Three Ways to Optimize Your Yoga Practice and Stay Fit

practicing yoga

Obviously yoga is your preferred workout, and rightly so, as there is an enormous amount of benefits that a regular yoga routine provides. But is it enough? What other kinds of exercises are yoga practitioners neglecting to reap the benefits of? Better yet, what other kinds of exercises can be used to increase your ability to perform yoga? If yoga is the only thing you are doing exercise-wise, you may be missing out on other very important aspects of physical fitness. Below are three of the most important things yoga practitioners can do to increase the benefits they receive from their practice while increasing overall fitness.

3 Tips For Yoga Practice

1. Balance is Crucial to Your Practice

Many times beginners find it extremely difficult to maintain balance while practicing yoga. Some yoga practices, such as asanas, can be extremely difficult for beginners with poor balance. There is a wide array of balance exercises that every yoga practitioner should include in their regular routine. If you continue to practice balance exercises, you will be able to better maintain more difficult poses and increase the overall health benefits you receive from yoga.

2. Cardiovascular Endurance

Many yoga classes fail to substantially raise your heart rate long enough to improve and maintain cardiovascular health. For this reason it becomes increasingly difficult for advanced yoga practitioners to considerably improve cardiovascular fitness with yoga alone. It is wise to include more challenging cardiovascular activities into your routine. Things like running, rowing, and bicycling are great options to really push your limits and increase overall cardiovascular health.

3. Strength Training

Yoga is definitely good for keeping the body toned and strong as it utilizes many different muscle groups. However, because yoga incorporates a lot of repetitive movements, certain muscle groups may become neglected and underdeveloped in relation to others. Additional strength training not only keeps your body more evenly balanced, but gaining more strength should allow you to increase your overall practice.

Yoga targets a lot of the core and front upper body such as chest and shoulders. It would be wise to include some exercises that specifically target your back, leg, and arm muscles. Because yoga uses natural body weight, stick with body weight movements for the rest of your strength-training regimen. This will keep your body tone in balance. Pull-ups are great for targeting the back muscles. Try incorporating an underhand grip to really target the biceps. Squats work the leg muscles such as the glutes and hamstrings. Dips are best for the triceps.

If this seems like a lot, or you are pressed for time, don’t stress. There are many ways that you can combine several of the mentioned areas of physical health. Try picking up a new hobby such as kickboxing. Kickboxing is a great workout and incorporates balance, cardio, and strength training all into one activity. Maybe you are not quite the fighter or don’t have the time to commit to kickboxing classes. Rowing combines strength and cardio giving you a full body workout. There are even many high quality, affordable rowing machines on the market. These are perfect for anyone who can’t find the time to make the commitment to classes or a gym.

Work these couple of different aspects of physical fitness and exercise into your routine and you should see a significant increase in both overall health and your yoga ability. For those of you who are already engaging in other physical activities along with yoga, make sure you are balancing your overall health and including different forms of balance, cardio, and strength training into your workout routine.

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