OlderBeast Fall 2017 Yoga Challenge: Week 1 Intro

Welcome to OlderBeast’s Fall 2017 Yoga Challenge.

The purpose of this and other challenges is to help inspire and support you in trying new fitness/nutrition approaches, in ways that “one-off” articles can’t do as well on their own. Every guy who undertakes this challenge can succeed, if he decides to. Really, it’s a challenge to your curiosity, willingness to be a “beginner” at something new, and determination to give something a fair trial to see if it might be part of your long-term game plan.

As the season unfolds, each week there will be updates such as OlderBeast-original content, curated “best-of” information and advice from gurus from around the web, expert interviews, and reviews of relevant products and services.

The rest of this post lays out this challenge’s specific goals, rationale, and detailed instructions for how to get started. Please consider yourself challenged, and read on!

by

Welcome to OlderBeast’s Fall 2017 Yoga Challenge. If you know what this is already and are ready-to-go, skip right to the next section (and if so, then nice decisiveness, bro!).

If you’re just exploring, then FYI the purpose of this and other challenges is to help inspire and support you in trying new fitness/nutrition approaches, in ways that “one-off” articles can’t do as well on their own.

The “challenge” in this context won’t typically be just quantitative (like “X push-ups”). Rather, it will more broadly target successful experimentation, learning, decision-making if this is “for you,” and (if so) incorporation into your routine.

So every single guy who undertakes this challenge can succeed, if he decides to. Really, it’s a challenge to your curiosity, willingness to be a “beginner” at something new, and determination to give something a fair trial to see if it might be part of your long-term game plan.

As the season unfolds, each week there will be updates including one or more of:

  • OlderBeast-original content – as always, from the perspective of the 45+ guys that we are
  • Curated “best-of” information and advice from gurus from around the web
  • Expert interviews
  • Reviews of relevant products and services

THE YOGA CHALLENGE

Goals:

  • Do at least six yoga practices during October-December 2017
  • Have those practices span at least two sources of instruction (yoga studio instructor or online class), including at least one in-person studio experience
  • Achieve at least three weeks in a row where you get a yoga practice into your routine, during the span of this challenge
  • Decide by New Year’s if-and-how you will keep yoga as part of your fitness and wellness routine

Rationale:

Why yoga as a challenge focus?

There are tons of reasons why 45+ guys should do yoga – and overcome the usually-illogical reasons we have for not doing so. See next section.

Why these specific goals?

Yoga is one of those things you can’t just do once and figure out if you like it. You need to string together a number of times doing it, to start getting comfortable and most fully feel the benefits. Also, instruction matters, and so diversity of instruction sources will help you get the best sense of what’s out there.

Instructions for Getting Started:

  • Please read the sections below on “why” and “where to start”
  • Find and select your first source of an instructor-led yoga class (studio or online)…
  • …and SCHEDULE it into your life for some time in the next two weeks, to get going on the challenge
  • Check back at OlderBeast.com each week for more to guide you along the way (or follow OlderBeast on Facebook or Twitter to be notified each time new content is available)
  • Join OlderBeast’s Private Facebook Members Group to compare notes and swap tips & tricks with other guys taking the challenge.

WHY YOGA?

I wasn’t born a yoga cheerleader.  I lucked into yoga, via the P90X fitness program’s weekly “Yoga X” workout. Unexpectedly, it became my favorite day of the week. It made me feel great in ways nothing else did, and it was the thing I continued even as I stopped strictly following the rest of that highly-regimented program.

With hopes you’ll also benefit, here’s my two cents on why and how you should bring yoga into your life.

You know yoga proponents say it helps with strength, flexibility, balance and tranquility-of-mind. I want to emphasize and expand on parts of this, instead of repeating it all.

Strength. Yoga hits muscles other workouts ignore: core and trunk…secondary leg muscles not worked by running, cycling, or squats…lower back. Try the right yoga class, brother, and I guarantee you’ll be sore in unfamiliar places. Do you want those places to keep getting weaker as you age – or will you do something about it?

