Doing yoga or hitting the gym - too difficult a choice to make? Let's make things easier and look at both not as rivals but close allies. Yes, yoga can be a perfect complement to your body workout and actually add to the benefits you derive from it.
The best part is, you can continue with your daily workout routine just the way it is now and simply add a few minutes of yoga practice to it for better results.
Shares Pranav Desai, senior audit officer, Bangalore: "I always prefer to stretch my body with yoga postures after an intense workout at the gym. It relaxes the nervous system and also helps release stress in the muscles which contract during the training." An avid gym-goer and yoga enthusiast, Pranav says he was surprised at how fresh he after including yoga in his gym routine, as against feeling fatigued all day earlier.
Let us look at some of the ways yoga can support your physical training program at the gym.
1. Warm-up exercises, full body rotations
Increase body flexibility, avoid risk of muscle spasm or cramp during weight training & heavy lifting
5. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
Strengthens the lower back and torsos
6. Cat Stretch (Marjariasana)
Tones the abdomen, improves blood circulation
7. Sitting Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Makes the spine flexible
8. Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
Opens up the chest, increases oxygen supply to lungs
9. Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhan Pranayama)
Releases accumulated stress in the mind & body after the workout
10. Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
Facilitates oxygen flow to the strained muscles, helps in quicker recovery from pain
11. Surya namaskar (Sun Salutation)
Slow pace - warms up the body for intense training; fast pace - excellent cardiovascular & weight-loss workout
12. Yoga Nidra
Deep relaxation of the body & mind, especially after circuit training, restores normal body temperature, helps stabilize the heart rate
13. Meditation (guided meditation or on your own)
Helps you feel energetic & fresh to carry through the entire day. It's easier to naturally slip into meditation after working out at the gym.
I recommend yoga postures to my trainees before the gym workout, as they reduce risk of injury and help warm up the body. After the workout, yoga poses help stretch the muscles and cool down the body - Shashank Mehta, fitness model and silver medalist (2008) awarded by Punjab Technical University.
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Sri Sri Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Sri Sri Yoga teacher. Find a Sri Sri Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on courses or share feedback? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org