Seem like it’s time for a drastic change to make those gains you’ve been seeking in the gym? Your current workout plan may not be the routine standing in your way- adding complementary activity to your routine may actually enhance it! And, that complement we love is the regular practice of yoga!
Wait? I Should Begin Practicing Yoga To Enhance My Current Workout?
Yes! Yoga is not a class just for the ladies anymore! Let’s take a look at muscle memory to understand why yoga should be on your fitness list.
Muscle memory is one of those amazing neurophysiological activities that can either work to improve or hinder our progress working out. Whether we perform an activity well or poorly, our brain enacts a cached memory of it. When you kick the soccer ball around with your nephew for two hours and miss the same shot every single time, your brain is remembering how to do the procedure poorly… that is, until you enact a new strategy to conquer the goal. The brain tells the body exactly what we program it with, so if we fail to feed it new information, our chances of improving at an activity are slim to none. The same goes for performing at activities we already do well. To perform at an activity better, that is, optimally, we regularly require new information to enhance our current activity. This is especially important for intense activities that can also leave us sore and inflamed.
The Benefits Of Adding Yoga To Your Workout Routine
1. Improve overall focus and reduce injury: studies show yoga improves mental wellbeing. When we’re happy we have better workouts. The awareness yoga builds will increase focus during intense workouts, reducing the likelihood of injuries.
2. VO2 max is enhanced: the practice of yoga largely concentrates on breathing efficiently to help you achieve benefit from holding those poses. When maximum oxygen capacity flowing to muscles is optimal, sustained activities are performed at a heightened level- this includes activities like pushing big weight, running flights of stairs and doing power squats.
3. Strike a new yoga pose to stabiliz form, posture and strength: with each new activity we learn, new neurotransmitter connections are forged. Because yoga poses involve 360 degrees of motion, many of the pushing and pulling techniques we do in the gym fall between this range. The finesse of yoga teaches our brain to transfer this information when working out. What results is more effective and stabilized form, posture and strength.
4. More gain, less inflammation: after your first few yoga sessions, you’ll feel less like a pretzel and more like a gazelle. You’ll also feel less of that burn associated with intense working out. Muscle gains equal muscle tearing, but with the precise movements of yoga your lymphatic system is clearing out inflammation as you exercise. Your resulting workouts will benefit from this as well.
5. Improve rest and recovery: at first the breathing techniques may be boring, but by the time you’re done with your first month of yoga, you’ll think you can climb Machu Picchu. Efficient breathing creates blood alkalinity; decreasing inflammation and improving oxygen and nutrient flow to target tissues.
So get ready to get your downward dog on! And if you know where they hold the following yoga class, please let me know.