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How Yoga is a good complement to other fitness activities

Picture of two girls at the gym doing squats. Benefits of yoga blog post

Whether you're a runner, weight lifter or swimmer, Yoga practice could be a great compliment to your fitness routine. From increased flexibility to controlled breathing, this blog post will help you discover how Yoga could benefit your physical activity!

Suggested article: How to start yoga?

Running

When it comes to running, we need flexibility so we can run with freedom and ease. If our muscles are very tight, we become more prone to injuries - and that's the last thing we need! Whether it's taking 5 minutes after each run to stretch out our muscles or setting aside 30 minutes each week for a more extended session, flexibility is essential in keeping our muscles strong and healthy. Additionally, certain yoga poses like the tree, half-moon, or side plank can do great things for balance. When we run, we are continually balancing from one foot to another, combining strength and power with stability. By doing additional strength work with balancing poses, we will become more confident and powerful when running.

Yoga could also be an excellent way for you to work on controlling your breathing.

When it comes to more strenuous runs, like sprints or long races, you want to make sure that you are breathing well. If you are breathing too fast and shallow, you're not going to be oxygenating your body fully, and thus will feel fatigued earlier. In Hatha Yoga, the breath is what guides you through each pose. This is a great way to develop the connection between your breath and movement. When you become more aware and in control of your breathing, you'll see a significant shift in the quality of your runs!

Weight lifting

Picture of the weights placed in the gym for yoga blog benefits of yoga
When you think of a stereotypical weight lifter, you think of someone very strong, muscly, and intense. They seem to choose heavy weights and pumping iron over a relaxing, zen practice on a yoga mat! However, when it comes to maintaining healthy muscles and staying injury-free, those dumbbells could use a yoga mat by their side! The most common injuries that people face are due to muscle imbalance. When we get into a habit of doing the same workouts and exercises, it becomes challenging to identify which muscles might be weaker, tighter, or out of balance. Hopping on a mat and going through a yoga sequence can help you discover the tighter and weaker areas. Whether it's doing a moon pose or simply threading the needle, you will get more insight into your body.

Additionally, a yoga practice will help you feel more connected and aware of your body.

As much as we might be strong and fit on the outside, it doesn't necessarily mean that we're connected and fully present in our bodies. The awareness that you gain on the mat will only benefit you in the weight room! When you become more conscious of your muscles, body composition, and form - you will be able to work out more effectively and safely with heavy weights. Don't be surprised if you also see results quicker, as a mind-body connection plays a significant role in getting the results we desire.

Swimming

Recovery in-between swimming sessions is just as important as swimming itself. If we're not able to recover effectively, our performance is going to be compromised. Enter: Yoga! Yoga has been shown to decrease inflammation on a cellular level, helping athletes of all kinds recover quicker.

Moreover, Yoga does wonders for mobility. When it comes to your shoulders, you want to make sure that you have great range of motion and thus can swim with good form. There is a range of lovely Yoga asanas that can help you in your recovery while making sure your mobility is top-notch!

Focus and Clarity

One of the most overlooked factors in all fitness activities are focus, mental clarity, and intention. No matter if you're participating in a soccer match, an intense gym session, or a pilates class - having a clear mind and a sharp focus is essential for maximum performance.

You will get a lot of insight into your body - and your mind - when you step on the mat.

The most popular yoga mats: PUrfect black and PUrfect grey

Things that you might've overlooked out of habit and repetition in other sports activities will become more visible in Yoga. It could be a wondering mind and lack of focus or a weaker and tighter muscle that was overlooked. Let Yoga serve as a playground where you can discover more about your body and yourself. Let it complement your regular workout routine or regime. You can't go wrong with this choice!

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