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Yoga For Bodybuilders

If you’re like me, then chances are you probably like going to the gym and often find yourself in the weight room at least 5 days a week. But if I were to ask you how many times you find yourself on the yoga mat in the same week, I’m sure I would get a different answer. Maybe you roll out your mat 1 or 2 times, or maybe you don’t even have a mat and yoga is completely new to you. If so, then you’ve stumbled upon the right blog post, keep reading.

My daily morning routine looks like this:

  • 6:15am – wake up
  • 6:30am – take dog for a small walk
  • 6:45am – take a cold shower
  • 7:00am – drink orange juice/get ready
  • 7:15am – leave for the gym
  • 7:25am – pre workout time
  • 7:30am – Workout
  • 9:30am – Run stairs
  • 10:00am – get home, take protein shake, take dog for another walk..

Your morning routine will probably look a little different, especially if you work a 9-5, or maybe your just not a morning person, and thats okay! Maybe you like going to the gym in the evening or before bed. Either way, if you find yourself in the habit of going to the gym 3 or more days a week, regardless of your schedule, then kudos to you. The gym is an amazing place to release, recharge, grow, conquer and become a better version of yourself. We all know the amazing benefits that going to the gym and working out has both physically and mentally, so I’m not going to go to deep on that. As you read in the title, I’m here to talk about why if you go the gym, you might want to consider doing yoga as well.

Should Bodybuilders Do Yoga?

We all have free will here, but yes, I think that if you are an avid gym goer than you should probably incorporate some yoga in your lifestyle. Being a certified yoga teacher and an avid yogi for the past 6 years now, I may be a little biased but let me give you my elevator pitch anyway.

I’m sure you’ve heard some of the main benefits of doing yoga before, perhaps on another elevator, but to recap, here is a short list of them anyway:

  • Flexibility
  • Strength
  • Balance
  • Anxiety/Stress Relief
  • Peace of Mind
  • Pain relief
  • Better Sleep

The list could go on an on but I’m sure you get the gist. I want to talk about the benefits that yoga can have on bodybuilders in particular.

Yoga And Bodybuilders

As bodybuilders and gym goers, regardless of our training programs, we put our bodies through a lot, often on a daily basis. Workouts can get intense and as a result we often feel really good and accomplished after getting a nice pump and even more so if we set a new PR on a particular exercise. Sometimes forgotten about, is the vital role that rest and recovery has on our muscles.

A great article on the importance of rest days can be found here.

But in short, here are some of the benefits of rest and recovery:

  • Exercise creates microscopic tears in your muscle tissue. But during rest, cells called fibroblasts repair it. This helps the tissue heal and grow, resulting in stronger muscles.
  • Regular rest is essential for staying safe during exercise. When your body is overworked, you’ll be more likely to fall out of form, drop a weight, or take a wrong step.
  • When you don’t get enough rest, it can be hard to do your normal routine, let alone challenge yourself. For example, you might be less motivated to do an extra rep or run another mile.
  • Rest can help you get better sleep by letting your hormones return to a normal, balanced state.

In essence, if you want to stay sharp and focused in the gym while properly utilizing your body’s ability to grow stronger muscles, rest + recovery are essential. This is where yoga comes in.

Yoga helps you relax and stretch your muscles. Yin Yoga in particular is very relaxing and therapeutic as we often hold the yoga poses for 2+ minutes at a time. Stretching in this fashion lengthens the muscle tissues and increases flexibility. Both of which allow you to perform weight lifting exercises with greater range of motion and therefore making the exercise more effective.

When we are working out and creating these tiny tears in our muscles, lactic acid starts to build up which leads to inflammation and soreness. Doing yoga helps remove the build up of lactic acid and also helps circulate fresh blood to your muscles.

Yoga Videos For Bodybuilders

I was very inspired to make specific yoga sequences for specific workouts after I myself tried to find a “post workout stretch” but was unable to find anything useful.

