Endurance is simply “the ability to persevere,” whether doing an aerobic or an anaerobic activity. We’ve all had that moment when our inner voice shouts, “I can’t do anymore burpees or I can’t run any faster” but by having the ability to keep going, to push through the pain, and driving you to reach your maximum effort for a given length of time is fundamental to your overall strength.
Improving your endurance can make your cardiovascular and respiratory systems more efficient and decrease both your resting heart rate variability (HRV) and stress levels; it can also increase your metabolism, help you maintain a healthy posture, reduce fatigue and prevent injuries.
Yoga can help improve your endurance because it can increase stamina on several different levels: physical, physiological and mental. The three main areas are:
2. Core strength
The key to endurance is to better utilise your oxygen intake. The body relies on oxygen for producing energy while exercising, and so a person with good endurance has a greater capacity to deliver oxygen to the working muscles that make use of this oxygen during exercise. Yoga is the pairing of movement with breath and by conscious breath work that yoga teaches us, it helps us to pay attention to the quality of the breath, you learn to observe and perhaps even manipulate your breathing during physical activities.
Endurance is not only about breathing better, it’s about developing the muscles so they are stronger and more supple so that they do not fatigue as quickly is equally as important. In yoga, there are many poses that promote the lengthening of muscles as well as strengthening and stabilising poses to improve core strength.
Abdominal strengthening, is one of the most important things to keeping a body strong, centred and powerful. A strong core supports the body from the inside out, improving running posture and protecting your back and hips.
Athletes who are out there on long, solo training runs already know about developing an inward, mindful state of being, a.k.a. “the zone.” Staying mindful of your breath helps achieve this. Yoga improves one’s endurance by helping you to relax, preserve energy and concentrate, especially in demanding circumstances. Yoga gives you the mental strength to be still and to concentrate in the midst of a difficult pose or while your muscles are burning. With yoga, you learn the ability to observe the patterns of tension in the body that take away from efficiency.
Endurance training requires developing an inward and mindful state, and athletes are always encouraged to “stay in the moment.” Focus (dharana) and being in the moment (dhyana) are integral to a yoga practice.
If you want to work on any of the above, Yoga for Muscle Recovery is on the schedule in Leeson St on Tuesdays @ 13.30 (45 mins) and Saturdays @ 09.3o & 10.30 (45mins) and is part of your membership.
My classes combine dynamic yoga flow (vinyasa style) and mobility exercises as it's all about feeling good and moving with intent and control.
It's great for active recovery especially if you just can't face another Metcon or strength session!
Each Wednesday, I will take an in-depth look into one of the benefits above and give you no nonsense, easy to understand information around it.