Photo credit: Charley Smith Photography
"Find your focus and seek simplicity. Purposeful living calls for elegant efficiency and economy of effort—expending the minimum time and energy necessary to achieve desired goals." Dan Millman
I have a confession to make. I don’t like many other yoga classes. I aim to make all of my training—including yoga—efficient and effective, which is not the goal of most yoga classes and is why I designed Yoga 15.
Yoga 15 is a distillation of the most effective elements of yoga that support an athletic, high-velocity lifestyle. A regular yoga practice has the potential to make you strong, fit and supple, prevent and heal injury, enhance your physical performance and sharpen your mental focus.
If you’re having trouble making yoga a consistent habit, this guide should help.
1. Mat. The only equipment you need to do yoga is a mat, to stop your hands and feet from slipping. Mats vary considerably in quality and type so find one that looks and feels good to you. I have a heavy Manduka mat that I love but if you travel often or plan to do your yoga workouts away from home, you might prefer a lightweight mat that is easier to carry around.
2. Clothing. Wear comfortable, stretchy workout clothes that allow you to move freely.
3. Footwear. One of the most beneficial and unique aspects of yoga is that you practice barefoot. This strengthens the muscles in your feet, ankles and legs and improves your balance.
"Do as little as needed not as much as possible." Henk Kraaijenhof, International Performance Consultant
In designing Yoga 15, I was inspired by Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Body, to find the minimum effective dose for yoga. He defines this as, "the smallest dose that will produce a desired outcome, anything beyond which is wasteful." The MED for yoga is 15 minutes. That gives you time to warm up, workout, focus your mind and cool down.
How often you decide to incorporate yoga into your training program is going to depend on your goals, commitments and skill level. I recommend a minimum of 3 times a week. Rotate sequences so that you're constantly working on all 5 disciplines – flexibility, balance, strength, mobility and recovery.
Click on the DESIGN YOUR PROGRAM tab above to choose a series to tackle first.
"The way physiology works is that it adapts to what you do most frequently, not to what you do with the best of intentions." Katy Bowman, biomechanist
This is crucial. Consistency not intensity or duration is the key to success. Practicing yoga is a slow and systematic process of gradually unlocking areas of tightness and tension throughout your body, correcting muscular imbalances and training the mind for greater concentration. There is a compound effect. One long session is unlikely to have significant benefits. Little and often is the key.
Create A Routine
"Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going." Jim Rohn
Making decisions is more mentally draining than you might imagine which is why Steve Jobs chose to wear the same black turtleneck and jeans every single day. By creating routines, you save valuable time and energy for what is most important to you, with the added benefit that routines do not rely on willpower or motivation.
1. Time. You can roll out of bed and start your day with yoga, practice in the middle of the day to give you a natural energy boost, stretch out after your workout to relieve muscle soreness or do a sequence in the evening to wind down and prepare your body for sleep. Pick the best time for you (be as specific as possible), tweak as necessary and then stick to it.
2. Place. Yoga 15 is designed so that you can practice yoga wherever you have enough room for you and your mat, but a quiet place without distractions is ideal. Try to find somewhere without distractions that puts you in the right frame of mind.
Let me know in the COMMENTS if you have any questions about setting up your own yoga routine. And get your first month free!