For me personally, I love to do a PUSH/PULL/LEGS split in the gym. The first 3 videos that I designed and filmed for bodybuilders tailor to these specific workouts. You can find the links to these videos below:

YOGA FOR PUSH DAY

YOGA FOR PULL DAY

YOGA FOR LEG DAY

Be sure to like and subscribe if you aren’t already as I will be posting more Yoga Videos designed for bodybuilders every month! As well, if you would like me to make a specific video, be sure to let me know in the comments.

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21 Day Yoga HIIT Workout Challenge

Are you looking for a new yoga or workout challenge? Are you looking to lose weight and build strength at the same time? Look no further, and welcome to Day 1 of your brand new 21 Day Yoga HIIT Workout Challenge. Your Mantra today is I AM CAPABLE. Say it with me and say it proud.

This Yoga HIIT Workout challenge is a unique combination of both yoga poses and HIIT Workout style exercises with a little bit of isometric training. Yoga HIIT Workouts come with many benefits including weight loss, strength, flexibility, cardiovascular health and increased metabolism. Not to mention they are very convenient to do right from your own home without any sort of equipment. This challenge is great for yoga and workout beginners.

I hope to see the rest of the way on this exciting 3 week journey and be sure to leave any advice in the comment section along the way. As always, be sure to like and subscribe if you haven’t already and feel free to share this yoga workout challenge with anyone who you think may enjoy it.

Much love and namaste,

Mike

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Should Hockey Players Do Yoga?

Absolutely, Hockey Players should be doing yoga as part of their training program, especially if they are serious about staying in shape and taking their game to the next level. Yoga has numerous benefits to offer to hockey players such as strength, stamina and flexibility just to name a few.

If you are an active Hockey Player, than chances are when you’re not on the ice, you are doing weight training in the gym or doing some sort of off ice training. You also probably hit the links in the summertime or compete in some other sport to stay active.

Or,

If you are a beer league hero, than you are most likely the life of the party.

Either way, no judgement.

But do you do yoga?

Stretching is prominent in hockey, starting from the minor leagues, all the way up to the NHL. Before the game, players usually take part in a group stretch and/or some activity to get loose. This is usually taught to us at a young age and is continually passed down.

The benefits of stretching and more importantly yoga, go far beyond than being just a ritual that we are told is good to do.

If you are serious and passionate about taking your game to the next level, below are five reasons why you should do yoga.

5 Reasons Why Hockey Players Should Do Yoga

Reason #1 – IMPROVED FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION

Have you ever experienced a flow state on or off the ice where you were just completely in the zone, and felt like you could do anything with little to no effort or thought. I like to think that during these flow like states, we have three things in common. Mental Clarity, Present Moment Awareness(Concentration), and Good Vibes. It feels amazing being in a flow state and having the belief and conviction that we can accomplish anything and everything.

Yoga, along with meditation and pranayama breathing exercises are an excellent and organic way to achieve clarity, concentration and positive vibrations. By focusing on our breath, we reduce the clutter that is in our mind and we become more tapped into the present moment. When we add in asanas(yoga poses) and movements with our body while keeping awareness on our breath, we start to become even more clear.

When we move our body with our breath and get to a point where we are no longer thinking anything, thats when you know you are dialled into the present moment and our focus is at it’s finest. Tap into this state before a game and notice what happens.

Not to mention, doing some kind of yoga usually always makes us feel good afterward. During some sessions, we may even experience one of those natural euphoric yoga highs that are hard to put into words. And when we feel good, we generally feel more good about ourselves and our abilities. We fee light and loose.

Reason #2 – THE POWER OF INTENTION AND VISUALIZING

Intention setting is very common in yoga classes. Intentions are also very powerful. Oftentimes, whether it’s on or off the ice, people have a tendency of going through the motions. In other words, they let the game happen to them or they let the day, week, month or year just simply happen to them.

An Intention allows us to use our focus and concentration that we just talked about above and use it to help manifest what we want to accomplish. Think of it as our aim.

Having this unwavering focus on what you intend and belief that it will happen, makes you a threat on a whole new level to the opposing team.

