Is yoga enough to be your only form of exercise?
When I started my yoga practice and for many years afterwards, I was convinced that I had found the Holy Grail of the movement. Coming from an inactive background, I felt my whole body tone up and get stronger. I fell in love and, as love says, I idealized hell. As I became a yoga teacher and continually delved into my studies and understanding of the human body, the pink vapor began to slowly dissolve and I began to realize that despite its many benefits, there are actually some how many itches a yoga practice can’t do. scratch.
What would a perfect movement practice look like?
Before we can talk about the potential shortcomings of yoga, we need something to measure it. The American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) The latest Position Stand (released in 2011) serves as a good benchmark. According to the ACSM definition, fitness is the sum of “cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength and endurance, body composition and flexibility, balance, agility, reaction time and power”.. To improve fitness and health, the ACSM provides evidence-based recommendations, dividing exercise into four categories:
1. Cardiorespiratory exercises (“aerobics”)
“Aerobic exercise improves the ability of the cardiovascular system to absorb and transport oxygen[…] [and is] considered the cornerstone of endurance training. “
2. Endurance exercise
Also known as strength training, it basically means that your muscles are contracting (“working”) to withstand external resistance. These can be external weights, but also the weight of the body itself.
3. Flexibility exercise
Flexibility is the ability to move all joints through their full range of motion (ROM), which can be achieved through different types of stretching.
4. Neuromotor exercise training
It involves training motor skills such as balance, agility, coordination and gait, as well as proprioception.
Looking at these categories, your little yoga heart might be beating a little faster. Because it’s true: yoga marks many squares!
What a yoga Tin Fez
The same document of the ACSM states: “Versatile physical activities such as […] Yoga involves different combinations of neuromotor exercise, endurance exercise, and flexibility exercise. You may have noticed that cardiorespiratory exercise (henceforth called “cardio”) was not included, but we’ll get to that a little bit.
Yoga in research is still in its infancy (unless you’re talking about its relationship to stress relief), but you probably don’t need the backup of a million studies to realize that
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