"According to David White, the term yogi is also a pejorative term used by Hindu orthodoxy for a Siddha. According to White,
[S]iddha means "realized, perfected one",[note 1] a term generally applied to a practitioner (sādhaka, sadhu) who has, through his practice (sadhana), realized his dual goal of superhuman powers (siddhis, "realizations", "perfections") and bodily immortality (jivanmukti)."
Alright now, I may have lofty expectations as to what my conversion to self imposed yoga enthusiast may result in, but I am realistic enough to know that both superhuman powers and bodily immortality are not on the list -- that is unless you consider being able to do an unassisted pistol squat a superhuman feat. Before I outline some of my expectations let me give you an idea of what this 30 days of yoga is being built upon.
I'm a steady and enthusiastic gym goer. I've been lifting steadily from three to four days a week for the better part of 8 years now (geez, where has the time gone). During that time I've fooled around with everything from high rep/high volume workouts to 1RM workout schemes, 5,4,3,2,1's, body weight based lifting -- lots. In the last year or so I've put more focus on 'pre-hab' and proper body movement (thanks K-Star). I've decomposed most of my lifts and worked on building better form through soft tissue work (love those lax balls) and long duration stretching. I'd give my flexibility a 'moderate' rating. I generally try to lift heavy with a focus on continually getting stronger and recently have come off a very cool 'Squat 4 days a week program' -- More to come on that. The synopsis, I love to lift and I've been doing it steadily, for quite a while.
Anyway, now that you know where I'm coming from I want to give you my expectations of what this 30 days of Yoga could do for me. As I previously stated, though not in the realm of 'superhuman powers', my expectations for this 30 days are pretty lofty. Here's a list of what I hope may be the result of this challenge:
I'll start by saying I am a believer in the fact that there is no such thing as 'toning', that being said, I do think I'm going to get leaner on a steady diet of Yoga. I'm going to be challenging my muscles in a different way then they are used for the next 30 days: less progressive overload more static strength. As a result I expect to lose some muscle mass (to combat that I plan to lift heavy at least once a week). I also expect to be less hungry without the daily drain of heavy lifting and needing to fuel muscle repair and potentially will see some fat loss from that calorie deficit.
Get More Flexible:
One of the biggest motivators for me this next month is to gain some extra flexibility. In the last year or so I've come to realize that staying limber is awesome. Being able to bend down and touch my toes feels great -- I'd like to know that feeling for a good long time. I want to be able to get deeper into my squat, have a more balanced front rack position, maybe even be able to lick my elbow... or just do a pistol squat like this.
I feel very fortunate, I have a great job, a beautiful son, an amazing wife, fantastic friends and family. Life is good. Yet with all that, life still gets busy, it still gets hard to fit everything in to a day and sometimes I find myself a bit stressed out. You hear this quite a bit, 'Yoga is really great for calming the mind'. Though I can't see myself getting into the spiritual side of yoga, I do hope that I'll enjoy some of the de-stressing benefits that you hear so much about. We shall see.
This one I just heard about today. My buddy was telling me that since starting to practice yoga his brother has gained 2 inches (height and wingspan)! This would be amazing, since I just found out today (tragically) that I'm a full inch and a half shorter than I was in high school (and currently thought I was). I'll post some baseline metrics below and let you do the math to figure out how tall I am.
Wingspan: 74" (I sincerely wish these last two numbers were switched...)
Current Weight: 175.2 lbs
Blood Pressure: 116/71
Flexibility: No great way to quantify this but I can tell you I just fell over trying to get into an 'ass to grass' squat position.
Overall Physique: <------
Here is to new challenges, a little self discovery and hopefully some fun. Wish me luck and I'll be sure to keep you posted on how it's all going.
Live your best life!