Radka’s Journey to Yoga from Weightlifting
So I heard that you may benefit from some recovery yoga?:) That is amazing. I wish I was this smart years ago. I have a background in martial arts, dancing, Crossfit and weightlifting. I also have been a judge at Crossfit Regionals. So movement and alignment of the body was always important to me.
When I used to workout so much I definitely wasn't paying attention to my recovery. I didn't stretch before or after my workout even though the next day my flexibility of the body was dramatically reduced. For instance I could barely stretch my arms to full extension.
I justified it. Well, it is normal. I worked out super intensely yesterday. Unfortunately, your body has its own limit and can handle so much. If you don’t pay attention to your body signals, you may end up like me. One day you won't be able to get up out of bed a week before your weightlifting competition. As a result, I was forced to do only light easy exercises. I was so freaking mad at myself. It was a rough 6 boring months. Those moments just teach you about balancing your lifestyle. Maybe it is time to change your approach if you want to keep doing what you love.
I went through this cycle several times. I love to workout so much, however; I didn’t want to acknowledge the other aspects that are part of fitness such as recovery ( stretching, warmup, food, sleep, low stress, breathwork, slowing down).
A few years ago I was at the point when I got sick of how my body felt. I felt like grandma. My lower back hurt, my shoulders were totally fucked up and I couldn’t really do much. The fun of working out was gone.
Then my intuition told me to get into yoga. So I did. I finally give my body a bit of a gentle more mindful approach to movement where I create space to learn more not only about my physical but also mental body.
During yoga you may start realizing that when you are working out, you are usually in your head. Your ego may be telling you to go faster, go heavier, do that extra rep and I am sure you are aware of your own self-talk. I mean if I should be honest it was more like “Stop being weak fucking pussy and just fucking do it”. Pushing through the pain that I was feeling in my body but refusing to acknowledge it. Can you relate?
During yoga, the ego still will be there for a while. Once you connect with your body, your breath and yourself you start having maybe a more gentle approach to yourself. You connect with yourself differently. You suddenly realize that slowing down, using your breath to your advantage, stretching is as equally important as working out to reach your overall health and fitness goals.
Yoga changed my life so much that I decided to become a yoga teacher. My intention as a teacher is to hold space for my students. To encourage them to meet themselves where they are at and use that time for themselves to take what they need from their practice. Those needs could be for health, stress relief, searching for an answer or just wanting to experience the weightlessness of the body, mind and spirit after an amazing session. I will have done my session properly if I have helped you find what they needed in that specific moment that could be applied on the mat or off.