By Samantha Fox Olson
I love yoga, high intensity interval training and lifting weights. All of these disciplines offer a plethora of benefits when practiced individually; but when practiced together — think in terms of an overall weekly plan — your body will experience new levels of strength, stamina, awareness, coordination and ability.
Yoga works mostly slow-twitch muscle fibers; but do you know approximately 50 percent of your muscle fibers are fast/super-fast twitch muscle fibers? This means 50 percent of your body’s muscle potential may be left unchallenged if you only practice yoga.
Being a die-hard yoga junkie, I played exclusively in that world for about 10 years. About four years ago, I branched out and took all the amazing things I loved about yoga and spiked it up by adding weight training and high-intensity interval training.
My path taught me a lot; and I know it can shine some light for you and your miraculous body too.
I now strategically weave plyometrics, high-intensity interval training and unique strength training exercises into my fitness classes to strengthen muscle fibers that get under-challenged in yoga. And my body feels more alive now at 39 than I did when I was 29! That is why I am so fired up about sharing and teaching such a synergistic blend of movement and play for optimal health and vibrancy!
Let’s get back to the amazing benefits of all these disciplines:
Yoga teaches us optimal alignment, body awareness, and balance; and gives us the space to slow down and notice sensations and feelings in our bodies. Priceless!
High Intensity Interval Training gifts us power, agility, speed, cardio vascular health and can increase our endurance. Awesome!
Yoga also nourishes our nervous system deeply and in ways that high-intensity fitness training does not address. I have so much gratitude for yoga. It is truly the foundation of all my other practices. But what you may notice is that in most yoga sessions, your heart rate does not fluctuate too much during practice, leaving our cardiovascular system under-challenged in relationship to its potential.
Hence, with the fusion of heart pumping, high-intensity training, your body in its entirety will be turned on!
The above fitness regimes use body weight for resistance and strength building, which is great. And if this is all you have to work with, you can rock your body’s potential. Yet, by bringing in even greater resistance with hand weights or other equipment we can further skyrocket our body’s capacity to be a sculpted, toned and symmetrically gorgeous design. In other words, weight training could possibly be a missing tool for your body’s overall aesthetic expression.
Think of yourself as an artist and your body as the art form. By using the tools of yoga, HIIT and weight lifting, you have a greater toolbox to design your dream body.
Diversifying your weekly practices and/or workouts with weaving both yoga and fitness will not only increase your body’s potential by working every muscle fiber, get your heart pumping and cardio vascular system strong, keep your muscles supple, your body awareness high and your nervous system nourished, but is also great for injury prevention, keeping your drive and enthusiasm for being in your body exciting and fresh, and keeping your body from plateauing.
When you infuse yoga and fitness approach into your weekly exercise time, watch out world, your potential multiplies. Try it and see how having such a diverse approach to playing in your body lights you up too.
And before you know it, your friends will be asking what are you doing differently. Because not only will your physical body be shifting, but there can be a profound inner shift with this fusion too. Like one of my online clients who shared with me just today, “I recently posted this photo and a high school friend I haven’t seen or spoken with in ages wrote, ‘Your soul is shining! Wow!’”
Now go get’em! Because what if you have yet to scratch the surface of your miraculous body’s potential?
- Samantha Fox Olson trains women locally and globally with her online yoga and fitness program. Find out more at http://kauaiyogaandfitness.com.