If you’ve read any of my previous articles, I know what you’re thinking: “This guy is really into high intensity circuit training. He’s a CrossFit coach with a background in bodybuilding. There’s no way in hell that this guy does yoga.”
Well, my friends, you are oh so very WRONG! Now, I’ll admit, I’ve only been doing yoga for the past month. You can very accurately claim that I am a newby when it comes to yoga.
However, I’ve done enough yoga over the past four weeks to really see its benefits; not just for me personally, but for anyone who decides to do it consistently.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Today, I’d like to share three reasons why you should do yoga, and why you should implement it into your weekly exercise regimen.
1) Yoga will improve your flexibility.
As an overweight couch potato for the first 11 years of my life, it’s safe to say that any flexibility I was born with was taken away before I even knew what to do with it.
When I began to pick up sports, lift weights and increase my overall activity levels in my early teens, I quickly realized that I had considerably less flexibility than the average guy my age.
Over the years, I learned quite a bit about static stretching and foam rolling, but these methods of stretching only got me so far in terms of enhancing my flexibility and getting it up to par with people my age.
In just the past month, my flexibility has improved exponentially. Day-to-day tasks that used to provide difficulty no longer give me trouble.
The poses and movements I have learned will definitely begin to become commonplace in my clients’ workouts moving forward, as excellent flexibility will keep you out of a nursing home a lot longer.
If for no other reason than that, this should provide you with great incentive as to why you should do yoga.
2) You’ll drastically increase your overall strength.
I can hear your doubt of this statement now: “How can doing yoga increase my overall strength any better than focusing on compound lifts like bench pressing and squatting?”
To be honest, if you had asked me this question a little over a month ago, I’d probably have laughed in your face and told you that it couldn’t.
Fortunately, I’ve since checked my ignorant, macho ego at the door, and have realized that just because I’ve been taught one way to do things, doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the best way.
Please don’t get me wrong; Resistance training, particularly when practicing the compound lifts, is crucial for increasing overall strength. However, you don’t want to be one of those people that can lift a ton in the weight room, but can’t lift yourself in a life-or-death situation.
Over the course of the past month, I’ve tried movements and poses that have turned on muscles I don’t think I’ve EVER felt during a gym session!
The crazy thing is that I’ve been a trainer for nearly a decade. I’ve tried many different exercise methodologies in that time, but yoga certainly takes the cake in terms of turning on EVERY muscle in my body by the end of a session.
In doing workouts outside of the yoga studio, I’ve noticed an improvement in even standard bodyweight exercises like pushups and squats.
While I was extremely proficient in these movements prior to the start of my yoga tenure, it’s safe to say that my proficiency has increased exponentially due to my enhanced flexibility, balance and body control. These are all great benefits as to why you should do yoga.
3) Yoga de-stresses you while providing you with mental clarity.
Today, we’re busier than we’ve ever been. Due to the vast advances in technology over the past two decades, busy professionals are being asked to do more than ever before.
Tasks that used to take months to complete are now expected to be done in days, and when it comes to the million-and-one activities your kid(s) are involved in after school, you might be ready to pull what’s left of your hair out by the end of the day. If you’re a nail biter in this day and age, I truly sympathize with you!
Now, over the years, I’ve often turned to a hardcore gym session to relieve any residual daily stress. Sometimes this does the trick, but other times it just leaves me even more exhausted, more moody, and in the end, more stressed.
For whatever the reason, yoga seems to just help me decompress.
Even if it’s an intense session and I’m drenched in sweat by the end, the combination of stretching and positions seems to relieve me of any negative energy I went into the session with. I can’t begin to describe how little my neuroses have bothered me in the past month. For those of you who know me, that’s clutch!
The Key Takeaway:
If you have the ability to take a local yoga class, or have interest in looking up a program online, I promise you it will be some of the best time and money you’ll ever spend. Hopefully, this piece has helped you realize three of the MANY benefits as to why you should do yoga.
Until next time!