In my last article, I shared some information about keto foods that help combat inflammation.
With the reduction of inflammation, due to a well-formulated ketogenic diet, you are able to maximize your potential for recovery.
But you can also take advantage of the benefits of movement, mobility, and flexibility found in yoga.
Yoga is a group of practices originating in ancient India, most likely developed around the sixth century BCE. Yoga has been practiced over the centuries to help improve mental focus, gain strength, stamina and flexibility which any athlete can benefit from. Adding a steady yoga practice to a routine can help getting stronger and even aid in recovery.
When the body is disciplined to practice form over function multiple things come together. It’s not just about building muscle, it’s also about building the underlying structures of tendons, ligaments, and neurological response. Yoga is a great way to builds this awareness and underlying systems. It’s continual cueing of the muscles helps to build neurological pathways to the brain.
Yoga in practice is about movement and breath. Yoga postures are sequenced with the breath in such a way as to take full advantage of human anatomy and even push its development. Yoga poses done out of sequence with the breath can cause undo exhaustion and fatigue. When the breathing and poses are properly linked the flow is smooth, the breath is smooth. With breathing under control, the body can be pushed deeper and deeper into a pose. The poses can even be held for longer durations similar to an isometric hold. The linking of breath and movement helps to develop the lungs and diaphragm, and circulate oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.
Tight muscles can be a foundation for further injury. When the underlying structures are properly developed and flexible the muscle and joints are kept safe. Supple joints and muscles move freely, having a better range of motion. When joint and muscle flexibility is developed, additional muscles can be called into action without worry of injury. The increase in flexibility and range of motion means all systems are working together to produce efficient movement and thus power.
Putting It Together
Some people may think they have no time to add yoga to their current routine or think it’s difficult. If that describes you, then consider this. Within all exercise routines, there is proper downtime for rest and recovery. There is no better way to rest tired muscles and joints than with oxygen rich, deep stretching. There is no need of going to a separate yoga class, it can be done from any location. All that is required is a small amount of space and about thirty minutes.
Shown below is a traditional sequence know as sun salutations or surya namaskar. The poses are shown indicating the inhale and exhale of the breath. As mentioned the movement and breath is linked. Do the poses slowly at first to gain an understanding of the linking. Do the sequence with as much attention detail as possible, listening to the body and how it feels physically. When this is done adjustments can be made to further push the pose into a deeper stretch or backed off as needed. When the sequence is done at a quicker tempo it has more of a cardio type of effect. When done slower with deeper breathing it’s more like a sequence of isometric holds.
Sun Salutations / Surya Namaskar
Start with the left foot forward in posture #4 and #9, this is half of one round. Do the next half with the right foot forward in posture #4 and #9. This completes one full round. Traditionally a full sequence is 12 rounds.
How Effective Is Sun Salutation in Improving Muscle Strength, General Body Endurance and Body Composition? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3289222/