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How Yoga Benefits You Fitness Regimen

While different workouts might become more popular with the passing years, there are few exercise programs quite as enduring as yoga. Just like strength training programs that focus on fundamental movement, practicing yoga develops balance, strength, flexibility, and overall fitness of your body. It’s been around for over 5,000 years, and it does a lot more than simply tone muscles and burn calories.

Yoga can be a complete mind and body workout combining stretching and strengthening movements with relaxation and meditation. There are over 100 different types of yoga in practice today. While some are intense and fast-paced, others are gentle.

Overall, yoga promotes your physical health in multiple ways, boosting movement and mobility through a range of postures that help to limit joint pain, improve alignment and enhance strength. Though people often focus on the mental and/or spiritual aspects of yoga, here we’re going to discuss the physical benefits that practicing yoga provides.

Yoga Improves Flexibility

When expanding your movement and mobility, flexibility is an important factor. Flexibility is one of the most obvious benefits of yoga. Though during your first class you might struggle to achieve much, as you progress, you’ll find that your muscles begin to work according to your will, and seemingly impossible movements will become more accessible.

Yoga’s unique focus on flexibility and strength is hugely beneficial to the body. Each posture is designed to deliver strength from the inside out, so that you look, and feel better. The poses reinforce the muscles around the spine, and boost posture. Since poor posture can result in problems with your neck, back, joints, and muscles, it’s something that should be worked on as part of any movement routine.

Yoga Aligns the Body

There are no machines or weights used in a yoga class. All you need to get the benefits of a yoga workout, is your body. The postures that you use during yoga will help to work on the fundamental alignment and engagement of your muscles that is crucial to your overall fitness routine. For instance, you might find that the balance you get from yoga helps to better control your body during other types of exercise,  allowing you to work harder and safer.

For most people, an hour of yoga represents a crucial conversation between the brain and body. It helps you to understand the alignment of different muscles and ligaments, and how they work together to encourage natural movement. That means that you’ll find yourself more able to control your activities in other areas of your life.

Yoga Protects the Body

This process can help with the prevention of degenerative arthritis, while mitigating disability by moving joint fluid through different areas of cartilage that commonly go unused.  Movement is required for this vital fluid to bath and protect your joints. If you don’t move your joints regularly, they can become worn out, exposing the underlying bone and prompting long-term problems.

Yoga Improves your Balance

Practicing yoga is a great way to increase proprioception which is the ability to understand and feel what your body is doing, and where it is in a specific space. As such, with yoga, you can improve your balance easily. People with dysfunctional movement patterns and bad posture often have poor proprioception. As people age or move less, they can lose proprioception and become more prone to balance issues.

Better balance encouraged through yoga can mean greater athletic performance and fewer falls. No matter your age, yoga postures like tree pose can help you to feel less wobbly in all areas of life.

Yoga Improves Strength Training

Yoga and strength training make a perfect combination. For instance, because yoga can boost your ability to balance, it means that you’re more likely to perform safely and effectively when lifting your body or weights. Because it enhances your joint strength, yoga can give you the extra stability that you need during training to go stronger and longer.

The engagements you practice without weights in yoga can lead to a greater awareness of your body and the way it moves. That means that the mobility you discover during yoga can translate directly to weighted exercises. The downward dog, for instance, assists with spinal extension in a hinging hip movement, this translates directly to stability during  movements like deadlifts, kettlebell swings and snatchs.

Yoga can be used as part of “active recovery”, to help repair the muscle fibers that are damaged during a strength workout. This is because the combination of relaxing and stretching movements encourages circulation to broken-down tissues, speeding recovery and reducing post-workout muscle soreness.

Yoga Boosts Overall Endurance

Because every pose in a yoga workout is designed to target a specific range or group of muscles, even the simplest pose can assist with building your strength and endurance. If you’re training regimen includes explosive or ballistic movements, then you are activating “fast twitch” muscle fibers, that help you to develop power and speed.  The slow movements involved in yoga activate slow-twitch muscle fibers that enable endurance activities.

Because yoga builds body awareness by centering your breathing and making you aware of the position of your body, as we mentioned above, it provides better control too. Being strong and focused during a workout can help you to boost your endurance and make tough activities feel less challenging.

Yoga can even expand your mental endurance and strength, by building connection between your body and mind. Whether through relaxation, meditation, or the sense of connectedness that yoga encourages, mental toughness can contribute to a more effective workout.

Yoga Can Work for Anyone

The benefits of yoga are accessible to people from all backgrounds. No matter your age or fitness level, you can enjoy the comfort of exploring your body and expanding your movement abilities. Regardless of whether you’re a fitness buff or a beginner, yoga can offer a fitness solution that not only offers its own unique benefits, but supplements your other training initiatives too.

Yoga At 6 Movements

6 Movements Fitness offers Yoga classes both through 6 Movements Fitness web site and  Edmonds Area Yoga Fit Meetup:

6Movements class schedule

Edmonds Area Yoga Fit Meetup

For more information contact info@6movements.com

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