My first yoga experience in a YTU class taught me that there is a whole lot more to health and fitness than just strength training. Pandora’s Box had been opened. Since that humbling yet educational experience, I’ve voraciously learned every philosophy and modality that crossed my mental landscape. I don’t belong to a single school of thought because they all can provide a little gem of knowledge that connects the dot a little bit more. There is a time and place for each and every modality and type of movement or exercise. The trick is to remain open-minded, connect with your own body, and objectively assess your own strengths and weaknesses.

The author combines strength, flexibility and balance to pull off this pose!

Building health starts with building flexibility, but it is surely not the end all be all. What good is a slingshot if you can only load it to its maximum length, but it just droops down like a stretched out piece of chewing gum when you let it go? You have to add strength, power, high-quality fuel through healthy food and hydration, meditation, and a positive and optimistic frame of mind if you want to build the total package. It all counts if you’re chasing longevity.

From Better Body to Better Business

I don’t prescribe to any single school of thought solely. I journey from camp to camp and learn from the greatest minds this industry has to offer, keeping an open mind at all times. In the process I’ve synthesized and created an approach to personal training, nutritional consulting and lifestyle coaching I can truly call my own. I have a wide variety of clients with different goals, cultural tastes, physiologies, and case histories. Each warrants a slightly modified approach in order to elicit optimal results. Different strokes for different folks. If it were not for my first ego-breaking YTU experience, I’d still be a one-trick pony trainer.

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Luke Sniewski

Luke Sniewski (www.lukesniewski.com) is one of the emerging leaders in the Sustainability Movement, since optimal personal health ultimately stems from optimal environmental health. A former Pro-Football player and CPA, this suit-and-tie left cubicle world to change the world one person and idea at a time. He is a micro-greens gardener which puts his Masters in Sustainable Food Systems and professional culinary expertise to practical use. His motto “Healthy Living. Smart Business. Endless Fun.” has provided a personal mission statement that guides his coaching, training, speaking, writing, and living. Follow him on Twitter. (@LukeSniewski)

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Tim

Thanks Luke,
Great blog.
You touched on all the aspects of good health that I am trying to incorporate into my lifestyle; balance, variety, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. And every once in a while, I still like to eat dessert first…

Jason Koh

Hi Luke. I’m not sure that I completely agree with one part of your post. Building health should start with building better eating habits since that is the problem which gets most people in trouble. It’s obviously not as mentally sexy as doing a workout that leaves someone soaking wet with their sweat, but it definitely is more effective for losing weight to reduce the loads on people’s joints and thus allow them to have an improved quality of life.

Becky Battle

I more than agree on your balanced approach to optimum health. I am always preaching that to my family and clients. To achieve this -we MUST not live on one train, but get on multiple trains as we try to individually reach the optimum for us. I need a coach like you! Thanks

Liz Tyburczy

I love the way you describe your YTU Teacher Trainig as an ego-breaking experience.. Every student is so very different and unique, a box full of tools and tips is just a tip of the iceberg. To be able to feel what I just experienced in the YTU pose is such a plus to building propreiception and a better body map

Lee

Love that YTU and YTU balls provide both a great avenue for exposing overuse, underuse, misuse, abuse and confused muscles and tissues AND then a range of corrective exercises/self massage. As a naturopath this has been the missing link in my tool kit. For any symptom, I always encourage clients to consider when did it start? what was happening in life at that time (work, relationship, what environment was home/work physically- where, weather, chemical exposure etc)? what makes it worse? what makes it better? what is current lifestyle and movements? sleep? foods eaten? fluid intake? family history? own genetics? what… Read more »

Elaine Cheong

When we consider the complexity of our body as a vehicle, approaching our body from different modality challenges, educates and points out areas that would otherwise have been neglected. Exploring different activities is a great way for the body to reveal areas where it may need more attention. Thank you for the great article, Luke.

Veronica Dinehart

I like the notion of dabbling in and experiencing a variety of schools of thought regarding health and fitness. I tend to latch on to one ideology and run with it, however, as you stated it’s important to keep an open mind.

Christine Heroux

Thanks for the reminder to always come to the table with an open mind. I ofter forget to bring mine and I’m sure I’ve missed out on some gems.

Garrett Plumley

Thanks Luke,

I’ve been experiencing a lot of cognitive dissonance as a yoga instructor these past couple of years. I began finding it hard to believe that some of the movements were universally therapeutic as my own body began breaking down from the practice. I began looking into other realms like strength training, and crossfit, and then yoga tune up! I’m grateful for the skills that I have learned through other modalities. My yoga practice has go much better as a result!

