Yoga is a very popular fitness activity, with practitioners of every age, race, and class, and with proven value for such issues as drug and alcohol rehab to stress management and improved posture and flexibility. With so many benefits, it’s unsurprising the practice is popular.
But if you’ve been practicing yoga for a while or never seemed to click with the form, there are plenty of alternatives that can bring some variety to your workout. Whether you’re looking to develop a new healthy habit, lose weight, or build new muscle groups, these 3 workouts could be right for you.
One fitness routine that’s very popular with yoga practitioners is pilates. One reason why this is the case is that pilates takes the abdominal strength that yoga develops and using similar poses, focuses on improving core muscle development. So while yoga often emphasizes flow and flexibility, pilates isolates those core activities and holds them. It can be much more challenging than yoga in this way, targeting strength instead of flexibility, breath, and focus.
Another benefit of pilates is that it’s a group practice, so commit to a class with friends. It’s much easier to develop a healthy habit when you do it with others. Fitness is one place where peer pressure really pays off.
Try Tai Chi
For those who really enjoy the meditative aspects of yoga may want to consider tai chi as an alternative exercise. Tai chi is a great fitness option for those with joint problems, as it’s a very gentle form of exercise, helping you to maintain the same flexibility that yoga offers without as much strain. Instead, tai chi is very smooth, flowing, and can looks like a slow motion dance. It’s a very elegant kind of exercise.
Hit The Trail
One downside to yoga is that it often leaves you trapped in a studio, as does pilates. And while tai chi may be practiced outside, you’ll still stay in one place. So if you’re interested in enjoying the great outdoors while you’re exercising, jogging may be a good alternative. Yoga is actually great training for runners because core strength is a vital factor. While many people think running is all about leg strength, having a well developed core is often the difference between a good runner and a great one.
Another reason that jogging is a good workout for yogis is that many runners find the experience to be very peaceful and centering. Running has a positive effect on mental health and serious distance runners even experience something known as runner’s high. It’s an exhilarating way to get fit in nature.
Yoga is a great foundation for many different kinds of exercise, so don’t be afraid to expand your horizons. The flexibility and strength built through yoga will allow you to conquer the biggest hills or the hardest core positions. You already have all the skills you need to succeed.