Incorporating yoga into your rest periods

May 21, 2010


We all know that as important as it is to work out, it is equally important to give your body the rest it needs.  Constantly pushing your body to the limit without any rest period doesn’t allow your muscles the proper time to rebuild and recover.  Over-training thus leads to injury and performance deterioration rather than performance enhancement.

Yet, for people in good shape, sitting around and doing nothing during your recovery days can leave you feeling lethargic and low on energy.  You can’t wait for your next workout day so that you can feel good and get the endorphins flowing again.  Hence, I am experimenting with incorporating yoga into my rest periods.

The benefits of yoga are well documented.  A quick search online will reveal that it has some of the following benefits:

1) Increased flexibility, strength, and energy

2) Detoxification

3) Mind/body awareness

4) Improved circulation and respiration

5) Enhanced mood and metabolism

The list goes on and on and are really too numerous to list here.  Seeing as how I enjoy challenges and hazing myself, there was really only one type of yoga that intrigued me, Bikram Yoga.  This yoga is practiced in a 110 degree heated room of 40 percent humidity.  Sessions last for approximately an hour and a half.  After the session, you are literally drenched in sweat from head to toe.  It is quite challenging, but leaves you refreshed afterwards.  The purpose of the heated room is to help with the detoxification process, allow the muscles to warm up and stretch more easily, as well as develop mental fortitude.  I was first exposed to it in Maryland, but have not done it for awhile.  I find that getting back into yoga is a perfect complement to any strength or conditioning routine that you have.  It allows to you still recover on those days, while reaping the enormous benefits of yoga.  Try it and see how it feels.

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