Yoga and Pilates 101

By Elizabeth Jarrard on May 22, 2014 , categorized in Active Living

Whether you’re looking for a way to increase your flexibility and range of motion as an endurance athlete, or you’re just starting to move more and are looking for a low impact way to get fit, yoga or pilates has probably crossed your mind as an option. Before you get your “om” on, here’s a snapshot of everything you need to get started:

Before Your First Yoga Class

Get to know the lingo

Not sure the difference between Hatha and Bikram yoga? Or what-the-heck a bolster is? Brush up your lingo before you say Namaste with this guide by Vega Educator Sarah.
Dress to stretch
Wear loose-fitting or stretchy athletic gear that will allow you to twist into different positions (without mooning anyone). Ladies, yoga typically only requires a light to medium support bra. Leave the socks at home!

Do your research

After seeing too many fellow athletes get injured, Vega Ambassador Jana Webb decided to create a yoga program created specifically for athletes: Joga. Her yoga philosophy is created and taught by fitness professionals who understand the unique needs of the athlete’s body. As Jana says, “not all yoga programs are safe for athletes. Athletes by nature are tighter in their body and need to have a tight body for their muscle twitch patterns and explosive movements. It’s important that athletes find a yoga program that adheres to their needs.” Learn more about Joga and find a studio near you.

Fuel your downward dog

Even though it’s not HIIT, you can definitely work up a sweat in yoga. For an extra push before you start your sun salutations (unless it’s an evening class) grab Vega Sport Sugar-Free Energizer for caffeine from green tea and yerba maté without functional sugar or calories.  Replenish the electrolytes you lose in sweat with Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator.

Can’t find a studio you love? Look online

If you’re in a town where yoga isn’t a typical workout, consider looking at classes online. Vega Ambassador Kreg Weiss created MyYogaOnline.com to share his passion for yoga with the world. With a monthly subscription you can view as many classes as you like—all from the comfort of your own home. For a free one month trial at MyYogaOnline.com click here!

Be flexible

You may find that you don’t love yoga after your first class. That’s totally fine—it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Focus on active recovery stretching techniques to get some of the benefits, even without a class.

Before Your First Pilates Class

Don’t think it’s going to be easy. Even if you’re used to training for marathons or triathletes, Pilates is not as simple as it may look. Expect to feel sore in your core after class, and find the breathing techniques not as easy as they look.

Be prepared to focus on form

Although not always mentioned during endurance training, form is important for all sports. Pilates exercises are hyper-focused on alignment and proper muscle stabilization—which will help to reduce the risk of overtraining in your primary sport.

Yes, it even helps if you lift weights already

To naysayers, Vega Ambassador Heather Dorak  and founder of Pilates Platinum, says, “Pilates is extremely important to those that want to lift heavy or do more power movements.  There are many benefits Pilates provides but the most important is learning the mind-body connection. If your mind can tap into your muscles with the intention of firing and engaging properly and effectively, the results are tenfold compared to someone who is just lifting heavy weight in hopes the right muscles will engage to support the weight. Pilates has a great way of working smaller muscles in a different angle that many typical weight lifting or sports don’t target.”

Fuel before you pump it out

Yes you will break a sweat in Pilates. If you need an extra dose of motivation before you head into the studio, grab a shot of Vega Sport Sugar-Free Energizer for caffeine from green tea and yerba maté without functional sugar or calories.  Replenish the electrolytes you lose in sweat with Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator. If you find that you’re feeling especially sore the next day, use Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator immediately afterwards.

Dress the part

Stretchy, comfortable clothes that allow your instructor to see your form are key. For women, light to moderate support bra is all that is needed. Bring a pair of socks in case your studio requires them.

What has helped you prepare for your first yoga or Pilates class?

Tagged with
how to jana webb kregg weiss new to vega ambassador yoga yogi

Elizabeth Jarrard

Elizabeth Jarrard is a registered dietitian in Denver, CO who specializes in medical nutrition therapy and plant-based nutrition. She educates clients and consumers on how to optimize their health through nutrition.

Top