From juggling work, social commitments and spending time with loved ones, it’s no wonder that many of us feel stressed and unbalanced.
If you love fitness and working out, a regular yoga practice can help you find physical and emotional balance. From strong and sweaty Vinyasa (flow) classes to soothing, restorative Yin, here are five reasons and ways yoga brings balance to your workout regimen.
Yoga will give you longer, leaner muscles.
If a regular part of your workout routine is weight training, you must be all too familiar with “the burn”, where your muscles ache for days afterwards. Weight training relies on the principle of concentric contraction, where the muscle gets smaller as it contracts.
Muscle fibers heal close together, resulting in that “pumped” look. This is great for building strength and increasing muscle size, but to have a beautifully balanced and sleek body, you need to stretch out the muscles.
Yoga relies on eccentric contraction, where the muscle stretches as it contracts, giving it a sleek, elongated look, while reducing muscle tightness and fatigue REDUCING AND PREVENTING INJURIES.
2. Yoga tones both large and small muscles.
Weight training isolates one muscle group at a time, which can result in major muscle groups being overworked through repetitive exercises. In yoga, you use both large and small muscles and move in many directions (twisting, arching etc.), not just back and forth as in the motion of a bicep curl or squat.
You can increase muscle tone and definition — and even muscle size — with yoga, since you are lifting your own body weight, which requires concentration, stamina and strong back, core, arms and legs. Weights and yoga work well together: add a few yoga classes a week for a beautifully balanced workout regimen.
3. Yoga is a well-rounded approach.
Think of yoga as a complete multivitamin. It provides strength, flexibility, numerous physical and health benefits, and a deeper mind-body connection.
A regular yoga practice can reduce your risk of injury and condition your body to perform better at things you have to do every day: walk, sit, twist, bend, lift and even climb.
A form of “functional” fitness, yoga moves your body in the ways it was designed to move, to help ensure that it keeps functioning properly, well into your (ahem) old age.
4. Yoga is empowering.
One way to make yourself feel great is by finding an exercise routine you love and sticking to it. With yoga, you learn much more about your body and its limitations than you could ever learn from running or weights.
That moment when you realize that, after dedication and perseverance, you are completely rocking a headstand. The sense of wellbeing you feel while lying in peaceful, blissful relaxation pose called Savasana at the end of the class.
Yoga is empowering, because it’s all about YOU. Your body, your rules, your mind. Start little and often, and you will be amazed at what you can achieve if you roll out your mat regularly.
5. You will find your own tribe and style.
No matter how motivated you are, workouts can become dull if you constantly go to the same class or run on the treadmill each day. The beauty of yoga is that there are different styles that you can explore, to find the right ones for you.
At ‘Body by Dawn’ we picked out 2 complementary styles for you that you will LOVE! Both of the formats will increase your flexibility, boost immune system and calm a restless mind.
Gentle Flow Class on Sundays at 10 am - soft, nurturing, slow-paced, well-supported and relaxing yoga practice. We will find moments of silence to observe your breath and connect to the present moment, we will learn the fundamentals of yoga postures and how to properly perform them to avoid injuries, we will create heat in the body by combining the poses together into a sequence you can remember and flow to it one breath one movement at a time, we will hold a few supported postures to deeply open and stretch your muscles and we will calm the mind with soothing music and aromatherapy.
Restorative Yin Yoga on Thursdays at 6 pm - candlelit yoga class with aromatherapy focused on deep stretching of the muscles, connective tissue and ligaments. This practice is deeply nourishing for your body and healing for your nervous system. Poses will be held for a few minutes at at time and you will focus on your breath - intimately connecting you to your experience - very relaxing class.
Classes taught by Olya Carlin, E-RYT - experienced yoga teacher certified by International Yoga Alliance.