Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is often considered not much of a workout and a waste of time, but it is really one of the most important workouts you can do. Yoga has many benefits for your body, both physically and mentally. Men often especially hate yoga because believe it is only for women. People also dislike yoga because it's too long, boring, and However, doing yoga is very important for anyone involved in fitness.
When I first started P90X, I was not excited at all about doing an hour and a half of Yoga X from P90X. I wanted to do a hardcore cardio workout like I had been doing my whole cross country season, not some silly stretching routine. However, after doing my first yoga workout ever, I realized that it was not easy as I suspected, and it gave me a good sweat and felt refreshed and energized afterwards. I also remember my dad doing yoga with me, and he was sweating buckets, he even had to go change his shirt half way through! Through the course of doing P90X I have come to love yoga and it has greatly improved my fitness. Yoga is also very important for me because I am a runner. Yoga greatly helps me avoiding injury and staying flexible for running. So what are all the benefits of doing yoga?
1) Increases flexibility. I have always been pretty flexible, but yoga has greatly increased it for me. When I first started I could touch my toes while keeping my legs straight, but now I can bring my head to my knees! Being flexible also reduces the chance of injury and always you to perform better in other workouts.
2) Muscle Toning. By doing yoga you are supporting own body weight in the moves. This increases strength, which helps tone your muscles.
3) Increases core strength. Yoga requires a strong core to hold a lot of the positions and stances, such as downward and upward dog, plank poses, and chair pose. You may not have a great core at first, but it will improve as you keep doing yoga. Core strength is also very important in sports.
4) Better Balance. In yoga you are often in positions on only one leg, which requires good balance. Also a lot of the lunge positions need balance because you are holding them for up to a minute. Balance is important in many sports such as gymnastics and dancing.
5) Better Posture. Yoga helps give you a strong and good posture. This helps keep you body in line and allow you to stand and sit taller. Also better posture will increase your awarness.
6) Increases internal lubrication. Yoga helps lubricate joints, ligaments, and tendons. Holding all of those positions requires certain muscles to work together. This helps cleanse your body and allow you to function better in physical activities.
7) Massaging of internal organs. By doing yoga you are massaging your internal organs and glands, which hardly ever get stimulated. The massaging of these body parts helps one to avoid diseases and helps you function better internally.
8) Refreshed. After a yoga workout, I always feel like a new person. You body has been "cleansed" and massaged. Blood has been flowing throughout your body, which helps flush out any unneeded toxins. This can delay aging and make anyone feel young and limber.
9) Breathing. Yoga requires deep, controlled, and mindful breathing. This increases your lung capacity wich improves endurance and performance. This is especially important for me while running.
I have noticed all of these benefits from doing yoga. But how often should you do yoga? I recommend doing a yoga workout at least once a week. I often try to get two in a week, but with a busy schedule it is often hard to get even a hour and a half Yoga X workout in. That is why there are also the Fountain of Youth Yoga (48 minutes) and Patience Yoga (40 minutes) from the One on One with Tony Horton workouts. These two yoga workouts are great if you are short on time or just don't enjoy doing an hour and a half of yoga. I have all three of these and enjoy them all. I will typically do Yoga X on Sunday, which is my off day, but I don't going a day without working out, so I do yoga. Tony Horton often also works out 7 days a week, using yoga as a recovery workout/day. I also try to do Fountain of Youth Yoga on Thursday evening, after have doing Interval X from P90X Plus in the morning. Yoga has greatly benefited me, especially through my running. A lot of my teammates are jealous of my flexibility, and I also have one of the best running forms on my team thanks to yoga! Now that you know the importance of doing yoga, make sure to not skip it even if you hate it! Yoga can also be used as a time to clear your mind of all worries and stress, which is very much need in today's society. Decide, Commit, Succeed.