Yoga is not a stretching routine. It is a fully-fledged workout in its own right if you want it to be. Yoga is all about focusing on movement, breathing and taking control of your own body. The breathing patterns you learn with yoga will help you to regulate your breathing during heavy compound movements (Squats, Deadlifts etc).
Static stretching has been shown to decrease performance. But your body will still become stiff if you don’t stretch out your muscles. Yoga poses stretch your muscles in a dynamic way and improve flexibility and balance.
Yoga is not just for women or non-strength trainers. It can be what you want it to be. You don’t need to dedicate your life to yoga to see the benefits and you certainly don’t need to be doing a full 60-minute class 5 days per week. Yoga is easy to do at home and makes it perfect for your active rest days. You can pick up a DVD quite cheaply on amazon to get you started at home as well as cheap yoga mats.
How can Yoga help with lifts?
Yoga can help to increase your range of motion while lifting. This will enable you to get the most out of your workouts and help to avoid injury while lifting. Integrating a few yoga poses can help to open out your hips and give the lower back and Glutes a good stretch. This will prevent injury and help to reduce lower back pain and stiffness.
Yoga also increases muscle endurance. Holding poses for prolonged periods strengthen your ligaments and stabilising muscles that lifting alone doesn’t do. Just look at the people practising consistently and the control they have over their bodies, you can’t help but admire the way they look and move.
It increases balance, form and control that will strengthen your big lifts in the gym and give you a better life outside of the gym.
If you want to get started then all it takes is a beginner’s class at your local gym or alternatively you can pick up a Beginner’s DVD from amazon for less than the price of one class and practice at home.