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Fresh, Fit and Healthy Fitness  

Stretch, Build Muscle & Relax


Add Yoga to Your Fitness Plan

 

By Tom Bonanti

  

 

If you’re looking for a fitness routine that will tone your body and soothe your mind, you may want to try yoga. This 5,000 year old workout involves moving in and out of a series of positions and postures while focusing upon relaxing breathing techniques. Yoga will improve flexibility and strengthen core muscles while relieving stress and tension. Whether you’re a couch potato, a muscle bound body builder, or a seasoned gymnast, there’s a yoga workout just for you.

 

According to fitness professional and yoga instructor, Kerci Stroud, the aim of yoga is to create harmony between the mind and body. This low impact workout won’t just give you inner peace – it will also give you great muscles. After a few sessions, many folks feel stronger, more flexible and less stressed. Yoga also improves balance and posture, sharpens concentration and makes you feel centered.

 

Yoga workouts run the gamut from slow and serene to fast and sweaty. Whether you want to improve muscle tone and lose fat or heighten your inner awareness, or all of the above, you can choose a workout to meet your fitness goals.

 

Beginners start with Hatha Yoga, which teaches the basic poses in a relaxed manner. Lyengar Yoga is more precise and involves focusing on proper muscle alignment by holding poses for extended periods of time. Ashtanga Yoga will kick your butt with its athletic routine of moving through a series of killer positions in rapid succession. A popular form of yoga is Bikram or “hot” yoga. This 26 pose routine will make you sweat since it is practiced in a room that is around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

You can find classes in all of the above yoga styles at yoga studios and many gyms. Classes can be private or in a group and usually last an hour to 90 minutes. Yoga instructors insist upon certain etiquette: no shoes or cell phones! Many experts suggest that yoga is best on an empty stomach.

 

If you’re a little squeamish about twisting around like a pretzel in public, you can try yoga at home with one of the many books, DVD’s or on-line tutorials available. This way you can work freely at your own pace. The down side is that you won’t have a seasoned guru on hand to help you correct and perfect your poses.

 

What you wear to your yoga class is important, unless of course your bag is naked yoga. In that case, arrive tidy, groomed and fresh. Otherwise wear clothes that are comfy and unrestrictive.

 

To create a dynamite fitness plan, you can compliment your weekly yoga sessions with cardio workouts. The muscles you build in yoga class will enhance your cardio and your cardio will build up your endurance for yoga. For seasoned body builders who just can’t give up the iron, some low impact yoga will make you more flexible – and greater flexibility translates into fewer injuries and better workouts.

 

Fresh Fit and Healthy
TOM BONANTI IS A CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER AND
OWNER OF PUMP’N INC GYM AT 1271 NE 9TH AVENUE
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL 33304, www.pumpnincgym.com.