Benefits Come with Consistency
By Coming Soon • November 25th, 2010 • 3935 Views
Recognizing that yoga is a life-long practice, the benefits and changes achieved with yoga require patience, respectful observance, and consistency. Without these basic elements, one's yoga practice often strays, losses focus, and lacks holistic results. This article discusses some of principles behind these basic elements and offers tips in creating a fulfilling yoga program.
Principle of Progressive Overload
In any physical activity or exercise program, the general concept of progressive overload should be observed. The body is highly adaptable and settles into the dominant state it is placed in. If one is sedentary and pursuing unhealthy lifestyle habits, the body readily collapses into blockages, loses healthy tissues, and shifts into states of disease. Likewise, when one introduces yoga or other forms of healthy exercise into the body, the body (muscles, bones, organs, nervous system) will adapt to this conditioning. Progressive overload is where one mindfully introduces holistic stressors on the musculoskeletal system. To define stressors, this is where one would apply gradual increases in intensity or duration of an exercise to encourage the musculoskeletal system to adapt and improve. These adaptations occur at the microscopic level, so one can then imagine that only slight increases are needed and should be applied to avoid over stressing the body's systems.
How is progressive overload applied to yoga?
In our yoga practice, we aim to heal the body with our practice and not stress it to points of injury and overwhelming fatigue. We can, however, gently add slight increases in depth or holding of postures. We can incorporate slightly more challenging variations of poses or transitions.
Whenever we apply this overload principle, one must shed the Ego and listen fully.
Am I able to retain postural integrity, control, and fullness of breath with this increase?
How does my body feel the next day-no discernable soreness, fatigue, or decrease range of motion due to stiffness?
Here are some tips to generating a consistent yoga practice that follows the progressive overload principle:
*Know your appropriate level. Starting off (or returning to) with high level practice without prior experience can shock the musculoskeletal system by going past the desired overload effects and...