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The Fusion of Yoga and Fitness: Embracing the Yogic Lifestyle and Its Exercise Benefits

Let’s talk about a yoga lifestyle and fitness benefits.  There is more to doing yoga than just breathing or meditating. Yoga is not just a path to mindfulness, it is also a means to strengthen and hone your body. A lot of pro athletes and bodybuilders have reported that practicing yoga in their free time helps them keep up with the physical demands of their respective sports. Yoga is a way of life. Yogic principles can be applied to every aspect of our daily life to heighten our senses, improve our fitness, and live more mindfully.

(Image credits: https://pixabay.com/photos/meditate-woman-yoga-zen-meditating-1851165/)

In fact, it has also been seen that following a yogic lifestyle can actually help in exercising better. This is because yoga postures work on every part of the body and its internal mechanisms, which become strengthened enough to be able to bear the strain of physical exercise.

What does a yogic lifestyle entail?

A yogic lifestyle does not simply mean practicing yoga every day. It is a way of life which encourages us to expand our outlook on life and move towards a place of spirituality, inner peace, contentment, and refinement. The ultimate goal is to live every moment mindfully and perform every action in accordance with yogic principles.

Such a lifestyle is important not just for physical and mental health, but also to improve one’s spiritual connection with the outside world. Yoga helps in bringing positivity, good health, proper balance, and spiritual energy into our lives. Ultimately, it is a means to improve our standard of living. The good thing about leading a yogic lifestyle is that you do not have to go all out. You can start slow and take baby steps to reach your goal. There are several conscious changes that you can apply to your everyday life to start out on this path. For example, to begin with, you can get the proper yoga gear and start meditating for a few minutes every day. Then, you can incorporate some yoga postures into your daily routine and focus on eating healthier. Like this, you can build up good habits and you will slowly start to feel better about yourself and the world around you.

What are the exercise benefits of a yogic lifestyle?

When you start practicing yoga and incorporating yogic principles into your everyday life, you will slowly realize that the small changes will add up to have a big impact on your body, mind, and spirit. Over time, these habits will become part of your daily routine and will steer you on the path to a yogic lifestyle. Whenever you are on this path, be mindful of the steps you are taking and keep in mind the goal you have set for yourself. There are several benefits of doing yoga and leading a yogic lifestyle, and they can be both physical benefits (which will encourage activity and exercise) as well as psychological benefits. We will take a closer look at these health benefits to further understand how leading a yogic lifestyle can actually lead to improved bodily function.

woman laying in child's pose on bright pink yoga mat
(Image credits: https://pixabay.com/photos/woman-yoga-stretching-meditation-2573216/)

Yoga Lifestyle and Fitness Benefits

1. Yoga helps combat fatigue

Yoga postures have been shown to improve blood oxygenation in the body which naturally helps to combat muscle fatigue. Inversion yoga poses, where the heart is at a level above the head, have been shown to improve energy levels in people. This benefit is significant because daily exercise can naturally leave the muscles feeling fatigued and sore. This is why a lot of professionals practice yoga for bodybuilding as well as to cool down after particularly strenuous sessions. Muscle strain can lead to numerous injuries.  This is why yoga poses can be a great way to cool them down and feel energized.

2. Yoga promotes balance

Another significant way yoga helps prepare the body for physical exercise is by promoting balance. Many exercises and workout routines require careful balance.  Yoga is the easiest way to improve this. Balancing poses such as Chair, Tree, Crow, and Warrior help in increasing the natural stability of the body.  Thus, they can be very effective for those who engage in physical activities such as Tai Chi, Pilates, weightlifting, and so on.

Additionally, this aspect of yoga is essential for aging and aged people since we tend to lose balance after a certain age. Research has shown that yoga and yoga-based exercises can help in improving balance in people over the age of 60.

3. Yoga improves cardiovascular fitness

Practicing a yogic lifestyle has a direct positive effect on the heart muscles because yoga trains the vagus nerve which directs the parasympathetic nervous system. This part of the nervous system is responsible for promoting relaxation by lowering the heart rate. In this way, yoga can be very effective against heart problems such as hypertension, high blood sugar, and even high cholesterol.

4. Yoga helps build strength

Yoga poses look easy to the untrained eye, but doing and holding these poses can actually be quite difficult. So difficult that, in fact, they can help in building core strength. For example, the chair pose is very similar to doing a squat, the Surya namaskar involves a series of connected exercises such as planks and push-ups.

person with light green shirt on maroon yoga mat in yoga pose
(Image credits: https://pixabay.com/photos/yoga-sports-asana-1146281/)

The more active the asana practice, the more strength you will be building.

5. Yoga improves flexibility

Yoga helps in building flexibility in different muscle groups across the body through the principle of stretching. With increased flexibility, you can improve your overall fitness performance and be able to perform exercises with much more ease.

Moreover, better flexibility also means a lesser risk of muscular injuries. If your muscles are always tight and stiff, you have a greater possibility of being injured while exercising than if your muscles are used to stretching due to yoga poses.

6. Yoga improves mood

One of the most significant benefits of yoga is how it acts on people’s moods and behaviors. While it is true that simply exercising or practicing yoga cannot magically address all mental health concerns, the combined action of mindful breathing techniques with yoga poses can certainly help in activating the parasympathetic nervous system.  This promotes relaxation and reduces heart rate, as we have already explained.

7. Yoga helps improve focus

Holding a yoga pose the correct way takes a lot of concentration as well as endurance. The body needs to be moved in a particular way and would have to hold a certain posture for a set period of time. This combination definitely helps in improving balance and cultivating core strength.  It also helps in improving focus and attention span. Consistent practice of yoga can lead to improvement in focus and concentration.

In conclusion

Therefore, we see that following a yoga lifestyle and fitness benefits are not simply about performing yoga poses or breathing exercises.  It is about cultivating a way of life. Making a few small changes will help you feel focused, energized, and happy as well as let you advance forward in the journey to find your true self.

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