January is the most lucrative month for fitness centers. Many people start a gym membership because they want to redefine themselves completely. “New Year – New Me!” Unfortunately, this is often not the case. More than 90% of these people will quit after going to the gym for three months.
February is usually the month where people start slowing down from their gym craving, iron-pumping, and cardio heart racing regimen and start slacking and “taking a break.” Exercise leads to lactic acid production, which may cause fatigue and exhaustion. What usually happens is they’ve done too much too fast and haven’t set realistic goals. Having big plans will only get frustrating in the long run. Changing one behavior at a time and making it sustainable is vital.
All this fitness talk is excellent and has many benefits if appropriately planned. I have learned over the years that a well-rounded exercise regimen includes yoga, and here’s why:
Yoga helps you believe you’re perfect the way you are, with your strengths and your weaknesses. It’s about self-acceptance as well as self-improvement.
Gym sessions focus on boosting your cardiovascular health and toning without concentrating on mental health, which is needed nowadays. Adding yoga to a routine helps detox the body from the inside out. Yoga leads to balance, inner fulfillment, and mental relaxation.
Yoga also promotes better cognition through specific nostril breathing, absent in regular exercise. After yoga, the body experiences relaxation due to the soothing effect on the nervous system.
A gym workout filled with weights will cause your muscles to bulk up, which is good, but they will also tighten up, leaving you feeling stiff in the long run. Sprinkling a yoga class once or twice a week will stretch your muscles as you’re strengthening them, and your body will take on a leaner appearance.
The competitive nature of a gym, along with the loud music and bright lights, is more likely to increase your stress. Many yoga classes include meditation or Savasana (resting pose). It gives you a chance to clear your mind of the priorities of the day. With regular yoga practices, stress can be dealt with more efficiently, and overall stress levels decrease.
See you on the mat soon!
Photo by: Tony Claremont Photography