There's a misconception that yoga is a "soft" workout. People tend to associate yoga with images of long-limbed, slender people stretching their bodies for prolonged spells.
Yoga is often associated with people with relatively low muscle mass. Cardio and other strength workouts are seen as the domain of bulk and "tough" folk. However, this is quite wrong.
As you'll see in this article, yoga can greatly benefit even military personnel, fire fighters, and other muscular, "tough" tactical athletes.
How Can Yoga Help Tactical Athletes?
Yoga is what you need if you're in the military or perform highly tactical, physically intense operations that drain mental and physical reserves in equal measure.
Yoga is a workout that's as intense as it ever goes. However, its purpose goes beyond that of mere cardio. You engage your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems by focusing your breathing and consciously coordinating your body's movements.
As a tactical athlete, this system, typically referred to as the "fight-or-flight" instinct, is often tasked as intensely as your physical muscles. As you train every day, running to and fro danger and straining your body's natural signals, switching to normal life afterward can be a challenge. In addition, yoga can help to optimize your field performance and improve sleep.
So, get it out of your mind that yoga's for the softies. In fact, yoga can help you to build physical strength. Whatever training routine you're on, integrating yoga is the way to go.
Yoga Helps You Build Strength
Each time you practice yoga, you engage in a complete body workout. For instance, a typical vinyasa class, complete with the many chaturangas, involves holding up your body weight with sheer discipline, focus, and determination. This particular exercise strengthens your arms and strains your core and abs intensely.
This combination of muscle lengthening and strengthening is great for combat exercises. In short, yoga helps you to build tremendous strength and stamina.
Yoga Helps You Regulate Your Nervous System
Yoga forms consist of meditation and deep breathing exercises. These forms impact the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis, the section of the brain in charge of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
Reductions in heart rate and blood pressure can be affected by yoga. Basically, your body takes cues from the brain before calming down.
Yoga harnesses these deep breathing forms and focuses them so that individuals can consciously regulate this part of their nervous system, even in strenuous or tense scenarios.
You can channel the training from yoga exercises when relaxing after a stressful day or when you need clarity to focus on life's challenges.
Yoga Helps with Flexibility
Yoga is great for flexibility in various dimensions. The physical flexibility is a given. However, it also extends to mental flexibility.
Regular yoga practice allows you to stay focused on tasks at any time of day. Additionally, your reaction times in tricky situations will be impressive.
Also, the stamina gained from steady yoga can give you the fortitude to see yourself through difficult and extreme physical situations.
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