CategoriesYoga

The benefits of stretching and how important it is after sport or physical activity

Stretching off after exercise is so important and yet it’s the most common thing people either don’t both with or forget to factor in time for at the end of each training session.

Stretching can often get labelled as the boring bit of a training program. Many people, including athletes and fitness fanatics, don’t understand the true benefits of  stretching, or regular yoga practice, when incorporated into their training routines can have.  If they did they might make a little more time for it.  Below we have listed our top 5 benefits of stretching.

Benefits of stretching

Stretching properly after exercise helps to…

Prevent injury and alleviate tightness

One of the main benefits of stretching is to help avoid injury. If you have been training hard, perhaps lifting heavy weights or doing HIIT Training (High Intensity Interval Training) you probably have tightened up a lot of muscles in the process.  If these muscles remain tight (under tension) they run the risk of getting injured in future training sessions or even during every day activities.  Stretching off, after workouts can help reduce this risk.

Speed up recovery time

Yoga practice improves the blood flow around the body using a combination of movement and breath. The additional breathing focus also increases the amount of oxygen carried in the blood.  Good blood supply and circulation is vital for the repair of all our body cells including the muscles and ligaments you have just trained hard.  The increase flow enables our damaged cells to get the nutrients and energy they need to repair more quickly and therefore speed up overall recovery time.

Reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (AKA the DOMS)

As outlined above stretching or yoga practice after exercise can help improve circulation and blood flow, enabling our muscles and ligaments to receive the supply of nutrients and energy they need to repair more quickly.  If practiced directly after exercise you can vastly reduce delayed onset muscle soreness or avoid it completely.

Release tension

Don’t forget our muscles are not only put under a lot of stress and tension during exercise but also during our day to day lives to, creating tension in those areas of our bodies that we use most.  Stretching properly or incorporating regular yoga practice in your weekly schedule will help to alleviate muscle tension.

Calm the body and re-balance hormone levels

As good as exercise is for our bodies, it also increases the release of the cortisol (the stress hormone) and other adrenal hormones.  This can throw some peoples endocrine system out of sync and then cause other issues too. Practicing yoga after your workout, or incorporating regular practice into your weekly schedule, can help control and re-balance your hormone levels again creating peace and harmony within your body, with the added bonus of calming the mind too.

Fancy giving Yoga a try?

Flotality have lots of options to help you stretch off…

Find a local class:

If you prefer to be instructed (enforced practice if you like) see if you can find a local class before or after your main training activity.  This also helps to prevent any distractions which may prevent you from practicing as well ensuring correct postures are held.  Flotality runs both lunchtime and evening classes on Thursdays if you are looking for a group class.  See our classe timetable here.

Book private 1-2-1’s at a time that suits you:

Or you might choose to book a 1-2-1 to better fit in around your training schedule.  A private yoga lesson will typically be programmed specific to your individual needs and so therefore could be really beneficial as you will be getting exactly what YOU need.  Flotality 1-2-1s can be held at your home or a venue suitable for you. Find out more about these here.

Use online video classes:

Alternatively, you could look at online video classes, there are plenty of freebies on YouTube you can use, or you could sign up to a online class provider such as Alo Moves.  This will enable you to practice yoga anywhere you like, on the move, at home or even whilst away.  Hopefully one day Flotality might be able to offer some video classes too – so watch this space!

 

If you would like to know any more information on any of the above feel free to give us a call!

sports yoga kevin loveCategoriesYoga

Using Sports Yoga to increase focus and reduce stress

Practising yoga before and after partaking in sport or fitness training can massively help to improve athletic performance.  Not only can sports yoga be used to restore and recover the body after activities, it can also be used prior working out to warm the body up and focus the mind in preparation for the activities ahead.

Last summer I made a huge discovery whilst training for my yoga instructor course as I needed to fit all the hours of practice in I could to pass.  So I started practicing yoga throughout the day as well as in the evenings to increase my hours.

I had to fit this extra practice in around my day job, and as an early bird my focus for work is always better in the morning so I’m usually at my desk by 6:30/7am reading my emails and lining up my to do list for the day. However, I am prone to crashing at about 3pm so I decided as that was my least productive time for mental work I would take that time away from the desk and use it to get my yoga practice in. This usually meant I was practicing an hour or two before my 6pm CrossFit class. Wednesdays used to be our Olympic lifting sessions. I begun to notice that on the days I had practiced yoga before CrossFit or an Olympic lifting session, my technique was far better and I was achieving heavier lifts and smashing my PB’s – I wondered, could their be a link?!

I began to look into the science behind it…

HOW SPORTS YOGA HELPS TO IMPROVE ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

Sports yoga is the perfect match for any active man or woman who enjoys partaking in sport or physical training of some sort, particularly for those who train at a competitive level and it can vastly improve focus and athletic performance.