JEM

I love this post because I feel sometimes it takes a person an entire life time to figure out what this author sums up – “different strokes for different folks”. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way for doing mainly anything. If a certain posture, sequence or technique is working for you on an individual and personal level that is what is important. Also, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. I feel if this philosophy was applied to many things in life people would find peace and contentment a lot more.

Raisa

This is a great observation. I completely agree. I too think that you can find positive teachings and beneficial practices in any different sport, exercise,lifestyle trend and religious or spiritual cultures. It is most beneficial to listen to and understand your body and soul and adopt the practices and habits that best resonate with you, no matter where they come from. For everything in life, including daily exercise routine, one should keep an open mind..

mimi martel

Totally agreed with you Luke ! as you observe the body and mind as a whole you want also to use the different modality as a whole. Like the fibers of our fascia it all interwine cross fiber and tangle as a unique modality of movement !

John Greenhow

In my personal training course, the facilitator was fond of saying, “If you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” A simple thought that has stuck with me when I encounter a new/challenging/innovative thought.
I believe that in every moment we are given an opportunity to learn, grow and expand our awareness. The opposite is stagnation, paralysis and decay.
I love that you treat movement and thought on equal terms because to me the two cannot be separated. Mindless movement is a loss of awareness – it’s a symptom of a larger way of being in life in general.

Tess

AWESOME! I love being reminded of this side of things. I’m naturally more strong than flexible and when I attend yoga classes, I’m often pushed toward flexibility that just isn’t there. It’s great to appreciate our strength too. I think it’s important to remind ourselves as students and teachers that balance in anything is super important. I appreciate your post.

Orla

I agree with your “explore all” philosophy. We live in such a black or white society and era, with little inclination to explore and build custom, healthy approaches for oneself. Maybe people don’t trust their own instincts enough or are not yet in tune enough with their own bodies to know what’s right for them. Maybe it’s the power of fad-focused media. I love seeing clients build a regimen and lifestyle that’s harmonious with their lives and bodies.

Dana

I totally cosign with you.
In my exploration of movement and nutrition I’ve found many things I love, like, that work or don’t work. When I subscribe to one modality or school or thought my body goes out of whack. Integrating different types of movement brings balance. And being open to the new is inspiring and enlightening.

Cindy

Thanks, Luke for this knowledgeable article. I totally subscribe to what you’ve written here about the balance of flexibility and strength along with healthy habits and positive frame of mind. It is imperative to focus on all these facets of well being to live a rounded, yogi lifestyle.

Melissa

yes yes yes! Having both flexibility and the balance of strength! Its so easy to get stuck in the rut of what you’re good with, and so much harder to break out the box and try different things that put the physical and mental body into something new…. I need to adapt this a little more, and encourage my clients a little more to do more than JUST flow-yoga.. Thanks for the reminder

Jessica Sleiman

I fully agree that we each have to individually build our own total package for health. There is no “one right answer” for everyone. We all have to really study our bodies, assess our needs, and continue to absorb all the information that we can. There is always something new to learn and so many tools available to us, so there are no excuses. I like to see our bodies as a business that wants to keep growing, and we are the ones investing, so invest right!

Johanna

I am always surprised when I meet someone who totally subscribes to one way, whether it be exercise or religion, or anything else. I have yet to find one system that meets all needs.

Kimberly Lou

I conquer. There are so many different modalities that excite me. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something that stimulates my hunger to grow and understand more. This is definitely my passion and i’m so fortunate to be fulling that passion, feeling excitement for each and every new day that I get to unlock more of my true potential.

Aida

Thanks Luke! I agree about keeping an open mind, however, its confusing to find one word, Yoga, used interchangeably by the public to describe such a wide and varied range of practice. It is so important to educate ourselves thoroughly with expert training like what YTU provides so that as teachers we can offer to our students what is most appropriate for them from our “box” of tools.

Pam

This picture captured my attention! Wow … I got this from Guy Voyer too… I realized how little I know and how much I have to learn. I am taking the YTU training in Ottawa now… and I know much of the bio-mechanics and I’ve trained with many amazing teachers… but I am learning more in this training to accept myself and to be creative in my teaching and I love it. Being anatomically correct to the best you can be is important but images and creativity is what brings the fun and vitality to my teaching and loving to… Read more »

Ellen

Luke, thanks for sharing. I concur completely about the importance of keeping an open mind along the journey. There is a veritable buffet of options out there and it is on us to synthesize and incorporate as appropriate without attachment to one single camp.