Some examples of intention setting for a pre game yoga sequence could be:

I INTEND TO PLAY THE BEST GAME I’VE EVER PLAYED

I INTEND TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO HELP MY TEAM WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP

Or, it could be more specific such as

I INTEND TO GET TWO GOALS AND ONE ASSIST TONIGHT

I INTEND TO WIN EVERY PUCK BATTLE ALONG THE BOARDS

I INTEND TO REGISTER 5 SHOTS ON GOAL AND DRAW ONE PENALTY.

As Bradley Cooper said in his movie American Sniper, “Aim small, miss small”. In other words the more specific your intention/aim is, if you come short of it, it will only be by a small margin.

Intentions are great on the ice and in everyday life as well!

Visualizing!

When you visualize, you are using the powerful force that is the law of attraction. Seeing in your minds eye, accomplishing what you intend to do goes a long way. See yourself winning every loose puck battle, scoring two beautiful goals and noticing one assist. With your eyes closed, see yourself doing these things through the lens of your own eyes and you will be attracting it to you in reality.

If I have any advice for this process, it would be to let go/detach from the way it will happen. Let go of how and when it will come to you and just have the conviction and belief that it will. When you bake a cake, you don’t constantly open the oven every 5 minutes to see if its done yet, you just let it bake until the timer goes off. Same principle applies when setting intentions.

After you set an intention and visualize, let it go. Don’t think about it, just play your game. When it does happen, trust me, it’s one of the coolest feelings ever.

Reason #3 – Reduce Risk Of Injury

This is probably the more common reason to do yoga and stretch before a game. No one wants to get an injury during a game that could keep them out for weeks because they didn’t stretch properly before, such as a groin injury.

A regular practice of yoga increases flexibility and balance which makes you more solid on your feet and less likely to experience any awkward falls, as hockey is a very fast paced game.

Yoga promotes bone health and alignment of the tendons and ligaments. It also strengthens and lengthens the spine and muscles which also help prevent injuries.

Reason #4 – WARMS UP AND LOOSENS THE BODY

Warming up the body before a game is essential to hockey players. That is why you always see them kicking a soccer ball before they put their equipment on. That is also why they pretty much have a whole period dedicated to warming up on the ice before the game even begins in the NHL.

Warming up the body increases the temperature of our blood which allows for more oxygen to be transported to our muscles during the game.

Yoga is great way to stretch and open up the main areas of the body that we use when we play hockey. These main groups are the hips and hip flexors, groin, hamstrings, quads, shoulders and back. When you stretch these muscles in yoga, you feel more loose, mobile and relaxed in these areas which carry over to the game.

Reason #5 – REST, RECOVER AND RESTORE THE BODY

Some of you may be more familiar with recovering your body after a game and participate in activities such as ice baths. To make a long story short, rest is very important for your body especially after going all out for 60 minutes. Hockey is very fast paced and hard fought game. Winning battles, taking hits to make a play and blocking shots can leave a lot of wear and tear on your body. As I’m sure you already know, that’s just part of the game and theres no better feeling than going to war with your teammates.

Ice baths are great, but yoga, especially Yin Yoga, is a great addition to your post game routine. Yin Yoga is my favourite type of yoga. To give you a brief rundown, in yin yoga we usually hold our poses for 2 to 7 minutes long which gives you that restful and therapeutic effect afterward. The benefit of this style is that it really gives you a deep stretch in the muscles. When you focus on your breath and just embrace each pose, it makes you feel extremely relaxed and “zen’d out”.

The other benefits of doing Yin Yoga after a hockey game are it reduces stress, relieves tension, increases flexibility, increases circulation and balances the yang(fast paced) environment of just playing hockey for 60 minutes.

Rest and sleep in particular is also very important for hockey players. Doing Yin Yoga before you turn out the lights is almost like a cheat code for having a better sleep. Yin Yoga can be beneficial at any time during the day, but because of its relaxing nature, it is amazing to do before bed.

NHL Veterans Ryan Getzlaf and Joe Thornton are active Yogis.

Below are two yoga videos designed specifically for Hockey Players. One is a 15 Minute Pre Game sequence that has an emphasis on opening up the hips. The other is a 40 Minute Post Game Yin Yoga to relax and restore. If you haven’t already, be sure to like and subscribe, and share it with another beauty who you think would enjoy.

