Over the last decade or so yoga has become increasingly popular. But why are so many people doing yoga and how can it help as part of a bodybuilding routine?
The interesting thing about yoga is that there is no set demographic that practice, and there are health and spiritual benefits for anyone.
Here are some of the more common benefits to practicing yoga;
- Improved muscle stamina, strength, and flexibility.
- Reduced blood pressure and stress.
- Improves circulation.
- Improves digestion.
- Stimulates the immune system.
- Improves the connection between a person’s mind and body.
- Improves agility, balance and posture.
- Helps a person create a sense of peace and calm.
What is Yoga?
Yoga was developed over 5,000 years ago in India, with the first teachings in the US around the early 20th Century. With so many health and fitness fads that come and go, seeing yoga go from strength to strength over time is testament to the results people see.
It’s not just a short term fix for any pain and discomfort, yoga is designed to create a bond between the mind and the body. It stimulates the body’s natural healing process, and yoga practitioners report a wide range of health benefits.
Yoga routines involve forming and holding different postures with your body. Improving strength, balance, and stamina. There are different postures designed to improve agility, flexibility, digestion, balance, and circulation. You can design a yoga plan to suit your own needs, for example, if you are looking for more flexibility you can focus on that.
Using Yoga to Compliment Your Workouts
Yoga stretching has been proven to be an effective stretching workout to prepare your muscles for heavy lifting. The meditation techniques learned during yoga are also beneficial to any workout, helping you regulate your breathing to maximize your oxygen intake.
This allows your muscles to release the tension built up during a workout, and heal more effectively. Anyone who is familiar with heavy lifting workouts know how important preparing and recovering from a workout is. Injuries are all too common and can cause long term damage.
Stretching after a workout is complete, is equally as important for the recovery process of your muscles. Using yoga techniques to stretch and breathe will reduce the chance of cramps, and teach you how to move more freely without clenching your muscles as much.
We covered the importance of stretching before working out, but dealing with that post-workout muscle soreness is a particular area of focus as this is what most people struggle with. Soreness after working-out indicates that you had a good session, pushing yourself hard. The discomfort is all of the micro-tears in your muscles from being broken down during the workout.
With the correct recovery, nutrition, and rest, your muscles will repair stronger than before. Performing some yoga stretches for the muscle groups that are sore will make a big difference to the recovery process. Gently stretching in a controlled manner will improve blood-flow, and lessen the pain you’re feeling.
Obviously there are some people who oppose to practicing yoga along with heavy lifting. But personally I have never met someone who incorporated yoga exercises into their weekly routine saying anything negative about it.
Your goals may not be strength or flexibility oriented, but the stretching and breathing side of yoga is a huge benefit to everyone. With correct stretching and breathing you increase the durability of your muscles, and maximise your workouts.
In addition to these benefits, you may find a deeper sense of peace. A lot of yoga practitioners end up making some large lifestyle changes as a result. So don’t delay any longer, find your nearest yoga group or pick up a DVD today and make a change to your workout routine.
Author Bio: Karl Burton is the owner and webmaster of Bettermindbodysoul.com. The purpose of this site is to help people start living a better quality life from today providing actionable tips. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org