SALT LAKE CITY – I played quarterback in the NFL for 10 seasons. I have had countless coaches, trainers and professionals help me work on my body and mind to ensure I was always in peak condition. Never did I have someone work on my physical and mental health at the same time until I talked to Amy Davis, 500-hour registered yoga teacher, on my podcast, Really Healthy.
After the NFL, I went on the reality TV show ‘The Biggest Loser’. I lost 120 pounds. When the show ended I gained the weight back, plus some. Really Healthy is about my journey to figure out a way of health that will last and I can see yoga being part of that journey.
During my time as quarterback for the Detroit Lions, I had a movement and flexibility coach who helped me stretch my muscles in order to prevent and heal physical injuries. I always assumed that is pretty much what yoga was, a bunch of painful stretching. Amy Davis changed my mind.
“Yoga is a lot more than just a bunch of poses,” said Davis.
She told me about the many types of yoga, (there are 8!). She explained while some types, like Vinyasa and Bikram, are more focused on the physical side there are other types that are more meditative and focus on inner peace using breath and gentle movement. Those are usually referred to as Yin Yoga.
All yoga is considered a form of meditation, according to Davis. Meditation is simply taking time to have a singular focus. In yoga teachers encourage you to focus on nothing but your breath or an intention that you set at the beginning of the class.
Here are the reasons I am going to try meditative yoga practice.
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I host three podcasts and a radio show. I commute for two hours every day in busy traffic. I am a busy guy and often times stressed guy.
We had a doctor on the podcast who stressed the importance of minimizing your stress. Being stressed has a significant impact on your hormones and overall health and people often overlook how vital having balance is if you are trying to get healthier.
An hour of yoga where I can focus on my breath and meditate feels like a great way to get some relief.
No, I don’t mean physical healing, but I am sure that comes with time and dedicated practice. I mean mental healing.
“People cry in yoga all the time,” Davis told me.
I was shocked. Absolutely stunned.
She said people cry in yoga because it can bring up buried emotions, but in order to address the emotions, you have to acknowledge them first.
Now if that sounds a little…abstract to you. Let me give you a bit more explanation. Davis told me it comes down to self-evaluation. Yoga gives you time to focus inward and study yourself. It gives you time to think and feel things that don’t get a chance to come up in our busy lives.
The Benefits Go Farther Than I Thought
As I said, I am busy. So if I can get multiple benefits from one thing — I am in.
Davis told me yoga can become a spiritual practice for people so it packs in all of the legs of health value: Mental, physical and spiritual.
“It’s about becoming a better person, that’s what yoga does, a better person in the community, a better person in a healthy way and a better person within your own mind,” Davis said.
That stuck with me.
So have I convinced you? Do you have more questions about yoga? Visit Really Healthy Podcast on Facebook or Instagram to ask.
If you found this information helpful subscribe to Really Healthy wherever you get podcasts or on the KSL Newsradio app.
Listen to the full episode below.
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