Some other helpful links: https://www.hockeytraining.com/speed-up-recovery/ and https://www.yogiapproved.com/yoga/yin-yoga-benefits/ and https://www.nhl.com/capitals/news/yoga-for-hockey-players/c-284641210

Mike’s Yoga Channel

Happy Friday Everyone!

In case you haven’t noticed yet, we have rebranded from CBD Yoga And Fitness to Mike’s Yoga Channel.

We had a good run with CBD Yoga And Fitness for about two years but I felt that it was time for a change. I feel that the new name (Mike’s Yoga Channel) better represents the YouTube Channel as well as our brand as a whole and what we are trying to accomplish.

Everything else will mostly stay the same. We will still be posting weekly at home yoga and workout videos. We will however be making a lot more meditation videos this year and it is also my goal to write more blog posts!

If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel and be sure to check out one of our latest meditation videos!

Have a great weekend!

Much Love,

Mike

Yoga For The Bros | Yoga For Depression and Anxiety

Welcome to Episode 8 of Yoga For The Bros – The Yoga Series Designed For Men.

Today is a very special episode as our intention and focus will be on the subject of depression and anxiety. The topic of depression and anxiety is a touchy one, especially when it comes to men. Although more light has been shed on the topic recently along with mens mental health in general, I think there is still a long ways to go. Given the state that the world has been in over the past two years and now that we are entering the winter season that can often make things more dark, I wanted to make a unique and intentional yoga sequence for my fellow bros. I hope you enjoy.

A Yogi’s Journey – Part 2

Here it is!

Part two…

It has been a few months since A Yogi’s Journey Part 1 and I am very happy to share Part Two with you today 🙂

First, I just want to say Thank You for all of our subscribers and supporters! As we continue to grow out of the beginning stages of our journey and surpass new goals and milestones, just know that if you have liked, watched, subscribed or followed, that you are amazing and I am very grateful for you.. Because of your support and loyalty, I always have a reason to be grateful, even on the challenging days.

Second, I hope everyone is safe and healthy during this pandemic. I feel like we hear and talk about it enough that I won’t spend much time on this topic. Positive vibes only in Part two!

Third, I can’t believe October is almost over already…

Updates

  • A lot has happened over the last few months! Kesley and I have moved to a new apartment in a new location and I am extremely happy to inform you that our new apartment is on the top floor so you will no longer have to hear any stomps from the people upstairs in our yoga and workout videos. With that said, lets send those old neighbors love and hope they have beautiful happy lives!
  • I am back to work and am currently working two jobs, seven days a week, on top of all the making and editing of videos. If I am being honest, it can be a lot at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. When your intentions and goals are clear, you must learn to embrace and accept the challenges that come (I will touch more on this later). One of my new jobs is at lululemon which in a lot of ways is a dream job for me and goes hand in hand with my purpose, passion and values. Kesley is also starting a new and exciting job beginning in November.
  • As a big time hockey fan, I was extremely happy to watch the NHL Playoffs, even though my favourite team (Edmonton Oilers) was knocked out in the first round. Congrats to the Tampa Bay Lightning (and their fans) for winning the Stanley Cup.
  • We currently have a small jungle in our new home with plants including three pineapples, a hibiscus, an orange, a maple, two money trees, a bonsai, bamboo, a fern, a cactus, a couple of tropical plants and the best of all is an oak tree that finally sprouted up after being planted for over 3 months from a tiny acorn that we found on a walk back in spring.
  • Following up on Tidying up and Marie Kondo that I wrote about in Part 1, we have decluttered quite a bit and got to donate a few garbage bags full of clothes.
  • My trusty old Toyota Corolla is running great as always.
  • I booked my next tattoo! It is in April and can’t wait to get the sleeve on my left arm started!
  • And..
  • WE GOT A PUPPY!!!! He is a Golden Retriever + Lab Mix, also known as a Goldador. His name is Hossa. For those of you that are hockey fans, you will know where the name comes from. He kept us up the first few nights but he is quickly turning into a good boy! He also doesn’t make a bad alarm clock. He is almost 5 months old now and is a great addition the CBD Yoga And Fitness Family. Follow us on Instagram to see more of him.

