Thursday, September 13, 2007

Yoga and fitness revelations

I've been doing yoga for a few years now. It has had different places in my life over the years, including keeping me sane, providing balance (both physical and spiritual), improving core strength and flexibility for cycling, and various undefinable benefits to the psyche and body, such that if I skip a few sessions I miss it a lot. With the advent of cyclocross season, I know from experience that I need to be sure to keep it integrated into my training schedule.

Last week I used the holiday to fit in an extra session (usually I go once a week). Unwittingly I found myself in a more advanced class that I usually take, but I was happy to find that the challenge was good. Most interesting was the fact that I felt unusually strong and balanced after just been to the class four days ago instead of a week. Since then I've been going twice a week, and this experience was no fluke: instead of 'starting over' each week, the more frequent sessions have allowed the compounding benefits to take my practice to the next level.

I've gone from 'maintenance' to 'improvement' and it's an exciting feeling. Suddenly I'm not struggling so much by the end of class, poses are stronger and more balanced, and the practice is even more enjoyable than before. I'm thinking this translates from another aspect of my life: a more structured training schedule on the bike has led to improvements this year as well, making bike racing more enjoyable and less of a struggle to just hang on. I'm hoping this all carries over into a fun cyclocross season!