9 great exercises to complement your yoga practice

Yoga is fantastic, isn’t it?

But sometimes, you might want to mix things up a bit.

Adding other exercises into your routine can enhance your yoga practice, making you stronger and more flexible.

And hey, who wouldn’t want that?

In this article, I’m going to share with you 9 great exercises that work perfectly alongside your yoga practice.

1) Pilates

Yoga and Pilates?

They’re like two peas in a pod.

Pilates is all about core strength, flexibility, and mind-body connection – sound familiar?

That’s right, these are the very same principles that underpin your yoga practice.

By incorporating Pilates exercises into your routine, you can enhance your yoga postures by strengthening your core and improving your flexibility.

And let’s not forget about the mind-body connection.

Just like yoga, Pilates encourages mindful movement, helping you to stay present and focused during your yoga practice.

2) Swimming

Now, this one is personal.

As a long-time yoga enthusiast, I started to look for a way to mix up my routine.

And that’s when I discovered swimming.

Swimming is an all-around workout that engages all the major muscle groups, which makes it a perfect complement to yoga.

I remember when I first started, I was amazed at how the fluidity of swimming mirrored the flow of yoga.

The water resistance added a whole new dimension to my workout, improving my strength and endurance.

After incorporating swimming into my routine, I noticed that my yoga poses improved, especially in terms of balance and stability.

Not only that, but the rhythmic and calming nature of swimming also helped me deepen my focus and mindfulness in yoga.

3) Cycling

Let’s talk about cycling.

Cycling is not just an amazing way to get around, but it’s also a fantastic exercise to complement your yoga practice.

Cycling builds your lower body strength, particularly the quadriceps, which are crucial for many standing and balancing yoga poses.

Here’s something you might not know: the Tour de France riders, who are some of the best cyclists in the world, often incorporate yoga into their training routines.

They’ve found that the flexibility and balance gained from yoga helps them improve their cycling performance.

So just like these professional cyclists, you too can benefit from the synergy between cycling and yoga.

4) Weightlifting

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

Weightlifting and yoga?


Surprisingly, yes!

Adding some weightlifting exercises into your routine can be very beneficial for your yoga practice.

Weightlifting helps build muscle strength and endurance.

This can be particularly beneficial for holding yoga poses for longer periods of time.

Additionally, weightlifting promotes bone density, which is crucial for overall health and preventing injuries – both on and off the yoga mat.

Just remember to start with lighter weights and gradually increase as your strength improves.

5) Running

Running and yoga seem like they’re at opposite ends of the exercise spectrum, right?

But hear me out.

Running is a high-intensity exercise that works out your cardiovascular system, improves endurance, and strengthens your leg muscles.

But running can also be hard on your body, especially if you’re pounding the pavement regularly.

This is where yoga comes in.

Yoga helps to stretch and lengthen the muscles that can become tight and imbalanced from running.

It also promotes recovery and reduces the risk of injury.

Incorporating running into your routine can add a new level of fitness to your yoga practice.

Plus, the meditative aspect of running can even enhance the mindfulness you cultivate through yoga.

So, lace up those running shoes and hit the road – your yoga mat will be waiting for you when you return.

6) Dancing

Oh, the joy of dancing!

There’s something magical about losing yourself in the rhythm of the music.

Dancing is a beautiful form of expression that engages your body and mind.

It’s all about moving with grace and fluidity, much like yoga.

When you dance, you’re not just moving your body, you’re also releasing your emotions.

This can be incredibly therapeutic and freeing.

Dancing can also help improve your balance, agility, and coordination, which are all vital for your yoga practice.

So next time you feel like shaking things up in your routine, put on your favorite music track and let yourself dance.

Trust me, it’s not just about the physical workout – it’s also about expressing your inner self and feeling the joy of movement.

7) Boxing

Boxing might not seem like an immediate companion to yoga, but it’s actually a match made in fitness heaven.

When I first stepped into a boxing gym, I was dealing with a lot of pent-up aggression and frustration.

I was looking for an outlet, a way to channel all this energy.

Boxing gave me that outlet.

The focus, discipline, and strength required in boxing mirrored the same qualities I cherished in my yoga practice.

Plus, boxing is an incredible full-body workout that builds strength, speed, and agility.

It also taught me a lot about the power of breath control – a key element in yoga.

8) Walking

Don’t underestimate the power of a good walk.

Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine.

Walking helps to improve cardiovascular health, boosts mood, and can even help with weight management.

Plus, it gives you a chance to connect with nature, which can be incredibly grounding and calming.

Much like yoga, walking encourages mindfulness.

As you walk, focus on your breath and the sensation of each step.

It’s a form of moving meditation that complements the mindfulness you cultivate in your yoga practice.

So, whether it’s a brisk morning walk or a leisurely evening stroll, adding walking to your routine can definitely enhance your yoga practice.

9) Meditation

Last but definitely not least is meditation.

While not a physical exercise in the traditional sense, meditation is a mental exercise that can deeply enrich your yoga practice.

Meditation helps to quiet the mind, enhance focus, and promote a sense of inner peace and clarity.

Incorporating meditation into your routine allows you to connect more deeply with your yoga practice, enhancing the mind-body connection that is at the heart of yoga.

It’s all connected

The beauty of yoga lies not just in the asanas, but in the holistic approach it encourages towards health and wellness.

Incorporating these exercises into your routine won’t just make you a better yogi, but it will also help you build a stronger, healthier, more balanced body.

Remember, every step you take on the running trail, every stroke you swim, every weight you lift, and every moment of quiet meditation – they all contribute to enhancing your yoga practice.

Whether it’s the increased flexibility from Pilates, the strength from weightlifting, or the tranquility from meditation, each exercise brings its own value to your yoga mat.

So go ahead.

Mix it up.

Try something new.

Challenge yourself.

Because at the end of the day, it’s all connected.

Bree Lennon

Bree Lennon

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