Guest Post by Hannah Belger
Yoga offers a perfect equilibrium between meditation and exercise. This is why it has become such a popular practice around the world and, by now, if you should venture to ask, 9 out of 10 people in the street have at least tried it once. Most of these individuals continued to practice for at least several months. It has been a saving grace for countless individual and one can liberally save that it has saved the lives of others. Yoga can transform your quality of life, especially if you combine it with these top complementary exercises.
Let’s begin this list with Pilates, the practice that many people tend to confuse with yoga. However, while they are strikingly different, they do combine well to create a holistic sort of meditative, physical experience with staggering results.
Pilates is all about building core strength – reinforcing the musculature around your abdomen and, in extent, your entire back and legs. It is all about working against resistance. Along with yoga, it will build a resilient body that is yet quite capable to stay agile, elastic and capable of an efficient recovery. This recovery can mean anything – from physical injury to simple tiredness.
If coupled with jogging, regular yoga exercises can have a profound impact on your body. This combo will keep your blood-vessels sturdy and your tissue well fed with oxygen, top to bottom. This is an especially efficient lifehack to keep you vital and youthful over 50, and it seems to be garnering popularity.
The research of marathons in Copenhagen has shown that, statistically, it is showing a 65% growth in participation over the course of only several years. It is by no means an accident that the same age group counts many avid practitioners of yoga.
Both these activities require mastery over healthy breathing, plus, by running, we are extending our longevity. People that practice yoga and jogging have a high higher chance of reaching the ripe old age of 80+.
3. Mountain climbing
Mountain climbers have to be particularly elastic. Yoga exercises provide you with that fluidity as long as you stay consistent with your workout schedule. Rock climbing requires incredible well of endurance in your limbs and your core, and it goes without saying that you need to be able to stretch out in order to reposition yourself on the vertical mountain wall. Yoga is a godsend for such activities.
Whenever you need to retain elasticity and strengthen the connective tissue in your joints for efficient ‘grappling’, yoga is a good companion discipline. For the same reason, parkour practitioners and free-runners often partake in yoga classes.
4. Martial arts
While we are on the topic of being able to ‘grapple’ the rock juts on the mountainside, we should probably mention that yoga meshes amazingly with martial arts as well. Grappling – the hand to hand combat – benefits particularly well, but it also counts if you are practicing jiujitsu, mixed martial arts and others.
Proper breathing technique is the integral component of all martial arts, as it will keep you calm, focused and, above all else, sharp. Most of the breathing techniques masters of martial arts use these days have either been lifted straight out of their yoga sessions.
At the very least, even if they have learned the proper breathing techniques before participating in a singular hour of yoga, most fighters will rely on it sometime in the future. It is a wonderful activity for the burliest and the most delicate individuals in equal measure and, as such, one can argue that yoga is one of the most egalitarian physical disciplines out there.
Since yoga breathing techniques have been discussed in examples listed above, it is not a stretch to imagine why it is such an appropriate companion to swimming. The water-bound activities are extremely demanding on your lungs and heart in equal measure.
Your endurance and speed need to become nearly superhuman if you plan to become eligible for competition, so intense yoga classes wouldn’t go amiss. Quite the contrary, they may prove to be the ‘edge’ you require to become better at yoga than your competition.
One of the beautiful aspects of yoga is that it is such an open-ended discipline. The freeform nature of yoga-specific stretching exercises can be supplemented with whatever physical activity you most enjoy, but keep in mind that the activities assorted above combine perfectly with yoga. This bodes well for fitness enthusiasts as well – those that have not yet ‘dabbled’ in yoga yet. They don’t have to give up on any of their favorite activities in order to practice yoga and enhance their lifestyle.