility, Wellness

Finding balance

Mindsarah
800px-carrie_yoga_shoot_003_8328572003

800px-carrie_yoga_shoot_003_8328572003

Finding a balance in life is always a struggle. What with work, seeing family, catching up with friends, spending time with loved ones, it's no wonder that most of us feel unbalanced a lot of the time. Finding time for yourself doesn't have to be hard. Exercise is the perfect way to get some YOU time. To find that escape, to re-charge, re-energise, and de-stress your body and mind.

With exercise and heath, it's SO important to find a good balance. Just doing cardio everyday, such as pounding the treadmill seven days a week, isn't going to give you the balance that you need from your workouts. Yes, running burns fat and is great for cardiovascular health, but, and just like everything else, it can be overused, causing imbalance. The same goes for weight-lifting. Lifting weights everyday, without stretching out the muscles, will eventually cause tightness and a lack of flexibility. Think short, tight muscles.

This is where yoga comes into the mix. Too many people think that yoga doesn't count as "exercise".  That it's just for people who want to de-stress and become all zen. So.not.true.

Did you know that yoga can be just as effective as weights when it comes to building a stronger, more impressive physique? While lifting weights causes your muscles to adapt and become stronger and bigger over time, strength that’s developed from yoga doesn’t quite work that way and is more of a functional strength. Yoga is a balanced approach to strength training. It conditions your body to perform things you do everyday: walking, sitting, bending, lifting. Your body moves in the way it was designed to move.

Yoga also tones both large and small muscles all over your body in balance with one another, while weight training isolates one muscle group at a time.

More technically, yoga relies on eccentric contraction, where the muscle stretches as it contracts, giving it a sleek, elongated look. Weight training relies on the opposite principle of concentric contraction, where the muscle gets smaller as it contracts. Muscle fibers heal close together, resulting in that "pumped" look.

Yoga poses also build stamina through extended holds and challenging postures. Stamina is an essential part of any exercise routine, whether you’re running, lifting weights or doing a spin class.

Yoga-Searcher-Uluwatu-41

Yoga-Searcher-Uluwatu-41

Finding a balance in your regime by adding in some regular yoga classes or a personal practice, will help sort any imbalance in your bodies, whether it's tight hips, tight hamstrings from running, a stiff back and chest from lifting weights, or a lack of strength.

When you combine flexibility with strength, you enter a whole different ball-game. You also feel so much stronger, fitter and comfortable in your own body, knowing that it is moving in the way that it was designed to move. Knowing that your body is in balance.

To trial a yoga class, come along to Sarah Fretwell's classes in Camberwell or Peckham, get in touch at info@sarahfretwellyoga.co.uk.