How Yoga helps improve your strength training.

At Pramfit, we look at pre and post natal bodies as a whole, from top to toe. This means that not only do we work to get you doing your strength training and mobility work to be on point, we also look at how your mind affects your movements and give you the tools to improve it.

During all of our sessions we talk a lot about the feeling of the movements you are doing. We will often ask ‘how does that feel’. This is because we need to understand how a movement feels to you, to allow you to perform the movement as efficiently as possible.

Every body is different, we are all built differently, all have different pre-pregnancy backgrounds in fitness, each may carry different injuries as well as having different pregnancy and birth journeys. All these things make us the unique individuals we are, who move in your own way and need tailored guidance. At PramFit, we excel at this.

Understanding how our bodies feel during movement, and indeed daily life, is key to being able to answer the ‘how does it feel’ question effectively. The technical term for this is ‘muscle proprioception’. In real terms this means listening to your body and understanding which bit is activating, where any niggles are coming from and noticing the changes in these feeling when we move in slightly different ways.

This is where our Yoga practice comes in. Yoga is not just about stretching the body; in fact this is probably the lowest priority of yoga in reality. Yoga gives us the opportunity to connect body and mind. By connecting our movement with our breath we can find the space to listen to what our bodies are telling us.

Maybe when you are child’s pose, you feel a pull in the left side of the low back. When you take warrior 2 perhaps you find that when you encourage your knee to go over the little toe instead of collapsing it toward the big toe you feel the outer hip engage. This may be more obvious on one side than the other. Maybe then bending as deeply into the front knee is not available without losing this connection. When you bend to the right side, it could be that you feel more flexible than when bending to the left. These are all signals coming from your body which is valuable information particular to you. Being able to recognise and understand these signals will help you to be more efficient in your strength training movements.

For example, to find your yogi squat, you might need to bring the feet further apart to keep your back flat. This might be because you have tighter ankles and you might feel tension there, or because you have a tighter low back, and you might feel discomfort there instead or as well. You could also find that your hips pinch when we practice half frog or pigeon. In all of these situations, practising with compassion for your body, easing out of the pose or taking a variation that is more available for your body will build strength. Building this intuition will help you feed back during strength building sessions and help us to help you move more efficiently and without pain.

Learning to listen to your body comes with practice. That is why we call yoga a practice, and as with your strength training, pregnancy and life, yoga is a journey.

Coupled with the fitness sessions, your practice will make you a stronger, more flexible, more mobile you. Physically and mentally.

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