Yoga has become a trend in the fitness world. While we know that yoga is so much more than exercise or a workout, we can’t deny that the physicality of yoga is what draws people in. It can be physically demanding (if practiced skilfully) even without practicing anything fancy or “Instagram worthy”. The demands however of the different kinds of yoga classes vary with the likes of Ashtanga Yoga and Vinyasa Flow being at the forefront of physically demanding practices and on the other side, you have more gentle flow classes such as Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga. For new practitioners looking for a more Yang kind of practice, I ask Jason Crandell (part 4 of my Q&A) to expound more about the need to satisfy the craving of yogis looking for something physically intense to say that “Yes, I practiced yoga.” Listen in and find out what he thinks!
NICA: You’ve mentioned in your classes before that different people need different intensities in terms of being physical. Can you expound on that because sometimes there’s a need to learn something more advanced or sweat more to say that “I practiced yoga”? I noticed also that there are a pool of people that do yoga to work out and are not there for the mental benefits for example. Maybe you could expound on that.
I’ll give you a couple of thoughts on that on my brother who does IronMans. Like my brother has a personality type that he has to do extreme physical things in order to feel still, grounded and content. For me, I used to have to do Ashtanga Yoga when I was younger, when I was in my 20s and early 30s. I used to have to do very intense physical things in order for my mind to get quiet. Now, as a more experienced practitioner and now that someone who’s, I’m not old but older,I’ve been practicing yoga for 20 years. So now that I’m in my early 40s, I don’t need the same physical intensity. I don’t have to burn same amount of gas the same amount of energy in order to feel more calm, more quiet and content. So I think it’s an age thing and a temperament thing. And it’s a habit thing. That some people need a lot, they crave a lot of intense physicality in order to get still, and in order for their mind to be relatively calm and quiet. Other people don’t need as much as physicality. Other people thrive in physical environments that are more gentle, more quiet, more soothing. And I can think about the differences as, for some people going on a nice walk to feels really good. Some people need to get up at the crack of dawn and run ten miles in order to get through their day. And I think that’s largely a personality thing. So for me, yoga is the same, some students, in order to feel grounded, in order to feel connected, in order to feel the experience of yoga, need to do intense physical things. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think that’s just the nature of who they are and we have yoga practices that are pretty intense and they will thrive in that environment. Other people, not so much. Other people they need a mild or moderate degree of intensity in order to feel happy, to feel comfortable, connected to their body.
And for everyone it changes over time.
It changes like for me when my daughter was in the first two years of her life. Man I was tired. I was so tired! So, my practice had to be pretty chill. But she’s 4 now, so I’ve sort of gotten back to, like i sleep through the night again, I’m not as exhausted. So for me, it’s been really nice to practice and train in other disciplines in a way that’s pretty intense again because that’s where my life is now. We have to know as practitioners that our life circumstance affects the degree of our practice.