Yoga is one of the oldest known forms of exercise that combines willful thought and meditation into active movements. The first known mention of the word yoga comes from the Rig Veda, a sacred text that was written by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization during the 3rd century B.C.E. Since then, yoga has become practiced by millions of people all over the world, used as a device for both meditation and physical exercise.
Still, there are other exercises that you can do in conjunction with yoga that will increase the effectiveness of your yoga routine. Consider supplementing your yoga workouts with strength training and an alternate cardiovascular routine. Of course, once you decide that you’re going to supplement your yoga, finding a place where you can do this is important. Having a gym that has the equipment to allow you to do whatever exercise you want or need makes it convenient. Facilities like Fitness19 are great for this.
But what does strength training do for you when it comes to yoga? Strength training boosts your metabolism and also increases bone density. Resistance training also has health benefits that go well with the benefits afforded by a regular yoga routine. For example, yoga can help prevent joint breakdown and cartilage deterioration. This is because yoga puts joints through their full range of motion. Strength training strengthens the tendons and ligaments that are fundamental to this motion. The increased bone and muscle density also reduce joint pain by building muscle around them
Additionally, even though yoga can elevate your heart rate, unless you’re doing Ashtanga or flow yoga, it is likely that you aren’t getting the full benefits of cardiovascular exercise. Supplementing your yoga routine with twenty minutes of exercise that elevates your heart rate into aerobic status twice a week can significantly improve your overall health. This aerobic exercise enhances fat burning, which also increases your flexibility and also improves your joint health.
The reverse is also true. If you’re only doing cardio or strength training as a method of fitness, your workouts can benefit from the inclusion of yoga. Yoga is great for posture, as the standing poses demand mindfulness of your spine alignment. Improvement to posture will make your deadlifts and squats better, letting you increase your gains. Improved flexibility will also decrease the risk of pulling a muscle during a workout.
If you’re only doing cardio, adding in yoga can prevent muscle loss and atrophy. The benefits of yoga on your joints will also help prevent ankle and knee injury as those joints are exercised. The full ranges of motion keep the ligaments and muscles in shape to keep you stable as you run. Additionally, with yoga added to your workout regime, your metabolism will improve, allowing you to fuel your body more efficiently.
Getting the most out of your yoga workout doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s also not just about working your way to more difficult postures, although that is a great goal. The addition of a few resistance based exercises or some cardio into your workout routine can help you achieve new levels of greatness where your asanas are concerned. With increased flexibility, better muscle tone and strength, and greater joint health, you’ll find your yoga exercises to be easier than they were, giving you even greater benefits to your health and mental well-being.