Whilst yoga is flipping wonderful, it isn’t the be all and end all if you are looking at it in terms of making you healthier, fitter and stronger. It it extremely complimentary to a few other styles of training that I would recommend.
As with yesterdays message I am just someone with a keen interest in all things wellness, I may have a few relevant qualifications but that doesn’t mean my word is to be taken as gospel. It is just what I have found and, or learnt along the way.
3 ideas to mix it up
- Challenge your cardiovascular and respiratory system – these systems will get a fair push in a very dynamic yoga class but that is not where most of us start. You need to look for ways you can raise your HR. The biggest benefit here being the increased strength of both your heart and lungs; increased capacity; increased turn over of fresh oxygenated blood and a lower blood pressure.
- Strength work – especially for women reading this (a staggering 1 in every 2 women over the age of 50 will likely have an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetime so this is really important!). We need the resistance and challenge of weight training to drive the osteoblasts in our bones, so they get to work and continue laying down new tissue. Yoga is obviously a physical practice and it demands you carry and resist your body weight – but this isn’t enough to build more strength. You can maintain strength with a strong yoga practice yes but there needs to be more load (weight / resistance) to get stronger and to improve your bone density.
- Drive and purpose – if you practice yoga because you want to stand on your hands or do the splits, then be grateful that brought you to the practice but appreciate there is way more to it. I would find another goal to support your training. Don’t be chasing the visual achievement of yoga, nothing miraculous happens when you get to that balance or bind, yes there is a moment of wahoooo. But yoga is how things feel not how they look, I worry when we chase that visual ‘yoga’ goal we then start to chase other ‘perfect’ ideals – not a healthy place to be. Why not enter a charity walk, sign up for a 5k with friends, plan to hike a mountain or cycle from A to B. It just tees you up for a healthier relationship with training, fuelling your body and motivating yourself to move on days where the office hours are long and the sky is dark.
I also think pilates is gold hence why I try and add it to our retreats but I am going to save that till tomorrow.