Note from a Newbie: Mind-Body Fitness Without My Yoga Mat

 
 Mind Body Exercises

On Fridays, I usually take a mindful yoga class after a high-intensity group fitness session. I love the idea of stretching my muscles and giving myself what I call a “self-massage” when I work on mindfulness, flexibility, and balance.

When I started writing for the WAV team, though, I learned a ton of new concepts that I found were missing from my regular workouts. With yoga, I loved the focus on mindfulness exercises and the push for mind and body health--these are great principles for living a long and healthy life. At my last yoga session, I realized the missing piece was what I was getting with the WAV at home: The focus on mindful motion, not just being mindful of my breathing and static postures.

That got me thinking. Would the WAV enhance my yoga practice? Only one way to find out. I got out my WAV and moved into Warrior One. With my hands loosely grasping my WAV in an underhand grip, I raised it above my head and noticed--because I was forced to listen for the WAV fluid’s movement and feel its subtle shifts--this felt different. I was more connected to my body and automatically experienced a heightened awareness of my movement.

It gets even more exciting: When I held the WAV in front of me as I moved into Warrior Three, it was incredible. I actually felt my body’s micro movements as I struggled to maintain balance. So this was the dynamic balance the WAV trainers talk so much about, and this was what they meant by the WAV automatically generating direct feedback when I use it! All this time I legitimately thought I was simply standing still and holding a pose. I’m beginning to redefine my approach to exercise and my appreciation for my body’s work continues to grow.

Even still, it’s interesting how ingrained yoga’s key principles have become in many of us casual practitioners: Move with our breath, feel the mat with our feet, notice areas of tension and loosen them. Those yoga basics not only integrated perfectly with my WAV practice, but are enhanced because of the WAV’s innate design. Since it’s engineered to automatically attune you to your body’s movements, I found myself more aware of my proprioception and balance than I ever was with yoga alone.

I found myself more aware of my proprioception and balance than I ever was with yoga alone.

This sounds too easy of an integration, right? That’s because it is. As a busy writer and a mom, I’m extremely picky about how I spend my fitness time, so being able to boost movement quality while building stronger brain-body connections--at home!-- is a huge benefit. I’m so used to rushing through workouts, thinking “harder is better” and still believing in the “no pain, no gain” myth (I’m shedding that one, though!).

I haven’t completely given up my yoga classes, but I do think I’ll be more attuned to my poses and movements from now on. Between my experience hiking and now with the yoga/WAV combo, I’m seeing how much I’ve cheated myself by mindlessly speeding through my fitness and yoga sessions. Engaging more of my senses has already elevated many of my workouts and daily experiences. I’m so excited to see where the mindful motion philosophy takes me!

Ready to get moving in mindful motion? Take a look at our WAV packages and awaken a powerful new curiosity about your body.


Footnotes
Read more about the science behind yoga, mindfulness, and how I became inspired to bring more awareness to my practice.

  1. Science of Mindlessness and Mindfulness - Social psychologist, Ellen Langer, discussed mindfulness in an informative interview. Her work served as inspiration for my own retrospection.
  2. Neuroprotective effects of yoga practice: age, experience, and frequency-dependent plasticity

 WAV staff writer
Dara Witte is a WAV Staff Writer who loves movement, health, and feeling powerful. When she’s not testing out new WAV workouts for the blog, you can find her hiking, swimming, and traveling with her family.

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