Steel Mace Yoga. Three words taking the world by storm.
Erin Furry founded Steel Mace Yoga, the unconventional practice changing how people around the world approach their mat. Erin is a former Onnit Academy Steel Mace Senior Coach. Her love for dance as a child led her to finding the path of yoga and begin her journey as an instructor. In 2013 she received her first yoga certification (RYT) in Austin, Texas at Yoga Yoga. She is currently working towards her 500 hour certification.
Phil introduced me to Steel Mace Yoga and from the moment he uttered those words, I was captivated. I had no idea what the practice looked like but one thing was certain- I needed to learn more. I incorporated the steel mace into my fitness routine last month and love it. The thought of combining the mace with my other passion- yoga, is the best of both worlds. Phil ended up explaining how Steel Mace Yoga was formed and connected me with Erin. Erin, Phil and I jumped on the phone a few weeks ago to talk more about this unconventional practice, and I ended up chatting with Erin more in depth when she was here last weekend for the Chicago workshop at Midwest Strength + Performance. Here’s what I learned and everything you need to know about Steel Mace Yoga.
About Steel Mace Yoga:
Steel Mace Yoga is a new fitness concept, blending yoga and unconventional strength training using the steel mace. The steel mace is defined as a long tool with a “heavy head at the end of a handle” (Dictionary). Sounds slightly terrifying, but I promise it’s not! For those familiar with yoga, twisting and turning is considered normal. The mace further challenges the body and is used as a means of anti-rotation to improve stability, challenge balance and add weight to the practice. Most yoga studios offer classes with dumbbells to progress into a higher intensity workout or to help build muscle/ strength. In this case, the steel mace replaces the dumbbell in the practice and in my opinion, assures better results. The individual can increase or decrease the level of difficulty of this practice by selecting which weight option to use (typically 7 or 10 pound maces) or simply adjusting hand placement. For example, the farther the hands are from the mace head (the round bit), the more difficult a move will be. By practicing with the steel mace, the combination of the weight and movement allows for the body to improve the scapular range.
While the movements are intriguing, my favorite part about Steel Mace Yoga is the mental aspect. Steel Mace Yoga is more than a physical practice and ensures a mind and body workout. Both the steel mace and a traditional practice offer mental stimulation. The combination of these two practices is out of this world! The two references I like to use when explaining this to friends/ those interested in SMY (Steel Mace Yoga) is how the mace encourages mindfulness in each practice. I found myself correcting a pose I thought I had locked down. Synchronized breath and movements are also used to connect the mind and body, making sure participants are truly present and mindful of their movements and what is happening on the mat.
Based off of yogic beliefs such as letting go of the ego and humbling oneself, Steel Mace Yoga builds off of those principals and the mace encourages self awareness, patience and humility. Mindfulness is a major component in this practice. The mace challenges the awareness of the body by incorporating moves strengthening wrists, forearms, shoulders, the core and legs- it truly is a full body workout!
If Steel Mace Yoga sounds like something you’re interested in learning more about and keeping up with, click here for updates when workshops and classes will be in your area. Be sure to follow SMY on Instagram and other social media platforms, as well!
I’m headed to the next Steel Mace Yoga Workshop in New Jersey at Advanced Fitness & Wellness. Stay tuned for my review of the workshop!