We often hear questions about where yoga fits into a fitness program. Is it cardio? Strength training? Stretching? Yoga is a unique form of fitness that encompasses some of these principles. A good fitness program includes cardio (at least 20 minutes, three days per week), strength training (for every major muscle group, at least two sessions per week) and flexibility training (ideally every time you exercise or at least three times per week).
Yoga itself cannot provide you with the same benefits as cardio and strength training. However, my experts coach consider yoga to be a great addition to a well-rounded fitness program. Yoga is great for flexibility (especially if you tend to skip stretching altogether). And while athletic yoga styles (such as Ashtanga) may elevate your heart rate to an aerobic level, the average calorie burn of a yoga class is not comparable to running or other forms of cardio. Consider yoga to be a restorative practice, offering diverse benefits that enhance your overall fitness level and mind-body connection.
The following link will help you begin a yoga practice:
http://www.Gaiam.com: Retailer of various yoga props, kits, books, videos and DVDs for a variety of fitness levels.
You can practice yoga as often as it fits into your schedule, whether once a week or daily. Each session can be as long or as short as you’d like, whether you choose a few poses that you enjoy or take a 90-minute yoga class. No matter how often you do yoga, you will begin to see positive outcomes with consistent practice. Spark people. Namaste!