Monday, September 8, 2008

Getting Fitter with Yoga

Did you know that yoga can actually enhance the benefits of your fitness plan? Yes, yoga is a good supplement to exercise. And if you thought that yoga was meant only for rishis and sadhus, you need to think again. There are several yoga exercises that act as a supplement to the whole process of exercising and preparation. Preparing yourself for exercise and training is equally important as the actual training. Yoga acts as a facilitator and works wonder for your warm-up and cool-down steps.

At the warm-up stage:

Yoga can be used as a means for increasing attention and concentration

It helps warm-up the muscles.

You can simultaneously improve your flexibility, body awareness, and self-control. Although these yoga exercises take only 2-3 minutes, you will find them very useful in reaching a more concentrated state. Through yoga, concentration becomes as much a part of the warm-up routine as your daily stretching. Like physical exercises, practicing concentration becomes a habit when done regularly and systematically.

Between training sessions:

Yoga is an excellent tool for relaxing and regenerating muscles between training sessions
Or when your body needs a short rest. It enables relaxation of the arteries and veins that transport blood to the heart and back which allows for a more effective workout.

These exercises produce calmness and a refreshing physical sensation that stimulates overall recovery.

At the cool down stage:

The process of regeneration is speeded up when yoga is combined with cooling exercises. The battery of yoga asanas speeds up the process of regeneration by applying pull, rotation, pressure, and the force of gravity.

This increases the flexibility, and elasticity of the leg muscles and ligaments.
In addition, yoga complements walking and running. Walking or running offer training benefits for a select group of muscles only. Prolonged practice of these results in a disbalance of muscles creating damage, loss and injuries. Doing Yoga as a supplemental exercise ensures a harmonious development of the body.

In racing, a synchronization of breathing with movement is very important. Yoga offers several exercises that regulate the movement with breathing for optimum effect. These asanas also give benefits such as rehabilitating the lower back, and prevention of pain and injury. Muscle stretching, increased flexibility and stamina are some other benefits you can get by practicing yoga.

Thus combining yoga with your exercise plan will go a long way in keeping both your mind and body fit and fine.

No comments: