The MAD Lifestyle

Why Yoga Is Your Workout’s New Best Friend

By Guest writer; Edgar James, garagegymplanner.com

Not many things have stood the test of time! Be it fashion or a fitness trend, they all stay for some time and then they just get replaced by some upcoming trend. But yoga is an exception! It has been around for thousands of years and is still a hit.

For some yoga is an art, for some it’s a fitness trend, and for many, it’s a way of life. Yoga touches various fields like fitness, science, mental-wellbeing, etc. This can be regarded as one of the most important reasons for the success rate of yoga.

 

The story of yoga

To begin with, ‘yoga’ is a Sanskrit word which means to yoke or join. It is a discipline which emphasizes on establishing a unity or a harmony between the mind and the body. Each specific branch of yoga represents a different approach to life.     

Hatha Yoga comprises of the asanas and pranayama which prepare the mind and the body. Raja yoga concentrates on meditation, Karma on service and Bhakti yoga on devotion. Jnana yoga is the branch of wisdom and Tantra yoga is the branch of rituals and consummation of a relationship.

There are eight limbs of yoga Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

Yoga triggers physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy through the concept of chakras. They are the convergence of thoughts, feelings, energy and the physical body.

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How does Yoga work?

Yoga has a lasting impact on both the body and the mind.

 

Impact on the body

To begin with, yoga comprises of asanas or postures and pranayama or breathing exercises. The asanas include headstands, backbends and various other postures. This makes yoga the safest way to enhance strength, flexibility, and balance.

The headstands increase blood flow to the heart, lungs as well as the brain which pushes all toxins out the body and keeps you healthy. The backbends stimulate the central nervous system and make the body more flexible and strong. The forward bends restore blood pressure and have a calming effect on the body.

Yoga works by pitting one group of muscles against another by exerting the force of gravity. This leads to an increase in stress on the bones; the body retaliates to this by thickening the bones. This is the reason why yoga can treat arthritis by strengthening the bones. It can also treat carpal tunnel syndrome and multiple sclerosis.   

Yoga can improve blood circulation which makes it one of the most successful treatments for various physical ailments.

 

Impact on the mind

Yoga has a very strong bond with the human mind. Yoga thickens the layers of the cerebral cortex which is a part of the brain which is associated with learning new information. It increases neuroplasticity and helps us learn things easier and also changes the way we do things.

By releasing chronic muscle tension, improving oxygen absorption and restoring natural breathing process, yoga can relax your mind. It is used as an effective treatment for various mental disorders such as stress, anxiety, and depression.     

 

Why is Yoga so good?

There are a number of reasons which make yoga an excellent choice for you!

 

Yoga Improves Mood

Yoga has a calming effect on both the mind and the body which lowers stress. It boosts the oxygen supply to the brain which makes you happier and more satisfied with your life.

 

Yoga Boosts Confidence

Pranayama which comprises of various breathing exercises releases tension from the body and makes you feel confident about your being. It helps you establish an internal connection with yourself and makes you more aware of things in and around you.

 

Yoga Helps You Lose Weight

A lot of us are struggling every day to lose weight. Yoga can be extremely helpful to you. Obesity is a result of an imbalance in the body. Yoga can restore the balance, keep you relaxed and help you lose weight naturally.

Yoga has tons of other benefits like improving your posture, strength, bone health, mental well-being, and memory. The best part about yoga is that it can be combined with any other fitness regime and get you into shape.

 

Merging Yoga with Your Workout

You can merge yoga with any workout and get amazing results. It fits perfectly with strength training as it forms a good mix of explosiveness and endurance. While strength pushes your body into a controlled aggression, yoga can restore the balance by relaxation. You get better muscle shape as you workout both your body and mind by merging yoga with your workout.

 

Workout Mashups

Here are a few mashups of yogic asanas and strength training moves.

 

Tadasana With Kettlebells

Begin with tadasana or mountain pose by holding a kettlebell in each hand. Now perform lunges with your right foot forward and bend it to form a 90-degree angle with your front thigh. Now use your core to bring the right leg to Tadasana. Repeat the workout with your left leg as well.

 

Navasana With Free Weights

Perform navasana by holding a free weight in hand. Now bend your knees so that your heels reach your glutes and squeeze your knees. Lift your lower back and hold this position or you can even try lifting your heels from the floor. Concentrate on your breath as you do the workout.

 

Kumbhakasana with Kettlebells

Also known as the plank pose, this workout can work your abdominal muscles and biceps. Hold the kettlebells in your hand. Get into the plank pose by tucking your toes and lifting your knees off the floor. Balance with one hand and lift the kettlebell. Repeat with the other hand. You can begin by balancing the knees on the floor and lifting your feet off the ground.

 

Final Thoughts

There are various other workout regimes that you can combine with yoga. Pilates, aerobics, cardio can all be merged with yoga to form great workouts. When you merge yoga with other workouts, you train both your mind and body which gives you double the benefit. Go Yoga!

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This post is tagged with yoga, fitness, yoga workout

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