A curious reader wanted to know "Why did I bring my Yoga Mat with me to Brazil as one of my must have items?". The answer is simple. Because I needed to get back to the basics with my exercise.
For those that followed my quest over the course of 90 days during the completion of Tony Horton,'s P90x program (I finished in late June and then life happened also known as Ernst & Young tax busy season) know that Yoga was the hardest video of the 7-8 videos in the set. I was tested much more during the 90 minutes of Yoga than the 60 mins of Plyos, Arms, Chest, Back, or the 15 minute Ab RipperX. YogaX had been reeling and challenging and I was left trying to figure out why it was so hard. The answer is that Yoga is about flexibility and total balance. These are two things I had no worried about in quite some time. In fact never. Throughout my basketball career I focused on size and speed and did not pay much attention to "stretching" or "flexibility". To my surprise, Yoga and other forms of stretching are great workouts and often cause much more discomfort and sweat than lifting 400lbs on the benchpress. The results are often more complete and impact your life more than just having huge triceps. For those that want to read more on the health benefits of Yoga can check them out at WebMD (a trusted source for all our medical needs). I experienced greater gains in other areas of fitness as a result and now that I have hurt my back again, I am refocusing on my long term fix of strengthening my core and posture through Yoga.
So back to why I brought the Yoga mat..... If any of you readers have ever flown on a plane you understand that it is not very comfortable even for the average male height of 6 feet (1.8 meters) and weight of 190 pounds (86.6 kilograms). My issue was that the one size fits all approach does not work for everyone as you know I am 6'6 (2 meters) and 250 pounds (113.6 kilograms). The average airplane seat provides 31-32 inches of leg room and 17 inches of width. Last time I checked my shoulders were wider than 17 inches apart. Even someone who is not a CPA knows that math does not add up. So after a10 hour plane ride to Sao Paulo, I was wound up like a pretzel putting undue stress on my posture and back that was already experiencing pain from a recent "tweak". Therefore, that is why I made a vital decision to pack the Yoga mat as one of my items, and over the past three weeks I have used Yoga as a way to cure my back pain and I am now back running and living life here in Sao Paulo. If you have back pain, you should try Yoga.
If you would like to read more on the ever shrinking airline seat, there is a great read at Independent Traveler.