Originally Posted by CoachLuisaFonseca
And then I realized that having passion for other things doesn't decrease the intensity of a particular passion, in this case swimming, it actually potentiates it. It's like now I feel that swimming makes perfect sense in the whole that is my life. And I've never been happier while swimming as I am now.
I started this thread on Yoga because I wanted to integrate Yoga into my workouts. Not in a superficial way, but in a way that makes much sense to me. Primarily the physical aspect, but the spiritual aspect is also an interest.
The problem I have is that for me Yoga lacks clarity in it's aims and focus. What is it? A physical practice for strength and flexibility, A spiritual philosophy, an extreme sport (including lying on a bed of nails, etc.), or Hinduism at it's core....... but I appreciate that it has resonated for you as well as it has. I'm a big believer in the notion that the "Proof is in the Pudding". If it works, Do it!
I was doing Yoga, just like Terry, with marking a to do list on my calendar, but after a few weeks I stopped. Maybe I got too ambitious because I wasn't just stretching 10 minutes a day, I was stretching up to an hour a day on my own.
What bothered me was that I had to question the value of doing a stretch 6 days a week for 3 minutes versus just doing it half as much....am I getting more flexible by putting in more time, or is doing less actually more?? ....Then I ended up questioning even more the value of doing something like the splits, or touching my nose to my knee....
I used the example of using a "kick board" and what I meant by this is that I wondered if I was doing something that I thought was benefiting me, but that in actuality was not.....and even worse, maybe something that is actually damaging.
The difference is actually more profound that that....If you swim with a kick board, at worse you waste your time and possibly misconstrue the role of kicking in your stroke.....In Yoga, you can hurt yourself badly! At least according to that article in the New York Times.
I'm reading a book about Bikram who started the Hot Yoga craze....I wouldn't know what you would think of him and maybe you consider most forms of Yoga to not be true Yoga, but that only adds to what I say is a lack of clarity.
If you were to ask Bikram (actually you don't need to ask, he'll just shout it out)........He says that his style of Yoga is the only true Yoga in America and all others are False Yoga!......
I just want to make a quick point about a recent controversy in San Diego, California. In a public school, they are teaching Yoga to 1st graders. There is the threat of a lawsuit because some parents feel that Yoga is a form of religion that will indoctrinate their children into Eastern Religion.....after our discussion in this forum, I have to grudgingly agree with them.....There seems to be a great difficulty separating the religious and spiritual aspect from Yoga.
I am still interested in my examination of Yoga. I'm reading a couple of books about Bikram right now.....but what I've done is come back to Swimming as my base. There are other physical activities that mean much to me, and eventually I will be deemphasizing swimming to make room for other pursuits.
I'm not a triathlete, nor a marathon swimmer, nor was even a competitive swimmer. So I can relate to what you were saying how your swimming needs to be in the proper context for you own life. Just like Diana Nyad or anyone else should put swimming in the context for their life that works well for them.
I've also actually had to rethink my goals for swimming. They're going to be different than a triathlete, etc. I will talk about that probably in a different thread sometime in the future.
Swimming for me is best summed up by the legendary Jack LaLanne. If anyone doesn't know who he is, you should look him up. He really is a Pioneer in the fitness industry. He was a Mr. America winner and opened up the very first gyms, created machines that are in gyms all over the world, spearheaded the juicing craze, etc.....and by the way, though he was ahead of his time, in his time he was considered a Health Nut!
Anyway.....he was asked if he could only do one exercise what would it be?.....Without hesitation he said, "Swimming!" ...Jack was primarily a weightlifter, but nearly everyday, he'd spend one hour in the weight room, but then he spent one hour a day in the swimming pool.....and not necessarily swimming. He was doing water-based exercises.
This is what brings me to it and back to it. Sometimes I have a lack of time, focus, etc. and swimming seems like the best all-around fitness activity I can do..If I'm not in the pool for a while, sometimes my back doesn't feel so great.....When I go in the pool for a swim, it's like I had a really, really good chiropractic adjustment.
What I have been doing in my swimming lately and feel good about it is that I am choosing a couple of shoulder stretches before and during the breaks in my first few laps. I'm not worrying about hamstring stretching or other poses....mainly because there is a tendency to hop into a lane and soon as their is an opening, rather than to sit outside of it and stretch for 10 minutes.....what I'm tapping into lately that feels right is that I am focusing at times on the stretch of my torso....In particular, that push off the wall where your hand are clasped overhead and your spine undulates to make you go faster.
It's funny to me that this isn't typically taught, yet every competitive swimmer does this because you go faster than when you are stroking??? Isn't this true? Or did I hear this wrong......that they had to put in a rule that limits the length that a swimmer does underwater because you go faster with the right movement......Doesn't this go against the spirit of the "Freestyle" stroke??? Freestyle should mean anything is allowable that makes you swim fast. Why shouldn't you be able to swim most of the length underwater if it's a "freestyle" stroke.....If it's not allowed, then they should go back to calling it a "Forward Crawl", not a "Freestyle" Stroke.
Anyway, my main point is that I am making sure that I spend time doing this movement on my stomach, but also on my back for several yards before I begin my backstroke.....I think it's a worthwhile movement to emphasize because it's the fastest you'll go in the pool, it teaches you how to work with the water, and .........I think it is an AWESOME Yoga type of movement......If Yoga emphasizes the suppleness of the spine and the associated chakras, then this movement should be King in the Yoga world, more so then then the upside down Headstand which can potentially cause a stroke!