Using yoga BEFORE exercise can help to:

  • Clear the mind and increase focus
  • Destress both the body and the mind from previous events that day
  • Helps warm up and engage all those little muscles that will be used to support the big ones you are about to work on

sports yoga

Using yoga AFTER exercise can help to:

  • Balance hormone levels again – high intensity training stresses the body and therefore naturally increases cortisol levels.
  • Speed up recovery time as yoga Improves the blood flow to muscles and ligaments, aiding with repair without adding any further stress or impact
  • Help reduce the DOMS! As muscles have been properly cooled downs and stretched off after working out delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can be reduced or avoided all together, enabling you to enjoy more training if you wish!

And it’s not just yoga instructors raving about these benefits – many pro athletes now incorporate yoga into their training schedules. Read more about this here.

sports yoga

Keen to give sports yoga  a go?

There are numerous ways you can practice sports yoga now, so there really is no excuse…

Find a local yoga class:

If you prefer to be instructed (enforced practice if you like) see if you can find a local class before or after your main training activity.  This also helps to prevent any distractions which may prevent you from practicing as well ensuring correct postures are held.  Flotality runs both lunchtime classes, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and evening classes on Thursdays too if you are looking for a group class.  See our classes here.

Book private 1-2-1’s at a time that suits you:

Or you might choose to book a 1-2-1 to better fit in around your training schedule.  A private yoga lesson will typically be programmed specific to your individual needs and so therefore could be really beneficial as you will be getting exactly what YOU need.  Flotality 1-2-1s can be held at your home or a venue suitable for you. Find out more about these here.

Use online video classes:

Alternatively you could look at online video classes, there are plenty of freebies on YouTube you can use, or you could sign up to an online class provider such as Alo Moves.  This will enable you to practice yoga anywhere you like, on the move, at home or even whilst away.  Hopefully one day Flotality might be able to offer some video classes too – so watch this space!

If you would like to know any more information on any of the above feel free to give us a call!

CategoriesYoga

Fitness Yoga – Helping you improve sporting performance

Yoga is complimentary to virtually any sporting practice and will only help you to improve fitness performance and reduce risk of injury – both very appealing benefits to any sports or fitness addict.  Some of the world’s best athletes even swear their yoga practice alongside their other training has helped them in the bid to become champions of their sport.

A common miss conception about yoga, made by many who have yet to try, is that it looks ‘slow and easy’ and therefore it is assumed yoga practice doesn’t ‘do much’.  However, for those who have tried a yoga class or two, you will probably remember your first surprise at how much you may have ached the next day in places you didn’t even know existed.

The thing is, yoga may seem slow, but this passive form of exercise I perhaps one of the best kinds of movement your body can get!  Not only does it help release sore muscles and improve flexibility, it also strengthens your core and improves balance too – all these factors also help reduce risk of injury whilst you are our playing/doing your other activities. Not to mention the stress relieving benefits of regular practice!

Benefits of Fitness Yoga

Improves athletic performance

Yoga improves strength, flexibility and balance, which in turn improves body awareness and ease of movement – this will only aid your other training or sporting activities.  You might find because your core muscles are stronger you are able to lift heavier or go for longer during endurance activities.  Yoga also helps improve recovery time between sessions too.

Reduces risk of injury

By improving strength, flexibility and balance your body is far less likely to get injured.   Tightness and mobility issues are often the cause of most injuries in sport, regular yoga practice can really help combat this.  You might also find it interesting to learn also that because yoga practice uses breath with movement, extra oxygen is pushed around your body which helps to improve blood flow.  Your blood carries all the nutrients needed to repair and maintain the cells in your body including that found in muscles, tendons, joints etc. This means not only are the vital body parts used in your sport getting extra nutrients they need; they are also likely to recover quicker after heavy use when yoga is practiced alongside training.

Yoga is a great way to prevent and rehabilitate injuries.

Increases mental focus

Yoga is sometimes considered an active form of relaxation or meditation, and without sounding too ‘hippie’ this can massively improve mental performance too as well as physical.  How? Yoga practice aligns your body with the mind so that you are in sync. It also helps to clear any ‘chatter’ or distractions enabling clarity and better focus for whatever task you need to set your mind to.

Athletes who are known to practice fitness yoga

Still don’t believe us – why not hear it from the mouths of a few professional athletes themselves…

1. Jessica Ennis-Hill, Heptathlete

“Yoga has been really good for me training-wise…It helps keep some level of fitness up through my pregnancy and also on the run-up to major championships.”

2. Andy Murray, Tennis Player

“I’m pretty flexible for a tennis player. (Yoga) has helped a lot with my fitness and mental strength.”

fitness yoga

3. Welsh Rugby Union Team

“We hand-picked six guys who we thought were a little bit susceptible to injury and not as flexible. We put those six in and then said to the others it’s not compulsory, but we ended up having to knock the guys back, because we can only fit 10 in the room.”

