Most people believe that they have to choose between going to the gym and joining a yoga class. Some may even feel that yoga is too slow and boring as compared to working out at the the gym. But once you’ve chosen the right yoga class and yoga teacher, keeping in mind your goals, Yoga practice can actually be very enthralling and make you look forward to it, just the way you look forward to your gym workout sessions.
In fact, yoga can be a perfect complement to your gym workout and can actually add to the benefits you derive from lifting weights and cardio. The best part is, you can continue with your daily workout routine just the way it is now and simply add yoga practice to it for better results.
Let's make things easier and look at both not as rivals, but as close allies.
1. Strength And Flexibility
Yoga is great for building natural strength. People who do weights tend to become stiff in areas such as the shoulders, chest, spine, hamstrings, hip joints and arms. Yoga, in addition to helping reduce extra fat, can also help open up those tight areas, while retaining and improving flexibility and mobility, while you build those muscles during your workout. Thus, it can even prevent injury.
Thanks to this increased mobility, in particularly the hips and shoulders, you will see a marked improvement while doing big lifts, squats, deadlifts, overhead press etc. Yoga also helps in core strengthening and muscle toning.
2. Explosiveness And Endurance
When you do full-body compound lifts at the gym and lift weights explosively, you activate your fast-twitch muscle fibres. This helps you develop power and speed.
In yoga, by doing the movements slowly and holding poses, you activate the slow-twitch muscle fibres as well, which builds endurance. It is important to maintain a balance between both these types of muscle fibres and yoga, when included in your physical activity, enables this.
3. Controlled Aggression And Relaxation
One of the things about a good strength-training program that makes use of progressive loading is that you need to get psyched up before each workout. This is because you're lifting heavier weights each time.
Even if you're doing challenging poses in Yoga which cause you to sweat, you feel completely relaxed at the end. This helps get rid of unwanted stress and enables better breathing. This avoids shortness of breath during a workout and helps you train longer.
Since breathing techniques and meditation calm the nerves, lifting weights and cardio can be done with a relaxed mind, which also encourages healthy competition. Yoga also helps you become more patient, and thus enables you to be in the present moment. This helps you enjoy the wonderful journey towards attaining that perfect sculpted body.
4. Blood Circulation
Circulation of oxygenated blood to every corner of the body is a necessity for the body to function well. The more substantial the blood circulation, the stronger is our heart and healthier is our body. Yogic asanas such as headstand, shoulder stand and poses involving stretching with breathing techniques facilitate blood flow to and from every single part of the body.
Those with good circulation can enjoy healthy skin, high energy levels and improved cognitive ability. On the other hand, those with poor circulation may suffer from numbness, muscle cramps and dizziness. If the blood circulation is in order, it promotes better quality results from your gym workout.
5. Workout Your Mind, Body And Soul
One feels calm and peaceful after a yoga session. It nourishes the mind and helps you become more aware of yourself and your actions. One experiences strength, peace, internal and outward connection, power and compassion from the inside out. This enables you to live a stronger, balanced life. Yoga also helps improve memory and concentration, increases self-confidence and helps get rid of body pain.
Challenges in life are inevitable, but yoga when included in your fitness regime, can make you healthier and fitter physically as well as mentally to face and conquer all that comes your way!