After Black Friday, I started a regular Yoga practice since it was easy to put a mat in the suitcase and get a workout in the hotel room all the days I was away. I also got back into it because Tommy Angelo told me it would make me a better poker player. He was right. On the days I did Yoga before going to grind I felt better and for me that almost always means I play better.
I started doing something called Ashtanga Yoga. This is a system of poses that are always done in the same sequence. I gained lots of flexibility but I don’t think I really increased my overall fitness and I didn’t lose any weight either. About two months before this challenge began I injured myself while doing a forward bend(Ardha Badda Padma Paschimotanasana). I felt a pull in my low back and immediately knew I was in trouble. I was on the couch and on the muscle relaxers for almost a week. It healed up fine after another few weeks but I didn’t go back to Yoga until this challenge started.
After reading The Science of Yoga I stopped doing the strict Ashtanga Series. Now I just warmup with a bunch of Sun Salutations and then move into the poses that I feel are the most beneficial for me. Instead of trying to complete a specific series of poses I focus on staying aware of my body and breath. If you are interested in Yoga this book is a must read. It explores the real history not a bunch of pseudo religious mumbo jumbo you find in many Yoga books. It also explores the actual science behind the risks and rewards Yoga.
I woke up this morning and my shoulder was hurting so I did some Yoga – no more shoulder pain. I had a similar experience with my back/hip just a few days ago. My Yoga workouts might not build much strength or cardiovascular fitness but they always seem to make me feel better physically and psychologically. If that isn’t healthy I don’t know what is.