Milestones

  • We have reached quite a few milestones when it comes to our YouTube Channel! We have surpassed our goals of both 100 and 150 subscribers. Our next milestones are 200, 500 and 1000 subscribers – so it you haven’t already, be sure to like and subscribe 🙂
  • Other milestones that we recently surpassed on our YouTube Channel are: 100,000 impressions, 52 consistent weekly videos (One whole year!), 9,000 views – with our 10 Minute Yin Yoga For Beginners leading the way with over 2400 views, and over 800 watched hours.
  • Other upcoming milestones include: 10,000, 15,000 and 20,000 views, 1000 watched hours, and 250,000 impressions.

YouTube

  • We have recently started a Beginner Yoga Series that is a great way to begin your yoga journey if you are brand new to it. The series is currently at 5 videos including Hatha, Vinyasa and Yin Yoga videos – everyone is welcome to come watch and stretch. We will be adding more beginner yoga videos to the series as the weeks go by, including a new one this Thursday.

Final Thoughts

  • Again, I just want to say thank you to all of you reading this right now, including all of our subscribers and supporters. I am so blessed to be passionately pursuing my goals and dreams – I encourage you all to do the same, you will always have a supporter in me and if you have any questions, please reach out. I love personal development!
  • A year ago, I started this Journey and had no idea what to expect. Making and editing videos along with many other aspects were completely foreign to me, but I intuitively knew that this is my passion and one of many goals that I wanted to whole heartedly pursue. It took me to Costa Rica which still remains one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had, and more intimately, I believe it has aligned me with my higher self by doing what I love and not settling for a life that is not meant for me. It has created and is creating an identity in me that I am proud of and am truly happy with. Who we are today is just a collection of our past thoughts words, actions and affirmations. Sometimes I think about what if I hadn’t had the courage to begin this journey, what if I had just set it aside like I had done to many other things in the past? I guarantee you that my life today, on multiple levels would be much different. I think that concept is SO CRAZY to think about. That brings me to mention one of my core values which is Personal Responsibility, which is essence means that we always have choices and that we must hold ourselves accountable. Coming back to you, again If you have any goals or grand visions that you can never seem to let go, just decide to start! The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step ~ Lao Tzu. The journey is the best part! If you begin today, right after reading this and fully commit (another core value) yourself to what it is that you intend to have or get, your life and circumstances a year from now could and probably will be much different than if you simply decide not to. Again, please reach out, I love talking about this stuff and would love to connect with all of you!
  • May you all have a Happy Halloween and Holiday Seasons with your loved ones! As always we will see you in the next video and blog post!

Peace, Love & Blessings to You All,

Mike

Should Golfers Do Yoga?

Yes! Golfers should do yoga, especially if you play golf on a regular basis. Yoga is great to do before golf and after golf for a myriad of reasons. Peace of mind, balance and even strength are what a regular yoga practice can bring to your golf game. In today’s post, I will be going over what I believe are the top 3 reasons why Golfers should do Yoga.

3 Reasons Why Golfers Should Do Yoga

Reason #1Flexibility

Yoga is well known to promote more flexibility within your body. Bring that increased flexibility to your golf game and it could be a serious game changer!

Why is flexibility important for golf?

Flexibility is necessary in the golf swing to allow the golfer to achieve the correct technical alignment and range of motion. In addition, flexibility will help properly sequence the golfers swing that will improve consistency, control and power.

The other main benefit of flexibility when it comes to golf is reducing the risk of injuries, especially if you are playing on a regular basis.

So what yoga poses do you need to do to increase your flexibility?

Pretty much any of them will do, but in a recent golf trip to the Rocky Mountains that I went on with some friends where we played Banff Springs and Silvertip, I was inspired to make a specific yoga sequence designed for golfers. I will include this sequence in a video down below.

