The life of a yogi never has a dull moment, since you get to enjoy a slew of imaginative asanas (posure), all suited for different moods, fitness levels, and energy. You get to alter your routine every day so that it doesn't really ever become, well, a routine. If there's anything routine about yoga it's that it always changes. Still, another beautiful thing about this ancient practice is that it leaves so much room for innovation in the form of complementary workouts.
Depending on what you enjoy doing, what you feel might be "missing" in your yoga flow, or what you're in the mood to try, your yoga practice can benefit greatly from a myriad of other activities you can perform. Here are a few you can add to your regime to keep things colorful and versatile, strengthen your love for yoga, and unleash your inner yogi!
Yup, you've read that one correctly. Yes, there are many yogis out there still very reluctant to embrace the fact that the barbell isn't your worst nightmare or your enemy. On the contrary, it can be your most powerful ally in growing stronger, targeting specific muscle groups, and enhancing your stability as well as balance.
Try performing an overhead press, either with dumbbells or with a weighted barbell – you'll see that the balance the move requires will allow you to use that when you try performing a handstand the next time. All of those isometric movements you do in yoga are amazingly healthy, but your body is the limit, so using weight training helps you move past that limitation and improve your yoga practice.
So many ballet dancers add meditation and yoga to their daily schedule because of its perks for their performance. But did you know that the perks work both ways and that regular dancing can be exceptionally beneficial for your yoga practice? It's time to bring out your dancewear and let the music inspire and challenge you like never before! With the help of dancing, you can increase your body awareness, add more "flow" to your moves, boost balance, and better your coordination.
Dancing paired with yoga also gives you a chance to connect your breath to your movements better, allowing you to translate the same skill to all those complex asanas that teach you to keep your movements fluid and breathe through the tension and the setbacks. Ballet dancing, tango, and pole dancing are just some of many examples of this artistic skill that gives you the freedom of movement perfect for complementing your yoga.
Water-based sports and activities have always been loved and celebrated for their incredible impact on cardiovascular endurance and wellbeing. For dedicated yogis, however, there are other ways in which even occasional swimming sessions, let alone more complex water-based activities can be beneficial for your yoga routine.
For starters, exercising in water means that your joints are under less stress than usual, allowing you to work your lungs and heart more without worrying about injuring your joints. Its low impact on your skeletal system gives you much room to also improve your breath control over time, a perfect choice for yogis of all ages, but especially senior yogis.
From the leg-dominant taekwondo, classic aikido, judo, to the more modern self-defense blends the likes of krav maga, all martial arts are known for their challenging nature both for our bodies and our minds. Developing strength and coordination in martial arts is entirely different from what you do in a solitary yoga practice: it depends on the opponent, as well.
In a sense, martial arts help you practice greater self-control, discipline, breathing, they help you release your body from tension, but they also align well with any yoga routine to give you more stability, body awareness, and enable you to confront your emotions, from anger, pain, all the way to love.
With so many different kinds of yoga out there, it's easy to find and incorporate a more cardio-heavy yoga style into your own practice to add some diversity and mix things up every now and then. Even some yoga moves are designed in such a way that you can decrease or increase their intensity depending on the goal you're trying to achieve.
Still, adding a cardio session into your workout schedule such as an aerobics class can actually benefit your existing yoga routine. In addition to elevating your endurance and allowing you to become more proficient at those difficult yoga poses and flows, cardio workouts provide a counter-balance of sorts. After every single aerobics class, with your heart pumping in your ears, you'll gain new appreciation of the stillness and silence provided by yoga.
Being a yogi doesn't mean that that's all there is to your interests or that you should limit yourself to your current knowledge of a single skill. In fact, the more you expand your views by adding other skills into the mix, the more you'll connect with your yoga practice and enrich it through the knowledge that you obtain through them.