Yoga is the perfect workout for body and mind

Yoga is something for esotericists and mothers – many believe. So they look with skepticism at the profession, which cultivates a “sport” that actually looks more like relaxation exercises. FITBOOK has dealt with the subject and found a coach who could remove any doubt from even the greatest critic.

A beefy wrestler comes to yoga like a virgin to a child? In fact, one would hardly be inclined to believe this. Florida native Adam Rice proves otherwise. He used to be a Greco-Roman-style youth wrestler at the Olympics – bulging muscles and daring injuries were part of it for him. He has been teaching Vinyasa Yoga since 1999. Rice holds private and public courses in various locations in Berlin, where he has lived for twelve years, and invites to yoga retreats in the beautiful, warm places of the world. In the FITBOOK interview, expert Adam Rice explains why yoga can change your entire life and is the ideal workout for body and mind.

FITBOOK: Adam, how did you get into yoga back then?

Adam Rice: “As a wrestler, I got hurt a lot, so I went to the chiropractor three times a week. At one point, she told me that it would make sense to rebuild my body structurally and took me to my first yoga class. It was surprisingly exhausting – I was sweating to death, even though I was extremely healthy at the time.

After the course, I felt grounded for the first time in my life, as if I had ‘down to earth’. I would really like to experience that yoga high again. First, I went once a week. At my first meditation workshop, I began to understand the energies – that the energies flow between people. It triggered a change of value in me and gave me a whole new direction. I left the bank and took on a new, more creative job in marketing and advertising, which is much more in line with my nature. Yoga became more and more my lifestyle. ”

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What does the “yoga lifestyle” look like?

“At least not just the downtrodden dog, the wooden pose or the warrior, as many believe. The physical is only a small aspect of the training, although it is not insignificant. Because the body is the temple of the soul. We must protect and cleanse it, make sure it is healthy, to create a comfortable living space for the soul.

In the beginning, many come primarily because of the visual physical results. Imitate celebrity yoga fans who have amazing bodies. But the longer they stay in education – and especially with a good teacher – they realize that there is much more to it than that.

To me, yoga means a very conscious life shaped by gratitude. There are various yoga behaviors that support this position. For example, ‘Ahimsa’ – the basic principle of not harming other living beings – or ‘Seva’, the idea of ​​helping other people with one’s own abilities. In my previous life as a banker and professional athlete, I was always extremely success-oriented. Now, with every decision I make, I ask myself: will it only help me, or will it help others as well? “

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How does yoga differ as training from other sports?

“Yoga is the perfect complement to all sports. The poses require completely different, much deeper muscles. It reduces the risk of injury, improves posture and core stability. Because yoga involves so much stretching, it makes you stronger because more oxygen gets into your muscles while you exercise.

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Yoga is extremely versatile – give it a try!Photo: Getty Images

In addition, yoga is suitable for everyone. There is a level, a teacher, a style for everyone – from young children to 90 or 100 years old. It is healthy for the heart and the whole circulation, challenges the muscles, but is designed so that the internal organs are also stimulated, the connective tissue – every single part of the body. At least as important: it calms the mind. And we urgently need that in this Western world, where we are always tense and stressed. ”

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Yoga does not seem to be about continuous improvement.

“Yoga is about accepting the challenge, not competing with the environment or yourself. You want to go to your limits but not exceed them. Accept yourself and your abilities. This also changes the personal perception of other aspects of life. You stop trying to be the best and push yourself to do something you do not necessarily have to do. “

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What advice would you give to someone who would like to start with yoga?

“You should do some research online and find out which yoga style you like best, and then look for a studio near you. I teach Vinyasa. You flow from one movement to another, a style , which corresponds very nicely to life. Iyengar, on the other hand, is a bit more static and is therefore recommended for, for example, someone who is injured or a little older. The biggest mistake is to take an advanced course as a beginner. Many people do it out of vanity because they thinking ‘I’m in good shape, I do not need these basic things’. It is extremely important to learn the basic yoga postures. If you try it directly with the advanced, you will overwork yourself. For many a reason not to come back “Fortunately, it was different for me.”

About the person: Adam Rice, who hails from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, has lived in Berlin since 2005. In addition to his work as a yoga teacher, he still works in a creative agency and heads various non-profit organizations that he founded; including “Yoga Kids Uganda”, where traumatized child soldiers from the Civil War are treated with yoga, and “Travel with a Purpose”, where he travels to India with students and volunteers in orphanages during the yoga-free time. He teaches at two Spirit Yoga venues in Berlin and also offers private courses and workshops.

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