Yoga has been demonstrated in studies to be equal to or surpass traditional exercise regimens in reducing stress, improving balance, diminishing fatigue, decreasing anxiety, lifting moods, improving sleep, and improving recovery.
Breath - The central dogma of yoga is to connect with your breath in the present moment. Novice and veteran lifters alike often struggle to time their breath optimally. A reduced supply of oxygen is directly correlated with reduced performance.
Body Awareness - Yoga brings great awareness to the body as well the breath. Through these strengthened neural connections, lifters will benefit greatly by being able to intuitively isolate muscle groups. Further, this heightened awareness will aid in preventing injury, as yogi’s are taught to maintain proper posture at all times.
Testosterone - The relaxing and stress reducing effects of Yoga proved time and time again can decrease levels of cortisol and result in increased levels of testosterone in males. Testosterone plays a key component in maintaining the anabolic (muscle building) state, and also is crucial in burning fat as well.
Motivation - As well as the hormonal system, experienced and consistent yogis demonstrate increased levels of antidepressant type neurotransmitters. These feel-good chemicals will help provide the motivation to get up, get out the door, and hit the gym!
Flexibility - Everyone sees (and to be honest, drools at) the photos of bendy yogis on social media. Most however, don’t make the correlation of how being stretchy also could improve their weightlifting. Higher flexibility means more range of motion, which allows you to hit more parts of your muscle groups, resulting in longer leaner muscle and more efficient lifts. Further, this increased strength in connective tissue will help reduce the likelihood of injury.
Author - Brad Vat