We all love that feeling - the music blaring, the feeling of being a little out of breathe, our heartbeats racing. When you leave the room after Sweata Weatha or (B) High Speed, you know you have worked hard and are ready to face the day or week ahead. But sometimes what we need between these super intense cardiovascular and strength training workouts is to stretch out the kinks, deepen our breath, detox our bodies and open our hearts. There are many so benefits to yoga, beyond merely stretching and getting “zen." This is why we poured our hearts into the creation of the Treehouse. It not only offers a fun private space to grow our community, but it also offers everyone an opportunity to take their wellness to another level. Here are some reasons why we all sometimes need to jump from the bike to the mat for a little Namaste.
Strength in the Stretch Yoga helps build strength and flexibility simultaneously. When you’re in Warrior Two, the opposition of stretching and holding the pose means you are strengthening the muscles that are engaged while lengthening and elongating. Talk about long and lean! Also, the more flexible and strong your muscles and joints are, the more prevention you are taking against injury. And when coupled with weight training and intense cardio, muscles that would usually become stiff and vulnerable to injury become supple and will increase your abilities and range of motion on and off the bike.
Our joints are sensitive things and need a little TLC. While they are built for impact (think Alex’s jump squats in Tight End or Michelle’s high knees in Upper Class), the cartilage around those joints still need to be nourished and protected against wear-and-tear. Yoga gets deep into areas of cartilage that aren't normally utilized and helps drive nutrients to those areas that are not often reached. The cartilage then stays supple and well-maintained and prevents our joints and bones from injury.
Breath – Food for the Cells
Yoga gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result. Yoga rides the breath and the breath mixed with poses like twists and inversions wring out your body of old blood and replenish it with freshly oxygenated blood. It’s like a juice cleanse for the blood stream. Yum..?
Yoga lowers cortisol levels. Most of us have high levels of this stress hormone caused by all sorts of things (pressure at work, too much coffee, etc) but chronically high levels take a toll on memory and may lead to permanent changes in the brain, not to mention high levels of cortisol facilitates obesity, linked with major depression, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. And yoga helps to lower the potential for all these ailments? Yes!
One study found that a consistent yoga practice improved depression and led to a significant increase in serotonin levels, the levels of your internal happy drug. Yoga has found time and again to be linked with greater levels of happiness and even better immunity. So fight off those diseases with a zen-like smile. Can you say ‘peaceful warrior’?
When we practice yoga, we practice being more mindful and aware. We all know we burn calories in yoga, but a regular practice may also help us make wiser and more healthy food and lifestyle choices outside of class! And along with being more in touch with you body and having a keener sense of awareness, this may also create a sensitivity to food cravings and maybe even curbing emotional binge eating!
“So you mean yoga can stimulate my metabolism, lower bad cholesterol and stress hormones, increase flexibility, prevent injury and increase my overall wellbeing?” you may ask? Yes. That’s exactly what we mean.
The point being: every once in a while, take that long lean riding machine, and hang out in a down dog with us. Things look pretty good from down there.
Come Rock n' Ohm with us, we won't steer you wrong. See you on a mat.