The Most Effective Methods for Integrating Yoga Into Your Workout Routine

Dean PohlmanBlogs, From Dean1 Comment

Effective Methods for Integrating Yoga

Effective Methods for Integrating YogaHow do I integrate yoga into my existing workout routine? The point of this blog is to tell you how to effectively include yoga in your existing workout routine, or how to create a new one including yoga. This blog is packed full of incredibly valuable information, that took years to come up with. Please use it and feel free to share!

This article is for YOU, the guy that likes yoga but still wants to do his/her other workouts. The best way to maintain optimal fitness is by doing a variety of physical fitness – not just one! That’s why it is important to make sure that you are combining yoga with other forms of fitness, including cardio, resistance training (bodyweight resistance / calisthenics is fine!), swimming, sports, etc.
Man Flow Yoga (and some more aggressive forms of yoga) are great for the following:

  • flexibility
  • range of motion
  • core strength
  • balance
  • promoting relaxation / lowering stress through activation of the parasympathetic nervous system
  • improving breathing technique
  • baseline muscular development
  • increasing testosterone and sex drive

Here is a short list of some things that yoga does NOT adequately address (although it does help):

  • Speed up your metabolism
  • Strengthen your heart (your cardiovascular ability)significantly grow muscle (yoga will help you grow muscle, but it will not make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger)
  • Activate your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight)
  • Strengthen posterior upper body muscles (it lacks pulling exercises like rows or pull-ups)
    • Note: If you are doing handstands or inversions with yoga, then you are strengthening your back muscles, but you still need to make sure you’re doing rowing/pulling exercises)
  • Build explosive power (such as that required for quickly pushing, pulling, jumping, sprinting, etc)

Note: If I have said anything contradictory to what I have written above in my previous blogs or posts, I apologize for the misinformation. Much of what I said when Man Flow Yoga (and I) was younger was based on what I was told by yoga instructors, which they often learned from other yoga instructors or “gurus” that made exaggerated claims about the benefits of yoga, without any scientific evidence to support them.

Now that you know what yoga can and cannot do, here are some ways that you can work yoga into your workout routine.

  1. A yoga cool-down or workout (lasting 15 – 30 minutes) immediately following a workout or practice to help reduce soreness the next day.
    • The goals here are to:
      1. relax and lengthen muscles to reduce tightness the following day
      2. reduce the risk of soft-tissue injuries from overtraining
    • The focus here is on typically restorative stretches, such as Pigeon, Lizard (knee down), and Downward-Facing Dog, instead of strength-building exercises like Plank, Warrior 2, and Chair Pose.
  2. A short yoga primer (lasting anywhere from 5 – 30 minutes) immediately followed by a workout, practice, or game.
    • The goals here are to:
      1. activate the muscles in the body so that when you are utilizing all of the necessary muscles in full-body movements and exercises (think of it like turning on all of the “on” switches for the muscles in your body)
      2. properly align the body to exercise without imbalances or improper form
      3. “warm up” muscles to reduce the risk of injury (so that you aren’t working out with poor form)
    • Poses should last no more than 30 seconds to avoid fatiguing the muscles.
  3. A yoga workout on its own (with the yoga workout lasting 30 – 60 minutes), done the day before cardio, a strength training workout or sports practice.
    • The goals here are to:
      1. Address imbalances in the body, such as a weak or inflexible side of your body stemming from repeated movements in one direction or favoring a dominant side
        improve balance
      2. improve range of motion and build strength within this range of motion (getting deeper into a pose and then holding it to teach your body that it can exert force while it is at that expanded range)
      3. improve core strength and core integration in full body movements (using your core more to prevent injuries to your spine)
    • Exercises here can last more than 30 seconds, which allows your muscles to lengthen more as you progressively increase your depth in the pose, and also leads to muscle fatigue (which promotes muscle growth!)
    • Includes strength-building exercises like Warrior 2, Cobra, and Dolphin (held for longer periods of time)
    • Includes balance poses like Warrior 3, Standing Bow, and Eagle to improve balance and strengthen the body
    • Does NOT have to conclude with restorative exercises, but is recommended if times permits
  4. A morning yoga workout leading up to an evening workout or game, lasting 20 – 45 minutes and mostly focusing on deep, restorative stretching.
    • The goals here are to:
      1. Lightly fatigue the body by activating muscles just to the point where muscle burn sets in (far from the point of muscle failure)
      2. properly align the body for the day
      3. soothe and lengthen tight, aggravated muscles
      4. prepare the body for activity later in the day
    • Poses should last no more than 30 seconds to avoid fatiguing the muscles significantly
    • The workout should start with warm-up poses like Low Lunge, Child’s Pose, Cat-cow, and Bird-dog, progress to more intense poses like Warrior 1, Warrior 2, and Downward-Facing Dog, and then conclude with restorative stretches like Pigeon, Lizard, and Needle Thread.

Yoga can be extremely effective as a complementary or primary form of fitness in your workout routine, but doing too much exercise can actually limit improvements in physical fitness or muscular atrophy (aka gainz). Try to incorporate these tips into your training to maximize your efficiency and get as strong as you can! (and get the body that you want!)

Enjoy this information! Get the tools and the resources you need to start implementing everything above by taking a look at my #1 bestselling eBook, Yoga Basics for Men, available in PDF format on the Man Flow Yoga online store, or on Amazon Kindle.

About The Author

Dean Pohlman is an E-RYT 200 certified yoga instructor and the founder of Man Flow Yoga. Dean is widely considered to be an authority on Yoga for Men. His workouts and programs have been used by professional and collegiate athletes, athletic trainers, as well as Physical Therapists in Texas.

Dean is a successful published Author through DK Publishing (Yoga Fitness for Men), selling 25,000 copies worldwide, in addition to being a co-producer of the Body by Yoga DVD Series, which has sold over 40,000 copies on Amazon since its release in 2016.

Man Flow Yoga has been featured in Muscle & Fitness Magazine, Men’s Health, The Chicago Sun, New York Magazine, and many more major news media outlets.

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