Reason #2 – Recovery

Yoga and more specifically, Yin Yoga, is an amazing way to recover the body from golf and any other related form of physical exercise. For those that know me, you’ll know that Yin Yoga is my favorite type of yoga. Yin Yoga has many benefits including increased flexibility, calms and balances the mind, increased circulation, improves joint mobility and joint alignment, releases fascia, and improves the flow of prana or energy within the body.

I feel amazing each and every time I perform Yin Yoga.

Recovery is important when it comes to golfers, again, especially if you are playing on a consistent basis. Golf can be demanding on the body. When you are performing the same movement such as a golf swing over and over again, it can come with it’s share of wear, pain and discomfort. I know Tennis Players can relate with tennis elbow, and I’m sure any athlete could relate in some form or another.

If you just had a long day or week of golf, I recommend resting and recovering the body with at least an hour on Yin Yoga afterwards. I will also include an hour long yin yoga video at the end.

Reason #3 – Mindfulness

I remember in one of the very first personal development books I read which was How Champions Think by sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella, he went on to explain that golf is for the most part a mental game. If you’ve ever played golf, then you know it can be quite frustrating when you get in your own head. The golf swing and other technicals of golf can be practiced and improved on, but it’s having the strong mental game that separates the best golfers from the pack.

It is said that the game of golf is played with the body but won with the mind.

Jack Nickalaus once said ” Golf is 80% mental, 10% ability, and 10% luck”

Jim Flick said “90% of golf is mental, and the other 10% is mental too”

Mindfulness, being grounded and calm, present moment awareness… this is what yoga is all about! Performing yoga before you go play golf can put you in that relaxed state of mind that can give you that extra edge in your game. Now, its up to you to maintain that state of mind throughout the whole round, but by doing yoga on a regular basis, you can help develop this zen like state of mind and maintain it far beyond the yoga mat.

Thank You For 50 Subscribers

Just want to take a minute to say Thank You! Yes, you!

I woke up so happy and grateful today😇 Today we reached our goal of 50 subscribers on YouTube. About six months ago, I dropped everything to fully commit myself to this journey, way of life and most importantly doing what I love to do. There has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears so far and I know there will continue to be more, but there’s nothing else that I’d rather be doing! It’s so fun and rewarding making and editing videos and designing new sequences with the hopes of adding a little bit of peace, love and value if only it be one person’s day.

I don’t really like to put limits on anything but as someone who is passionate about personal development, I do know the value of setting goals. Although our end goal might be 100,000 subscribers and that might seem far away, I’ve learnt that in life, it’s important to celebrate the small wins be it daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. Something that I know I should do more myself as it’s easy to get caught up in the midst of life.

Today, I am celebrating. Again, I want to thank you to all who have watched, subscribed and supported our journey so far!🙏🏼 I can’t wait to make more videos for you starting with next Thursday. Let’s get to 100!

Peace, love, and blessings to all!

Mike

Yoga For A Pandemic | Peace And Love To All

Welcome Yogi’s near and far, peace and love to you all. During a time like this, it is easy to feel anxious, stressed and fearful. I invite you to take a step back, and take a quick break from the news and everything else that is going on. Amidst the current situation we find ourselves in when it comes to the whole pandemic, I really wanted to make an at home yoga video to not only take your mind off of everything that is going on, but to shed some light on it by reconnecting to peace and loving energies. Deep breath in, Deep breath out..

We begin this sequence in a guided meditation by sending peace and love to the whole world, starting with our immediate loved ones. We then flow into a relaxing Hatha Yoga based class.

During a time like this, Yoga and Meditation are great for both mental health and holistic health. Yoga helps ease the mind and reduce stress. Practicing asanas(poses) and pranayama breathing exercises help balance the body, mind and spirit. If you are in self isolation/quarantine and practicing social distancing, than yoga, at home workouts, meditation, reading, gratitude journal, and positive law of attraction exercises are a great and healthy distraction. Below you will find a few healthy distraction videos, including yin yoga, gratitude journal ideas, and an at home HIIT Workout.

If you liked this video, I encourage you to pass it on and see how far we can spread the peace and love. Stay safe, stay blessed, stay healthy, and stay grounded.

Love you all,

Mike