Yoga is an ancient Indian form of isometric exercise and philosophy that includes stretches, breathing, and meditational practices.
Its origins can literally be traced back nearly 5000 years. So, something that’s stayed with us for so long probably can’t be bad for you.
No longer the domain of vegetarians and hippies back in the 60s, Yoga has exploded in popularity worldwide as its health benefits have been discovered by a new generation of athletes and fitness fanatics.
Though some today still practice Yoga as a form of spiritual enlightenment, most of us in the West use it simply as a beneficial exercise that improves both our strength, flexibility, and breathing.
Yoga is also popular in that it is low impact. Beginners, those with injuries, and seniors can all gain from practicing its movements as a way to strengthen joints, improve flexibility, and combat stress.
Although some Yoga poses can become wildly complex and difficult, most of the basics can easily be adopted into your usual workout for maximum fitness benefits. By utilizing Yoga-based stretching, you’ll condition your core, improve breathing control, strengthen limbs, and improve your balance.
You’ll soon find that these movements will aid your body when performing heavier weightlifting exercises, as well as preventing injury throughout your daily routine.
Some great Yoga-derived movements you can try are the Boat Pose, Twisting Plank and Elbow Plank. These will all activate your core, test your balance, and have you impressing your classmates at your next Yoga class.
Joel Runyon is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® - performance lifestyle brand encompassing performance apparel & formulas, IMPOSSIBLE Fitness® programs, and a philanthropy arm. An endurance athlete and entrepreneur - he's also the creator of MoveWellApp and owns Ultimate Meal Plans. Find out what next challenge Joel is crossing off his impossible list here.