Why Yoga is Important in Your Fitness Routine

Photo by @Frankie1White

Photo by @Frankie1White

Hi guys!! Hope everyone’s having a good start to your week!

Yesterday I chopped my finger with a knife cutting a jaIapeno and had to get a few stitches on my ring finger. It hurt soooo bad, I may or may not have cried lol especially when they had to give me 3 shots inside the cut to numb it. Okay sorry for the cringe-ful blog start. Anyway I'll probably hold off on weights for a week or two and stick to cardio and yoga...

Speaking of yoga, I sometimes get questions about my practice when I post yoga Instagrams, so I wanted to dedicate a blog post all to YOGA! I’ve mentioned that before starting BBG, hot yoga was a big part of my fitness routine. I’ve always loved how soothing and peaceful yoga classes were—even when it was a fast-paced style like Vinyasa.

I also appreciate how yoga offers such a variety. You can literally make your practice whatever YOU need it to be; you can push your body as much as you want but can also make adjustments based on your level! If you’ve ever been to a class or watched people do yoga, you probably noticed that the class was super diverse...You do not have to look like a fitness model or crazy flexible yogi to try yoga or be good at it, and I love that it’s for all types of people at any level!

I know some people may think yoga is boring or too easy, but I promise that doing the right yoga can make you just as sweaty as BBG. Stretching your muscles, improving flexibility, AND building strength all in the peaceful setting of yoga is definitely one of my favorite workouts to do between circuit training days.

Yoga is also very important for your MIND. No matter the style, breath and being present are a big part of the practice. It’s the perfect workout for clearing your head and forgetting about the outside world. Plus, a lot of teachers use mantras or inspirational stories - they basically add positivity into your day! Your mind needs this reset to stay healthy, not just your body. I also turn to yoga if life is extra crazy and I just need an hour of peace.

But how much do I do it? I try to incorporate it about once a week! Your muscles NEED flexibility just as much as they need weights or strength to really change. You have to be lengthening the muscles as you tone them to allow them to hit their full potential. Adding flexibility also helps to avoid pulling muscles or getting injured!

Here’s a little breakdown of some different styles of yoga.

Hatha - This is definitely the best for beginners or people with injuries! It’s gentle, easy to learn, and slow.

Vinyasa - One of my favorites! This is usually pretty fast-paced and you don’t hold poses for too long. Definitely a sweaty, good workout! It also focuses heavily on breath during movement which is centering.

Yin - You hold poses for a long time (like up to 20 minutes!) and it’s excellent for your joints. Since you’re stretching for a long time, it’s an amazing way to get deep into connective tissues.

Bikram - The hottest and most sweaty form! Classes are HOT - around 100 degrees, so you stay hydrated for this one. This is great for it all: detoxing, strength, balance, flexibility, etc., but definitely tell the teacher if it’s your first Bikram class so you stay safe!

Ashtanga - This style synchronizes breath with a lot of movement. Athletes often do this type because it’s physically demanding and focuses on postures and increases stamina. Not the best for beginners!

Iyengar - You’ll hold poses for a while with this style, then you get to rest before moving into the next one.  You typically use a lot of props with Iyengar, so it’s great for personalizing the practice. This is a wonderful happy-medium option!

I hope those little blurbs help explain yoga a bit better because I know there are tons of styles (even more than I listed - but those are some popular ones!). Try incorporating yoga into your routine and let me know how you like it - or if you’re already a yogi, what’s your favorite style??