Aranzasu

I’m all about creating balance in life and learning a ton of different things to then see what works best for you. I am a student of my body! Strength is important, elevating the heart rate too and then coming back to the yoga mat to see what has been overused or underused and tuning it up!

Marla Brackman

I too am a personal trainer (and group fitness instructor) that’s not formally trained in the beautiful art of yoga. Yet, I find myself at Jill’s YTU teacher trainer – like you I want to learn from the best in the field so that I can provide dynamic and effective programming to my clients and class participants. I want them to not only love their workouts, but to understand their bodies and movement. Thanks for sharing!

Katherine

Makes me think of how there is no one rule for the body, yoga, or even a single pose that will work for every person in the same way. A good reminder of a main guiding principle of the practice, and of life; letting go of the ego and respecting the body and its strengths and weaknesses alike. Not every pose (or practice) is good for everyone!

Renee holden

Wow Luke, great blog! I too am a personal trainer and discovered Yoga Tune Up this year, immediately started to work with the Tune up balls, and saw some immediate results with my clients!
Strength and flexability are extremely important to keep us on the healthy track, YTU will help me, and the people that I work with,
I’m glad that you were able to think out of the boxa!

Diane M

My lucky synchronicity to stumble upon YTU this year has also changed me and opened up my perception of possibility. I was not exactly a one-trick pony, but was stressing out a bit regarding NOT fitting into a box as I try to rebuild my small business in Restoration/Fitness in a new city – after spending some years back in a cubicle. YTU taught me that having a varied toolbox and embracing my creativity is totally OK and it is best to NOT fit into a box. I am using YTU as a language and a vehicle to use all… Read more »

Cynthia Bunt-Gardner

Flexibility and strength are so important for the entire body. The muscles around every joint must have a balance of both strength and flexibility or that joint will be pulled out of alignment. I am so excited to be a part of this community that holds knowledge as the key to unlock all doors.

Lori Wieder

Ditto what all have said. i appreciate now, more than ever, being a “mutt” (rather than buying in lock, stock to a specific prescribed program). This YTU training will most definitely help me be more in tune with what I need and when!

Amanda Joyce

I too have found some serious liberation through YTU. Training with Jill has given me permission to be authentic in who I am in my body and who I am as a Corrective Exercise Specialist. My desire for knowledge has been completely reignited and I’m almost more excited now when I don’t know something because it is another opportunity to expand. Because YTU teaches us about the foundations of movement, it very much helps me better identify what pieces and parts I want to adopt from other disciplines as well. Cheers!

Jona Joyce

Thanks for sharing Luke. I feel exactly the same way you do. Jill broke me down to humble little pieces about a year ago and it helped me regain my passion for knowledge and respect for the profession and industry I loved so much- now I push myself from all angles to grow as a master in my craft not just a guy at the gym.

Chloe

I absolutely agree with this. I love not belonging to a single school of yoga thought because we are all so different and it’s so important to maintain flexibility in our lives (not just our bodies). Everything in moderation – even moderation.

Hawley Proctor

I liked that you mentioned flexibility and strength as equally integral parts of one’s own total package for health. You more than likely started off with a great deal of strength and less flexibility and for that reason flexibility is higher on your agenda. Thanks for your blog.

Charleene

Hello Luke,

I am currently take Jill’s 70hr intensive and I agree completely with your feedback. People need to know the difference between good and bad stretching. Stretching that just opened up a range with no strength and how to stretch to increase strength in your new range. Very different!

Jimmy

I just commented on a previous post of yours. Bah! you say here in more detail what I mentioned there. Good Good, Sir! I’m glad you find yourself working it all out. I agree with you like in all the classes a person can walk into if even not preferred cup of tea you can “find a gem” any where you choose to look, from most things in life, especially in all the varieties/modalities to explore around being in/with the body. Keep up the good walk!

Luke Sniewski

Thanks Andrea and Will!

will cristobal

thank you for sharing this. i too am a fan learning different systems and fusing variety into the yoga classes i teach. i am partaking in yoga tune up teacher training for the next seven days and am already blown away with just one day under my belt. today i have learned a smarter way to cue and cannot wait to blend this type of dialogue in my classes.

i look forward to your next post.

Andrea Borrero

i sincerely feel the same way about absorbing different modalities, learning from the greatest minds out there, and integrating it all into your lexicon. The more tools in the toolbox, the better. Discernment is the key, knowing when to use something & knowing it’s benefits, the pros and cons etc. How boring to be stuck in one modality! The health industry, especially the natural health industry, has evolved from centuries of trial and error, of the unity of human intelligence figuring stuff out – knowledge is too rich to be limited.