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Old 10-27-04, 10:21 AM   #1
Gary Brower
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Yoga or Stretching

I know that yoga DOES stretch one's body. I'm just wondering, from those of you who've done both, if there is any advantage physically to yoga over basic stretching?

Gary
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Old 10-27-04, 10:35 AM   #2
don d.
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Yoga is much more than just stretching. If one looks at just the physical aspects of Hatha Yoga, it is designed not only to stretch the muscles, but to stimulate the muscles, connective tissues, internal organs, and the nervous system. The various poses work to put pressure on and stimulate the organs, connective tissues, and certain parts of the nervous system. If done correctly, the stimulation from yoga can often produce a general feeling of well being. I'm not sure if it is an endorphin high, but it seems very similar to me in my experience.
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Old 10-27-04, 10:36 AM   #3
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Yoga does stretch the body. But it also does much more than this. It also strengthens muscles by fighting against gravity. It's amazing what kind of workout you can get simply by opposing gravity in ways we've never thought of before. The other benefit I get from yoga class, is that I can't cheat or skip an asana with my instructor there. At home, I'm more apt to not hold a pose as long or not to got in as deep as I could be. I have been going to yoga twice a week for a few months and it's been toning my body, strengthening my core and legs and stretching my hamstrings, among other things.
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Old 10-27-04, 10:45 PM   #4
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I appreciate the input . . .

One thing I neglected to mention is that I'm in the gym a couple times a week doing weight work (both upper and lower body), so the strength-training side of yoga isn't necessarily an issue.
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Old 10-28-04, 07:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Brower
I appreciate the input . . .

One thing I neglected to mention is that I'm in the gym a couple times a week doing weight work (both upper and lower body), so the strength-training side of yoga isn't necessarily an issue.
Not correct.

I have been doing strength training (resistive exercises) for over 10 years, including working out 10 diffferent sets of muscles (i.e., back, tri's. bi's, hams, etc.)

I have only been to two Yoga beginning classes, and I can only say - WOW! in regards to their owrking my muscles in ways that I have never worked them, and that I pooped out muscularly long before the sweet little ladies and sort of looked like a fool.

It is a tough workout.
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Old 10-28-04, 08:10 AM   #6
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Well said DnvrFox.

New guys will come to my yoga classes and they look like football players. These guys have definition, arms the size of my legs, necks the size of my waist. But they can't make it thru their first yoga class. Without fail, they have to stop and rest awhile. Yoga doesn't fall nicely into any category, stretching, cardio, strength training. Yet is falls into all 3 at the same time. Yoga is yoga. Many yoga studios have introductory offers, like 2 classes for $10 to new students. Take a class or 2 and I bet you will be very surprised with your body.
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Old 10-28-04, 10:24 AM   #7
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Okay. Good observations/advice. I appreciate it.

My situation is that I'm trying to fit in stretching/yoga, weight training, & cycling into allotable time. Here in the Bay Area of CA, we can pretty much cycle all year, so I don't want to give short shrift to my saddle-time.
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Old 10-28-04, 11:14 AM   #8
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I'm doing much the same. For several months I have been doing 2 yoga classes a week, weight-training 2 times a week and commuting on my bike to work daily. Starting monday, I'm ramping up yoga to 4 times a week and weight-training to 3 times a week. Time is always an issue when you throw in things like preparing healthy meals and maintaining a relationship, not to mention planning a wedding that i'm trying to desperately to get in shape for.

edit: i'm also a member on the forums over at yoga.com i know there are a lot of bay area californians on the boards, just ask in the beginner's forum and you're sure to get some direction.
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Old 11-12-04, 06:13 PM   #9
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This is kind of a late addition to the thread, but I find that yoga has also improved my focus and balance. I stay far more relaxed when attempting some technical mtbiking. Now, I fall less often but with awareness and sensitivity!

I use a lot of Brian Kest and Rodney Yee's tapes so I can fit it in according to my schedule.
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Old 11-13-04, 06:04 PM   #10
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Yoga looks more strenuous than it is, that's for sure. It also requires balance,but if your sense of balance isn't great, like mine, it helps you improve. ANd it helps flexibility.And you can do as much as your body is able. Some yoga stretches are great, and I include them in my after workout stretch routine. Like the cobra- greatfor stretching the lower back. The breathing exercises are also very relaxing and invigorating at the same time.
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