Full-Body Exercises

The Power of Yoga

Don't laugh it off. There's lots to gain from this physical, mental, and spiritual practice.

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yoga

For Muscle & Fitness readers, the word yoga is often associated with the idea of some skinny guy in dreads wearing a loincloth with his feet tucked behind his head amongst a room full of sage smoke. Sounds painful, embarrassing and humiliating if you ask me.

But here’s the truth, yoga will physically kick your ass, in every good way possible. I started serious weight training back in the mid 80s. I even won the heavyweight class in several regional shows, (although not M&F cover worthy – I looked pretty damn good). I also had some decent powerlifting numbers back in the day. All that lead me to chronic shoulder and back pain and that ultimately lead me (unwillingly at first) to my first yoga class at the age of 34 - at Gold’s Gym in Venice, California of all places. I found yoga at the mecca of bodybuilding, where legend Robbie Robertson once, without even knowing me, called me the Pillsbury doughboy as he strolled by (clarification: I was in a bulking stage!). After my first yoga class – I knew yoga was something that would be essential to me living my best life.

I loved yoga so much; I became an instructor, and have the privilege of teaching in sunny Santa Monica, California. I work with all types of people, from professional athletes, to actors, to highly influential celebrity clients. The one thing they all have in common? Power Vinyasa Yoga – as it will humble even the strongest and most talented before it builds us back up to a place of power and strength.

yoga pose

Yoga will increase your strength and muscle endurance to levels beyond what you could have imagined and will drastically enhance and change your life, for the better. Reintroduce your body to the joys of “full range of motion,” and “core strength.” Sweat and effort will pour out of you in a whole new way, as you heal the damage that life inflicts even on the greatest warriors.

If you’re a world class athlete or have even graced the pages of M&F – there is no doubt you should be practicing yoga 2-3 times a week, not as a workout per say (even though it is) but as a counter to the stress that heavy training places on the joints, muscles and spine. Easy? Hell no. Some of the postures will have you trembling like you’re 6 inches from locking out a 600 pound dead lift. Yoga will teach you how to control your body like a dancer, giving you the ability to better display stability and grace, whether in front of the judges or just lifting weights in your local gym.

Yoga, it does the body and mind good.

To get you started, I break down the correct way to move into crescent pose, which is great for the legs and a pose that is common in a Power Vinyasa sequence.

Sphinx, cobra and updog are also frequent poses that I use in my classes. Here’s a quick tutorial to put you on the right path.

You can practice along with yoga classes taught by Rudy Mettia and other world-class teachers on Udaya.com, or by purchasing his DVD program – Yoga Warrior 365.

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