When we get into a training regimen, our movements become second nature, and our bodies adapt quickly. This is referred to as muscle memory.
While learning how to do squats, push-ups, and crunches effectively is beneficial, relying on these exercises to continually develop gains won’t provide you the results you want. This is because the muscles always act in the same way.
Simply put, people aren’t “surprised,” thus they become complacent.
Adding fluidity to your daily routine Yoga is a great method to surprise your muscles, especially if you’re new to yoga and haven’t attempted the positions before. When you drive, it’s as if you’re on a new road home, deviating from your normal route.
According to science, you’re developing new neuropathways in your brain by doing so. When you try a new routine, your muscles do the same thing. How is this accomplished? Let’s get started.
How Flow Yoga Boost Your Gains in Your Workout Routine
Think about your current workouts:
If you lift weights, you rely on external tools to engage your various muscle groups. Over time, your shoulders, legs, or biceps will come to expect the weighted plates or dumbbells, in the repetitive sequences that you remember.
We use our bodies as the weight in flow yoga. When you combine gravity with hundreds of various postures and combinations, you get a workout that works the same muscle areas in a variety of ways.
Plank is a full-body workout that engages every muscle in the body to keep it in one long line. Even though it’s a stationary pose, it necessitates muscle control and activation, with no place for indifference.
A Flow sequence, on the other hand, requires your muscles to quickly switch from one pose to the next, allowing you to work all of your major muscle groups in a more balanced and healthy manner.
These positions and routines not only re-energize the body but also help you to learn something new, which is beneficial to the mind.
What’s the bottom line? Adding flow yoga to your fitness routine is like clicking the shuffle button on your workouts.
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Energizing Flow Yoga with Added Cardio
Vinyasa yoga is another name for flow yoga. Vinyasa approximately translates to “one breath, one movement” in Sanskrit, the sacred language of the practice and its Indian roots.
First and foremost, this guideline improves your breathing by teaching you how to transition from shallow, chest-only breathing to a deeper, belly-chest breath that utilizes the full lung system.
Not only is this good for a variety of health reasons (fighting allergies, eliminating pollutants, reducing stress, and easing anxiety), but it also has a significant impact on our muscles, and hence our workout.
The aerobic effect will get you warmed up to take on the more strenuous postures in a flow yoga session while flooding your muscles with rich oxygen will keep them healthy. This helps to avoid injury and cramps.
The Sun Salutation sequence is the best example of invigorating cardio in flow yoga. On an inhale or exhale, each stance is finished.
You can repeat a whole sequence numerous times to encourage you to take fuller, deeper breaths. The cycles warm-up and loosen the body, preparing the muscles for longer-held stationary positions.
To conduct a Sun Salutation Flow, follow these steps:
The muscles are not put through a strenuous workout as a result of the Sun Salutations, but rather primed and prepared with stimulating air.
Why is this important, you ask? Because happy muscles are warmed-up muscles.
The Best Thing About Flow Yoga
The best thing about practicing flow yoga? You’re building strength and flexibility.
Strength and flexibility are like the Mecca of a wholesome workout routine. Before we get into why this is important, let’s break these two down individually to see how they stand up on their own:
Meet Strong Stan
Stan is working out at the gym, doing big dumbbell bicep curls. His muscles have reached their maximum size, and he proudly flaunts them. Strong Stan enjoys lifting weights, but he rarely stretches or warms up.
He doesn’t understand how that will help him maintain his muscle gains, so he immediately begins a strenuous workout. Stan’s muscles are hurting, even if it isn’t visible to passers-by.
Stan’s muscles are shortening and tightening due to a lack of suppleness and conscious stretching. Joint injuries result as a result of this Because muscles that aren’t stretched have a limited range of motion.
Big muscles are a sure sign of strength, but here’s the catch: if you don’t value flexibility, you’re putting your muscles at risk.
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Meet Flexible Fiona
Flexible Fiona is relaxing into a backbend in a flow yoga session. While the teacher cues the class, she effortlessly gets into the posture and “hangs” out there for a few breaths.
Despite the teacher’s instructions to engage the glutes and remember that this is an active pose, Flexible Fiona chooses to relax into the pose, forsaking the strength she should be developing.
Fiona’s backbend execution would be a success – perhaps even something to envy – too many in the class. Fiona, on the other hand, is unaware that her extreme flexibility is actually harming her joints.
Tony Gummerson, a Martial Arts instructor, defines flexibility as the “absolute range of motion.” That line of the absolute range is typically unclear for persons who are naturally flexible, and it is often disregarded in practice.
Fiona’s flexibility parameters are far wider than what Strong Stan may experience in a similar stance, therefore it’s very easy for her to go outside her range of motion.
Fiona needs to push the edge of her flexibility because she doesn’t feel the stretch in the same degree of motion as the other students in class. This puts too much strain on already overworked joints, as well as overstretching muscles that are prone to ripping.
Your objective is to achieve balance and wholeness in your muscles and joints.
Strong Stan and Flexible Fiona have one thing in common: they’re both lacking in muscle awareness.
Stan’s muscles, which are heavy and tight, need flexibility. Stan would not only reach a plateau in his increases due to a certain injury, but he would also miss out on having the sleek and toned muscles that we have.
In Fiona’s case, her overstretched muscles are not getting a workout at all. Rather, her excessive flexibility is resting on her joints, which leads to definite injury.
So what can you do? It’s quite simple.
You have to give your muscles the opposite of what they’re used to.
If you’re a Stan and hate stretching, focusing on your flexibility is key. You will lengthen your tight muscles, and you’ll create new muscle memory by practicing routines that are new to you and your muscle groups.
If you’re a Fiona and hate strengthening, focusing on this priority is vital. Your muscles are used to being passive as you stretch, so shaking up the usual and putting them to work will not only keep you injury-free but that much closer to the muscle gains you’ve been looking for.
Fortunately, flow yoga is the whole package and can be the one-stop shop for both Stan and Fiona.
If you’re serious about using flow yoga to supplement your workout routine to boost gains, sign up for a class at your local gym or yoga studio.
There are a number of styles of yoga to try, but as we’ve discussed in this article, the Vinyasa style is your best bet to complement a moderate exercise regimen.
Many studios offer beginner-style Vinyasa courses, in which the instructor explains the fundamentals and breaks down the sequences at a tempo appropriate for newcomers.
From there, the learner can advance their practice by enrolling in more difficult, fast-paced sessions like Power Flow or Ashtanga.
Working out is a lesson in muscle development. The results of that experience are the gains we make, and it all boils down to conditioning our bodies in a healthy, efficient, and balanced manner.
We may add supplemental training to our present routine with a practice like flow yoga that will work our muscles in new, renewing, and “surprising” ways.
This strategy will keep our muscles toned and slender as long as we maintain a balance of strength and flexibility to meet both of these requirements. Our body health and muscular gains