Adam Beard, RWU Head Conditioning Coach

4. Paula Radclife, Long-Distance Runner

“Stretching is really important before a race, but even more so afterwards. Go for a swim or to a Yoga class to make sure you’re stretching in a relaxed and mindful way.”

5. Jamie Anderson, Snowboarder

“My favourite poses are variations on the handstand and the scorpion,” she said. “You have to use your whole body, it’s physically and mentally challenging. You have to find your balance in this uncomfortable position, so when you do it, you feel like you’re really overcoming an obstacle.”

6. Jenson Button, F1 Driver

“There you go! #coupleyoga with @jenson_ichiban.” ~ Jessica Michibata, Instagram


Flotality offer various yoga classes designed specifically to aid athletes and fitness fanatics to compliment their other sporting activities.

  • Our Balance classes will help develop strength and flexibility in order to improve fitness performance and reduce risk of injury.
  • Our Focus classes will help clear your mind and allow you to concentrate better on reaching your goals and beating the competition.
  • Our Restore classes will soothe your aching muscles, help improve recovery rates and relieve stress.

 

Find out more about the classes we offer here.

benefits of yogaCategoriesYoga

What are the benefits of yoga?

What is Yoga?

Yoga is an ancient practice that strengthens, aligns and restores the body and mind using movement and breath. Lessons can vary massively from style and intensity so we recommend that you get out there and try as many different styles and teachers as possible – don’t be put off by your first class if you didn’t like it, there really is a form of yoga out there for everyone!

What are the benefits of Yoga?

Yoga benefits everyone – from complete beginners and people who rarely exercise, to professional athletes and sports enthusiasts.

Yoga will hone and tone your body, through improving strength, balance and flexibility as well as your general health, energy levels and mental wellbeing.  The practice can also be used more specifically too, from muscle recovery and reducing risk of injury to aiding focus and mental clarity, or even as a mediation technique to calm the mind and improve sleep quality for those who suffer with insomnia. If you have an ailment or problem, the chances are there is a yoga sequence out there that can help you!

How can yoga help with sport?

Many professional athletes use yoga as an aid to help their sporting performance.  Yoga is all about looking after our bodies, not just by improving flexibility but also strengthening them too.  The art of yoga practice itself could be considered as a form of active mediation which in turn can help with focus and clarity –helping immensely when pushing your body to new limits or lifting heavier weights.

How can yoga help with fertility?

Yoga can also help improve fertility success too.  There are a number of poses and postures that encourage better blood flow to nourish and rejuvenate the reproductive organs, balance hormones and improve general energy flows within the body – not to mention the stress relief benefits that yoga brings to the table, something you may well need if you have been trying to conceive for a long time.

How can yoga help with focus?

As mentioned before, yoga can be used as an aid to increase focus and mental clarity. This doesn’t just have to be used within a physical fitness environment, but could also help increase focus for work purposes too.  We offer a range of different classes at Flotality to help with different needs, our Focus classes and private sessions are ideal for this purpose or requirement.

What do I need to know before attending a yoga class with Flotality?

1. Pick your class style

At Flotality we offer several different types of classes:

Balance:

Our Balance classes are more fitness and health based.  In these classes we will be working on strength and flexibility as well as improving balance and relieving stress.  These classes are ideal for beginners, general yoga practice or those who want something that compliments their existing fitness training.

Focus:

Our Focus classes are all about releasing stress, clearing the mind and finding clarity through movement and breath.  The art of practicing yoga has this magical calming effect on the body and mind and can massively help when performed before work or even a weightlifting class where you might be trying to hit a PB!

Restore:

Our Restore classes are all about releasing the body, ridding it of toxins, freeing tension, relaxation and stress relief.  These classes are set at a slightly slower pace than our other classes and are perfect for everyone who just needs a bit of TLC.

Fertility Yoga:

We also offer fertility yoga classes that are specifically design to improve hormonal balance and wellbeing within the body as well as helping with stress relief.

View our class time table here.

2. What to wear

To all our classes you should wear comfortable, active wear that is not restrictive, but equally will keep your modesty in the various poses that we will hold throughout the session.  All classes are a shoe free zone, so please take your shoes off at the door.  We prefer if you practice barefoot rather than socks if possible.

3. What to bring

Water – it’s important you stay hydrated and we cannot guarantee water will be available on site at some of our venues. We will supply mats, blocks and straps, but if you have your own, please feel free to bring them too.

4. New to yoga – don’t panic!

All our classes can be tailored for complete beginners – there is always a scaled option available if you are unable to do a certain pose that is being taught.  The most important thing to get the most from yoga is to leave your ego at the door and make sure you do what feels good at that moment for your body.  It is not about who can go the deepest, balance the longest or stretch the furthest.  Yoga is about being present and listening to your body – that way you will be sure to get the most out of each class!

 


If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out, by email, phone of Facebook message – we will always be happy and ready to help! 

Hopefully see you on the mat soon!