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Yoga Vs Standard Exercise.

Running, jogging, cross-training – all of these and more are often strenuous exercises that people will take on during the holiday season. As cold weather seems to make your blood thicken, the urge to get out and increase your blood flow is undeniable. But, what few people seem to realize is that this kind of strenuous exercise is not your only option.

You can do yoga, and stay in shape just as well as with exercise regimens that are hard to maintain in the winter.

Yoga Vs Standard Exercise.License: Creative Commons image source

Not Just Stretching

Most of the uninitiated view yoga as being just a bunch of strange-looking stretching exercises. It is not usually seen as a strenuous workout. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Yoga is, indeed, a truly adaptable exercise regimen. If you are in very poor physical conditioning, you can begin yoga and start gently stretching your body and building muscle tone. It can also help you to reduce your blood pressure.

But, yoga can advance to very rigorous workouts, depending on your abilities. It is one of the few types of exercise that actually works for people of all ability levels.

Not Just Meditation

Yoga Vs Standard Exercise. License: Creative Commons image source

 

Yoga is one of the few exercises that also involves meditation. This striving for unity of mind and body also gives people the idea that it is not really a workout. Once again, this is a misunderstanding of the benefits of yoga.

True Workouts

Yoga is not an aerobic workout, but it does build muscle tone and muscle strength. Kundalini yoga, and ashtanga yoga, are both Western versions of the exercise that utilize quite vigorous moves. These types of exercise are seen as stimulating, as opposed to relaxing. Experts in yoga suggest that this type of workout should be done only by those more advanced in yoga, because of the risk of injury.

Bikram yoga performed in extremely hot rooms – usually about 105 degrees F, with 60% humidity. The workout is designed to warm your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and the heat helps to increase the stretching ability.

Skills

Skills in the different types of yoga require discipline and commitment. Each exercise is comprised of a series of poses which culminate in a body that has been thoroughly exercised and stretched. Every part of the body is worked, unlike many of the sports that people participate in. For instance, in weight lifting, you work one part of your body one day, and another part the other day. With jogging and cycling, you mostly work your legs. But yoga works every part of your body, including the internal organs. The poses you participate in will help to cleanse your organs and increase circulation throughout your body, cleansing and strengthening even the blood vessels. In Bikram yoga, the heat of the room helps to open pores so that toxins are sweated out.

With yoga, your heart rate becomes elevated, every muscle is worked, and ligaments and tendons are included in the workout. You’ll be as tired afterward as you would be from a long jog.

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Green is a big fan of meditation, Yoga and just general exercise. When she isn’t practicing yoga or helping out at Yeotown her local yoga retreat, you can find her at home writing about health and fitness.

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