Generally a lot of people get curious about yoga at some point or another. With all the positive press how can you not be curious about what yoga can or can’t do for you? But with all the questions people have, they don’t always get the answers the need. Or they might be shy and don’t want to actually voice the questions and look foolish.
It is understandable which is why we have provided some basic questions and answers to cover what you can expect in general from doing yoga and how it can affect other aspects of your life.
For the Weightlifter
There is typically some concern with people who are currently weight lifting and considering taking yoga. Because of the stretching and use of muscle endurance some people have fears that yoga may negatively impact their fitness goals for gaining muscle and size. However it won’t. In fact, the regular stretching will be very beneficial to gaining muscle size as it will help stretch the fascia that can restrict the muscle as well as aid in recovery from workouts.
Yoga can be a compliment to strength training. But there are also many types of yoga including Ashtnaga Yoga which is dynamic and powerful. It can dramatically increase your strength which in turn will translate over to later workouts.
For the Martial Artist
Yoga is very useful for many practitioners of martial arts. For starts it focuses on flexibility much more so than standard stretching. Any discipline that excels from using high kicks and other moves that require flexibility will be heightened. It also helps with balance which is paramount in all style of martial arts.
For General Injuries
Due to the gentle nature of yoga, many people who suffer from injuries involving the spine as well as pinched nerves and other maladies can benefit from yoga. The stretching and holding of poses is a great way to build up strength as well as helping the body find its proper alignment. Aching knees, sore backs, and even shoulder pain can sometimes be related to the body not being in proper alignment between the muscles and skeletal structure.
Sometimes people get sore from doing yoga which is generally a result of incorrect form. Finding a reputable yoga studio with a certified instructor is ideal to start. They can show you poses as well as correct form. You never have to push yourself in yoga, just do what you can handle. It can be a very calming activity especially for people who are limited by injuries but still wish to do something rather than nothing.
With the gentle nature of yoga there is really not any reason to avoid trying it. Numerous professional athletes have incorporated yoga into their weekly schedule including the same day as strenuous workouts. Really it becomes a matter of time and availability as to what you can include in your own regular schedule.
One recommendation would be to try and fit two classes per week into your schedule. After a few weeks you should be able to evaluate any benefits obtained as well as determine if your schedule can handle more or less yoga as well as how best to fit it into your fitness plan.