Take Your Pick: 3 Types of Yoga That'll Strengthen You Mentally and Physically

By Ron Sklar | September 21, 2016

 

One of yoga’s biggest advantages for Mudders? Strengthening and lengthening exercises that help stabilize muscles. Using yoga means rocking muscles you wouldn’t normally work when lifting weights or running. When done safely and with proper alignment, yoga postures are designed to create stability, mobility and  flexibility, all of which help prevent injuries. 

Ben Curtis and Cassie Fireman are wellness pros and co-founders of Soul Fit NYC. The Manhattan-based company offers wellness services in the convenience of your home or office focusing on the mind-body connection. The end result: being unstoppable in achieving your goals. Who wouldn’t want that?

Ben says that while it’s hard to define the word “yoga,” it can be translated as “to yoke,” or to calm the mind. And, contrary to popular perception, there are many different types of yoga, not just a one-size-fits-all practice. Here are three yoga disciplines that are most effective both before, and after, you cross the finish line: 

Ashtanga yoga

This is very physical, constantly moving and flowing practice that is both mentally and physically demanding. It involves a very specific set of postures; intricate, yes, but it’s actually great for muscle building, stamina and flexibility.

Iyengar yoga

With an emphasis on precision, stability and alignment, Iyengar attracts those interested in proper technique, form, and alignment.  It can be done late into life, as it uses props, such as belts, blocks, blankets and the wall, allowing you to go deeper into poses with safety and stability. The teachers of this discipline go through a very lengthy process of training in India, learning from direct descendants of its founder, the late B.K.S. Iyengar. Iyengar is also great for recovering from injuries as well as injury prevention.

Restorative yoga

It's as simple as that - it restores your body in whichever way you feel it needs at that given time.  Done mostly with props and blankets while lying horizontal, restorative yoga is about aligning the physical and mental through stillness, release, and gentle movement for extended periods of time.  It’s very meditative and healing and the props help you hold poses longer.  It provides a great balance from the intensity of physical training that comes with prepping for a Tough Mudder.

No matter which style of yoga you choose, know that we all have different needs on different days.  

When you accomplish something as challenging as a Tough Mudder, whether it's 5 miles or 10, you feel a surge of self-confidence and accomplishment. Yoga is key to maintaining your body and mind leading up to the event – and beyond.

Put your inner yogi to the test on a Tough Mudder Half or Tough Mudder course in 2016 or 2017. Check out the full lineup HERE