You lift, run, and do cross-fit – but what about yoga? Not for me, you say? Well have you considered that incorporating yoga into your fitness routine has the following benefits:
- Improves flexibility
- Builds muscle strength
- Improves your posture
- Prevents cartilage and joint break down
- Protects your spine
- Improves bone health
- Increases blood flow
- Drains your lymphs and boosts your immunity
- Increases your heart rate
- Lowers your blood pressure
What Is Yoga?
First, yoga is not stretching. Most yoga postures are a series of focused isometric contractions coupled with specific breathing patterns that yield gains in flexibility, mobility, and strength.
Anyone can start yoga, and if already training it can greatly benefit your overall fitness results. Even more, you do not need to dedicate all your fitness time to yoga to get the benefits. You can incorporate yoga into your routine any day, and even on rest days, using dozens of variations and preparatory poses that can meet you where you are at, regardless of age, injury, or athletic goal.
A Routine Anyone Can Follow
You can bring yoga into your routine anytime. However, in order to utilize yoga postures for the purpose of gaining strength and increasing performance, practice them after your training session so that your body has at least 24 hours to recover from the poses. While restorative, yoga is still a very intense physical practice and your body, especially your nervous system, needs time to recover from it.
Recommended Routine For Strength Training
- Warrior II
- Warrior III – this is especially good to increase balance and strengthen legs
- Extended triangle – uses blocks as needed – strengthen legs, abs, especially laterals
- Extended side angle – uses blocks as needed – strengthen legs, abs, especially laterals
- Plank – whatever variation works – abs, arms and shoulders
- Downward dog – lower back, arms and shoulders
- Sphinx – lower back and counteracts the downward dog
As with all fitness routes, you might need to invest in some basic equipment to help out such as yoga mats, blocks, or straps.