Flexibility and balance. What fitness-minded guy doesn’t know he should work flexibility more? Yoga actually does it. As for balance, most of us don’t think about it much. But it’s those under-worked muscles that help balance, so balance is really a sign of all-over strength. More interested now? For further motivation, observe some 70- or 80-something guys. Balance is one of the unsung things that makes some look old and tentative, while others keep looking spry.

Tranquility-of-mind. The rhythmic, deep breathing of yoga is a lot of what drives the mind/body benefit we seek from fitness (swimming is great for this, too). This is also a big part of what meditation is about. More and more is being understood and written about the powerful benefits of breathing – and yoga delivers.

Put these things together. A 1-2x per week yoga practice is an awesome complement to our other endurance and strength activities: it’s low-impact, works un-worked muscles, keeps our bodies pliant and in balance, and brings peace.

WHERE TO START

Here’s concrete info for overcoming hesitancies, getting a mat, and finding instruction resources.

This link is to a post originally constructed as a 6-week plan, you’ll see. But in this season-long challenge, you have a bit more breathing room time-wise. And, you’ll have more support resources each week at OlderBeast.

ONE LAST “PITCH” FOR THIS CHALLENGE

Interested, but already “fully scheduled” with your current workout routine? I get that feeling…but as we age we really need the benefits yoga can bring. Provided you’re working out 4+ times a week, it’s worth it to experimentally take one day away from your current routine and try yoga. Or of course, add yoga on so you’re being physical one additional day vs. your current pattern.

So if you have even remotely thought about yoga before – or if you’ve lingered on this page in “maybe” mode – then please stop over-thinking this. Take the challenge here. You’ll be glad you did.

 

If you think this would be useful to others, please help spread the word about OlderBeast by sharing this post with the social media buttons below. THANKS, MAN.

You may also like

article-image
Challenges , Flexibility & Alternative Fitness

Something You Need for 2018: Your Next (or First) Yoga Mat

If you’ve been trying out yoga, you probably fall into one of two main camps when it comes to owning a yoga mat. (If you’re not aware of our Yoga Challenge and want to check that out for context, click on the “Yoga Challenge” link in the box to the left).

Maybe you ran out and bought one soon after your first class (the male stereotype is that we do love our gear, after all). Or, you might have figured you’ve got other stuff to worry about — like surviving challenging yoga practices — and using borrowed or rented mats seems fine for you.

In either case, if you’ve been stringing together some weeks of yoga and intend to continue in the new year, now’s a good time to think about a mat. Either your first one, or the one you wish you’d known to buy the first time around.

“What’s the big deal?” you might ask. What’s so great about the “right” mat? This is one of those things that’s best understood in the reverse. As in, what issues does the wrong mat bring? So let’s start off there — hopefully to motivate you, man. Then we’ll identify a number of mats that might have your name on them.

article-image
Challenges

Avoid These Four HIIT Risks (HIIT Challenge, Week 6)

There are drawbacks to anything/everything we might do for fitness. That’s why, especially in our 40s and beyond, it’s so important to create your own personalized workout mix to get the best-of various things, and navigate around their con’s.

If you’re reading this, you’re already aware of HIIT’s benefits. And maybe already feeling them for yourself. So now’s a good time to flag potential drawbacks of HIIT and discuss ways to avoid them.

article-image
Challenges , Strength

Productive Failure: My Push-up Challenge Results & What I Learned

If you suspect OlderBeast is “rigged” – that I always (at least claim to) accomplish fitness goals I set for myself – this should counter that suspicion, man.

For the 90-day Push-up Challenge* begun in April, I did NOT reach my target of 84 push-ups. I did raise my max from 58 in mid-April to 68 by mid-May. But then I hit various challenges and setbacks, and I haven’t managed any further increase.

In support of your quest for continued physical accomplishment and sense-of-possibilities, here’s a debrief on what I tried, what happened, and lessons to move forward with.

2 Comments
  1. […] OlderBeast Fall 2017 Yoga Challenge: Week 1 Intro […]

  2. […] during Oct-Dec this year, and you don’t need 12-13 weeks to meet its basic goals). Check out Week 1 or browse other prior weeks as […]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.