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Yoga and Cardio

B Redmond2010-07-05 04:41:18 +0000 #1
I once heard that there is no need for cardio in yoga, nor in yogi philosophy.

I know that is kind of an vague, incomplete statement. I guess they meant to have optimum health, one does not need to train cardio particularly. Maybe this person meant running specifically when they say cardio. I dunno.

Does anything in yoga target the heart? Is running considered detrimental to yoga practice? (by yoga I mean either the Asanas, or else some other yogic philosophy). What is happening with yoga that would make these activities (running, swimming, etc.) unnecessary for ulitmate health with yoga?

Do my words make any sense? Has anybody else know what I am talking about? I know this is kind of vague, but i am hoping somebody can get a sense of what my problem is, and then be able to provide feed-back.
xela2010-07-05 04:43:47 +0000 #2
Hi there. In my opinion, I don't think there's anything that says you shouldn't do cardio when you practice asanas. A lot of people use yoga to supplement their other activities.

I know in my own practice that doing any other type of exercise effects my yoga practice in a negative way and therefore I have stopped, but I don't know how other people feel.
yogiforlife2010-07-05 05:01:27 +0000 #3
I've found that Yoga has improved my running. My muscle endurance is better, when something starts to hurt or bother me, I just focus on my breathing and work my way through it.
Hubert2010-07-05 05:25:18 +0000 #4
I am sure yoga asanas are enough to keep anyone fit. Certain poses increase the load on the heart, by creating extra tension in the vascular system, so they fortify, and maintain the heart also.

Of course if your target is specific like the ability to run long distances, running is better. It comes down to liking it or not, or needing it or not.

I like to run ... it makes the brain release endorphines, and gives you a natural high. Perhapes that's why advanced yogis find it detrimental to their sadhana, because it brings forth the rajasic aspect. But this is the same reason while running might be good for those in who tamas is predominant.
xela2010-07-05 06:13:21 +0000 #5

Originally Posted by yogiforlife

I've found that Yoga has improved my running. My muscle endurance is better, when something starts to hurt or bother me, I just focus on my breathing and work my way through it.

Yoga improved my running too, but running didn't improve my yoga! lol
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 06:23:45 +0000 #6
Yoga itself is a wellness system. The system, when fully employed, is very comprehenisive. As our lives change, as society changes, so too must the vast body of Yoga.

The rough spot with the OP's inquiry is the definition of or usage of "cardio". Typically it's text book usage. Getting the heart rate up to 60-80% of target heart rate (which used to be 220 minus your age) for 18 minutes or more.

This is a different definition than Aerobic.

Recent studies by the American Counsel on Exercise indicated that yoga (Hatha and Power were used in the study) did not meet the criteria for Aerobic exercise.

There are several ways to work the heart, which I am uncertain medical science has caught up with. We don't know everything and we should stop acting as if we do. Standing poses, for example, are supposed to bring the earth energy up into the pelvis, which feeds the heart. Strong Quadriceps can equal a good heart (based on the 40 years of practice my teacher shares).

Running, if done properly, can be okay. The thing is many people are not designed to run, do not have the proper mechanics to do so without damage (over time) and are not in shape to run. As my friend Tim says "you have to train to run, not run to train".

Whatever you do should be done with mindful choice and should be enjoyed. I think it is foolish to run for health while all the while detesting the activity.
B Redmond2010-07-05 07:28:52 +0000 #7
yeah, i know it was kind of vague with 'cardio' i tried to be as precise as i could, but then i dont know enough about fitness, and the person saying it wasnt clear as well.

Thinking about it some more, i imagine that if you did many surya namaskars in a row very quickly, that would get the heart moving.

Inner Athelete...could you elaborate more on strong quads and strong heart?

personally, i dont enjoy running. I was on the cross country and track team in high school, i can do it, but i just dont like it.
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 06:32:14 +0000 #8
There are synergies in the human body. Things work together like a team.

You ask specifically about elaboration on the quads and heart. There are a variety of ways to provide the human body with health. When all of the team members are doing their job, the team functions as a whole. For example, when the legs are developed properly through standing poses the student receives the physiologic benefit of having the legs support the nervous system. When the legs are not able to support the nervous system then the spine must do so. This can tax the nervous system. A nervous system that is taxed can misbehave in many ways.

Energetically, in standing poses, the students are connecting through the feet into the earth. In those poses the earth energy is drawn up the legs to feed the legs, and the pelvis, and ultimately the heart. The energy of the kidney can also lift the heart.

Certainly, Surya Namaskar is a series of movment, or Vinyasa, that has benefit. If you did ten per day I'd image you would be in pretty good health. Though you would not be prepared to run for a bus (which is what my friend the trainer claims running benefits - among other things).



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