by Arwa Jundi, Certified Yoga Instructor – RYT
Whether you run, cycle, swim or are a gym rat, do you ever wonder why are you doing this or why does your body ache in certain areas?
Yoga not only allows us to stretch and find physical balance, strength and flexibility in our body, but more importantly it allows us to turn our focus inward turn to our breath and find a sense of stillness in our training and daily lives.
While only running, lifting weights or cycling alone can easily cause muscular imbalance and injury, adding yoga to your weekly training you will begin to listen to your body and get to understand the messages of your body. You begin to learn where you are strong or weak, tight or flexible, or simply holding on to stress in certain parts of your body which can result in injury.
Some simple benefits of yoga:
- Balance – yoga places special attention on symmetry in the body thus it allows us to balance out the areas we are compensating in.
- Stress release – through our yoga practice we become aware of our body, breath and state of mind through the practice of stillness, breath and movement we are able manage our nervous system and release stress.
- Core strength – Many think of our core strength as only our abs but the back and pelvis are also a part of our core. A strong core improves running posture and speed.
- Breath awareness – through our yoga practice we become aware of our breathing patterns whether short or long active or relaxed thus we increase the amount of oxygen feeding our body and increases endurance.
- Injury prevention – Yoga focuses on the center of gravity and balance in the human body, this allows us to balance out our dominant side. Yoga also keeps our muscles supple and lengthens them.
Not to mention some of the other overall benefits of yoga are:
– Improving digestion
-Drops blood pressure
-Regulates adrenal glands
Don’t forget to bring a mat & water!