When I was a kid, I was always into sports, but as it happened, I was mostly second in everything. Until one day, my teacher told me that I should really take stretching and mobility seriously, otherwise I would be a kind of “brick” by the age of 30. I brushed that off, couldn’t care less for all the coming years and would never have imagined that some day I would start a daily yoga routine based on Abi’s wonderful Yoga 15 program.
20 years later, now in my mid 30s, I remembered those words from my teacher, when my personal trainer at the gym did a mobility test with me. I was not quite a “brick”, but my usable range of motion was quite limited. My inflexibility not only hampered my performance, but was also related to some pain issues I had in the back and knee. Just a year ago, I had caught that cycling bug very badly and was determined to optimise whatever I had to become the best cyclist I could be. This meant getting as aero as possible on the bike and building robustness to be able to sustain high training loads. And yes, you could call that a typical case of mid-life crisis! It’s cheaper than a Porsche. Actually, I’m not sure about that.
After some searching on the web, I stumbled on Yoga 15. I loved it from day one, not only for the obvious reasons but because it left out all the spiritual parts of yoga and focused only on the athletic parts. Moreover, 15 minutes was an ideal time commitment that I was able to fit in every morning. In the beginning, I was driven by curiosity for all the different exercises and very soon I felt profound effects on my mental state.
Now, a corporate warrior with the usual busy schedule, it gave me a moment of calm to wake up, focus on myself and head into a day packed with meetings. Very quickly, I created a habit for myself. Nowadays, I stumble every morning into my living room, turn on the video and slowly wake my body up with Abi’s yoga routines. I also started doing the routines in the evenings on all these dreadful business trips, where you end up somewhere in a hotel with not much else to do, then put whatever the bar has to offer onto the company bill. Now, I try to do some yoga routines, calm down and get ready for the next day. Interestingly enough, while I started Yoga 15 for my physical performance it ended up being actually something for my mental health, at least at first.
After the first months, I started to realize more and more improvements in mobility. In combination with some strength training, the back pain after long bike rides went away and I was able to lower that stem more and more. Getting more aero, faster and also more comfortable. Wow! The biggest surprise was when we re-did that flexibility test at my gym after one year: I scored from 11/20 to 18/20. The biggest improvement my personal trainer had ever seen! In fact, I think I am now even more flexible than I was 20 years ago, if I just had the chance to show my former teacher…
Change comes gradually and consistency is key, this is true for many things, but especially endurance sports. Yoga 15’s easy to follow routines and convenient 15-minute packages enable you to follow a program that will make you healthier, mentally and physically. It worked for me and I’m very glad I discovered it. Thanks, Abi!