Do you practice yoga to relax or become more flexible? These are great reasons and are certainly among the benefits of yoga. But what if I told you you can practice yoga for full body fitness as well?
That’s right. Yoga offers tools that can make your whole body fit in many ways. You’ll have to practice regularly, and you’ll have to do more than gentle stretches, but you can achieve full body fitness with yoga.
How to Practice Yoga for Full Body Fitness
Fitness experts tell us there are three types of physical fitness. The first is cardiovascular conditioning. The second is strength. The third is flexibility.
We can increase cardiovascular conditioning with aerobic exercise. To build strength, we need to build muscle, usually with strength training of some kind. And, of course, flexibility improves when we stretch our muscles and limbs and keep our joints moving freely.
Yoga for Flexibility
I probably don’t have to explain how yoga makes you more flexible. You already know that your hamstrings love yoga! Forward bends, back bends, and side stretches all help improve flexibility. Poses that open the hips are helpful here as well.
Yoga for Strength and Muscle Building
If you practice power yoga, you may already have an idea of how you can get stronger by doing yoga. Challenging weight-bearing poses, like arm balances, chair pose, and any pose that works the core help build muscle. If you feel the burn, you are getting stronger.
Some other poses for building strength include
- Chair pose
- Downward dog
- Boat pose
Yoga and Aerobics
And what about aerobic exercise? How does yoga help move oxygen throughout the body and increase your heart rate? Well, have you ever practiced a vigorous set of sun salutations? If not, give it a try and see if your heart beats faster!
An All-Over, Full Body Yoga Workout
Yoga goes beyond the basics—flexibility, strength, and aerobics—when it comes to full body fitness. It also helps with balance, and it is a workout for the mind as well.
Yoga for Balance
Balance is an important part of physical health. When your balance is good, you can move with more ease. You’re more coordinated, and this helps with both physical and mental stamina. You’re also less likely to be injured.
There are, of course, many yoga poses to help with balance, including
- Tree pose
- Warrior three
- Half moon
A Workout for the Mind
Fitness is not only physical. The mind is a powerful tool and is closely connected with the physical body. So, it’s great that yoga for full body fitness can include the mind as well.
To clear and calm the mind, you can practice yogic breathing and meditation. Both these activities can help you find balance. Alternative nostril breathing is especially effective in calming and balancing mental energy. Meditation can also help still inner chatter.
All of this helps clear the mind so you can think clearly, and in turn, function better. Want to try this for yourself. Check out the yoga for full body fitness series on the Track Yoga app. You can get it done in 20-30 minutes a day!
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