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Is Yoga Enough To Meet My Exercise Needs?

Yiwen Lu, MS, RD, CPT
August 18, 2023
December 19, 2023

Yoga is a mind-body practice that originated in ancient India and has gained popularity worldwide in recent years. The practice of yoga involves a series of poses, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. Yoga comes with a lot of physical and mental health benefits! But the question remains, can yoga alone meet your exercise needs? Well, that depends on what your exercise needs are and the type of yoga you choose. Watch the video below, or read on to find out more!

What Are Some Common Types of Yoga?

There are many types of yoga. Some are intense and physically demanding, while others are more focused on relaxation and stress relief. Here are a few popular ones.

  1. Bikram yoga: Bikram yoga is known as "hot" yoga, because it is practiced in a heated room. The high temperature and humidity can make it physically demanding, but it might help to improve flexibility and relieve chronic pain.
  2. Restorative yoga: Restorative yoga is a gentle and therapeutic practice that involves holding postures for an extended period of time and might include the support of props such as blankets and bolsters. It is designed to promote relaxation and reduce stress, and restore the body's natural balance.
  3. Yin yoga: Yin yoga is a slow-paced practice that involves holding postures for an extended period of time, typically 3-5 minutes or longer. It targets the connective tissues of the body, such as the ligaments and fascia. It helps to improve flexibility and joint mobility.
  4. Vinyasa yoga: Vinyasa yoga is often referred to as "flow" yoga. It is a more dynamic and vigorous practice that involves linking breath with movement.
  5. Power yoga: Power yoga is also known as “yoga sculpt.” This practice combines traditional yoga poses with strength training exercises using weights, such as dumbbells. It is designed to increase strength and build muscle tone while still incorporating the mindfulness and breathing aspects of traditional yoga. Some power yoga classes may also incorporate cardiovascular exercises and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for a boost of intensity.

Is Yoga Enough?

If you're tired of running but want a heart-pumping workout, try faster-paced yoga like Vinyasa or Power Yoga—they work wonders!

These types of yoga also incorporate strength-building poses, such as plank, chaturanga, and arm balances, which can help develop muscular endurance and overall strength and can be considered a strengthening exercise.

On the other hand, some types of yoga, such as Yin or Restorative Yoga, focus more on stretching and relaxation, and may not provide as much of a cardio workout. However, these types of yoga can help improve flexibility, balance, and overall well-being.

Takeaways

It's important to note that whether yoga alone is enough for your practice is solely up to you. Different types of yoga vary in intensity, so it's important to choose the right one that fits your fitness needs.

While yoga is fantastic, there are plenty of other exercises that are also great and can complement your yoga practice. If you haven't tried other types of exercise yet, I highly recommend exploring different options and incorporating them in addition to yoga into a well-rounded fitness routine. Learn how to practice intuitive exercise, and if you are wondering where to start, watch our video to learn how to jump start your exercise routine.

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