The Limitations of Yoga
The popularity of Yoga exercise has increased dramatically as many celebrities swear of its effectiveness. But the classical techniques of yoga are not just the latest, trendiest workout; they in fact, date back more than 5,000 years. Yoga, which means “to join or yoke together,” is a system of physical exercise or postures, controlled breathing and meditation, which bring the body and mind together into one harmonious experience. Lately the scientific research on Yoga has been enormous (well over 2000 studies) which explains why it’s been able to stick around and endure the test of time. The lists of benefits seem endless and include…..
…….improved muscular strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. It has also been found to reduce falls in the elderly, improve cardio respiratory fitness, increase bone mineral density, improve sleep patterns, decrease blood pressure, manage stress and depression, and improve self-esteem.
Anyone who does yoga regularly can attest that it’s not an easy workout. Many people sign up for classes thinking that they’re in for an hour of laying back and breathing deeply. While Yoga can be very relaxing, the typical stretching postures work the muscles intensely – you will most likely even break a sweat! The classic yoga poses such as The Plank, The Warrior and The Triangle each require that all of the muscles in the entire body contract in order to support and maintain the pose for many seconds.
When it comes to strengthening and stretching your muscles, yoga has it covered. However, although Yoga does provide some benefit to the health of your heart, it doesn’t appear to be vigorous enough to keep you in your target heart rate zones for the recommended duration of 20-60 minutes. Also because it is such a slow-moving activity it will not increase your ability to move quickly, have a fast reaction time, good agility, power and speed in your movements – all very important skills to maintain as we get older! A program that combines cardio exercise like walking, swimming, cycling, jogging or taking fitness classes with Yoga is the best, most balanced approach. For example, you could power walk or cycle on Tuesdays and Thursdays and then on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, take a yoga class. Or if you can only fit in 3 total workouts a week, go for a 30 minute power walk, take Zumba or cycle before each Yoga class.
Note: Check out our website where we post upcoming specialty programs and events. We try to introduce our clients to something new every month so we’ve got lots of fun, exciting and new options!
Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for over 25 years and has received numerous industry awards including International Personal Trainer and Fitness Presenter of the Year. She is the author of five books including “Go For Fit – the Winning Way to Fat Loss” and “Fit over Forty” and is the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and can be seen running, hiking or cycling with her two children, Brianna and Jackson. She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com
Remember: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started. Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.