If you are like me, you have probably heard nothing but positive feedback on the impacts Yoga can have on your life. My workout routine consists of doing some type of workout a minimum 3 days per week. Where I find my exercise is either at the gym, surfing, at home workouts between HIIT routines, and now Yoga.
Yoga is nothing new for me, as I have tried different types of Yoga over the past 20 years: Bikram, Hatha, Hot, and Vinyasa, but never stuck with it long-term. For some reason I would always stop doing Yoga after about 5 weeks or so, right when I felt like I was starting to get the hang of it and the poses were not as difficult, or frustrating to do.
Before I continue describing my journey with Yoga, let's discuss some of the benefits Yoga provides. The list below can vary depending on where you look, but these benefits seem to be fairly consistent:
- Increased Flexibility
- Improved Strength
- Better Posture
- Improved Joint health
- Enhanced Mental Health
- Beneficial for heart and circulatory health
- Weight Reduction
- More Balanced Metabolism
- Improved Breathing
- Positive Impacts on Blood Pressure
I encourage you to look into the benefits as well, but I will say it is hard to find negative impacts that Yoga has on the mind and body (other than the potential for injury than comes with any physical activity).
So, here I am again, practicing Yoga. But this time I think it will stick! I have passed my usual 5-week threshold, and now going on week 10. This time around I am practicing Vinyasa Yoga. I find this style to be my favorite because of the way the breathing connects to the poses, and the poses focus on my posture and flexibility. I am not a Yogi by any means, and I’m sure if you ask a Vinyasa Yogi about the benefits of this style of yoga, they would be more eloquent with their response. However, coming from someone who is in their early 40s, I found that since I began practicing Vinyasa Yoga regularly, my flexibility has improved and the hour of breathing and stretching involved with each session reduces my stress and puts my mind and body in a comfortable place.
Overall, I find that Yoga is a good compliment to my weekly routine of strength training because, as I build muscle, my flexibility tightens, whereas Vinyasa Yoga focuses on stretching those muscles, allowing me to loosen up and relieve tightness.