10 alternatives to yoga with great benefits

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Yoga is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world because it has positive effects on mental and physical health, as well as a positive impact on stress levels, body image, and overall quality of life.

However, if I’m being completely honest, it just doesn’t really spark any joy in me.

You see, I love the benefits of Yoga, but the activity itself became a bit boring to me, so I started doing some research.

And the good news?

I found some amazing alternatives to yoga that have similar, if not better benefits!

If you are also tired of doing the same yoga poses over and over again, here are some alternatives for you:

1) Pilates

Pilates is a great form of exercise that can help you strengthen your core, improve your posture, and reduce back pain.

It also improves flexibility, reduces stress, and improves your balance and coordination.

All in all, Pilates is a great way to get a full-body workout while improving your posture, flexibility, and strength.

It’s also a great way to reduce stress, improve your breathing, and improve your mental health.

There are many variations of Pilates, so there is something for everyone, from complete beginners to experienced exercisers.

If you are new to Pilates, it’s best to start with a beginner’s class to learn the proper technique.

Now: the thing is, depending on the Pilates teacher, you will work with your breath as you move.

This is exactly how I prefer to work out, it really connects your body to your breath, in a similar way yoga does.

So if you are new to Pilates, it’s best to go with a beginner class and see if that works for you.

What does that mean, working out with your breath?

Well, take this simple core exercise as an example:

As I’m coming down, I’m inhaling, when I come up (which is the harder part), I exhale.

Doing this is not only beneficial for your mind-body connection, but also for your overall exercise performance!

I love how similar Pilates is to Yoga, only that it is a bit more physically demanding and I see even more positive changes in my body.

The thing is, yoga can be a great workout, don’t get me wrong, but if you really want to get a sweat going, Pilates is a great alternative.

And the best part?

Pilates strengthens your deep core muscles.

Why is that important?

Well, maybe you aren’t aware of this, but your core is really the center of your body.

And this is where your organs are located: your heart, lungs, and stomach.

And if you have weak core muscles, you are more susceptible to injuries and other sicknesses like back pain or even stress.

So if you want a great workout that also strengthens your core muscles, Pilates is the way to go!

2) Qigong

Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice that combines meditation and exercise.

It helps to reduce stress, improve your mental and physical health, increase your energy, and improve your overall quality of life.

There are many benefits to qigong, so it’s important to find a class that you like and that fits your needs.

Many qigong classes focus on the spiritual side of things, while others are more on the physical side.

If you want to try qigong, look for a class near you and try a few different kinds until you find one that you like.

The cool thing about qigong is that it is actually a martial arts practice.

So, not only are you getting the benefits of mediation and body posture, but you are also learning how to defend yourself.

What I personally love about qigong is that it is a holistic form of exercise.

It combines body, mind, and spirit to produce a more complete and balanced workout.

And that is why I love qigong so much!

Anything that benefits mindfulness, meditation, breathing, and movement is a-okay in my book!

3) Tai Chi

Tai Chi is similar to qigong in that it combines meditation and exercise.

It helps to reduce stress, improve your mental and physical health, increase your energy, and improve your overall quality of life.

Like qigong, tai chi can be practiced for health and/or spiritual reasons.

Some people prefer one over the other, so it’s important to find a class that you like and that fits your needs.

If you want to try tai chi, look for a class near you and try a few different kinds until you find one that you like.

Now: what exactly is tai chi?

Tai Chi originates from China.

It is a martial art that combines the elements of movement and stillness.

The movements are slow, meditative, and focused on the breath.

And it is great for anyone who wants to exercise in a low-impact way, but still, stay mindful during their workout.

Tai Chi is also known as “the mother art” because it is so widespread and has been used by different cultures all over the world for centuries.

Tai Chi can be practiced by people of any age or fitness level!

A Havard study from 2019 has shown that Tai Chi can not only help you maintain balance and flexibility but also strength and is what might be “the perfect activity for the rest of your life”.

Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty convincing to me, what do you think?

I personally haven’t tried Tai Chi yet, but it is definitely on my list to try in the future!

After reading the Harvard study and all the benefits of Tai Chi, I honestly can’t wait to find a class or simply watch a Youtube video.

4) Hiking

Hiking is a great way to exercise and connect with nature. It helps to reduce stress, improve your mental health, improve your physical health, and increase your energy levels.

Hiking is a great way to get your heart rate up and break a sweat while also enjoying the great outdoors.

And hiking with friends is a great way to spend time together while getting in shape and enjoying nature.

If you want to start hiking, find a local trail and go for a walk. Or try to find a friend or group of friends to hike with.

You see, hiking has probably been one of the first exercises I truly fell in love with.

While traveling the world, I’ve gotten the chance to go on many hikes, and the simple act of walking up a mountain or trail never ceases to amaze me.

The thing is, I love to hike with friends and family, it is usually my preferred way of going about this activity.

However, in times when life was turbulent or I didn’t feel very great, I’ve gone on hikes by myself, as well, and they were transformative.

You see, hiking for me is such a great alternative to yoga because it truly allows me to return to myself, which is the purpose of yoga.

I can be alone with nature, put my mind and body on autopilot, and just be in the moment.

When I feel like it, I sometimes focus on my breath, and honestly, there is nothing better than inhaling fresh mountain air.

And the best part?

When you get to the top of the mountain, you feel so powerful and so small at the same time.

It reminds me how I am a part of everything, while still being my unique self.

And that is why hiking is a great exercise for me, it teaches me so much about life!

5) Breathwork

Breathwork is a tool that can be used in many different types of activities.

It helps to improve your mental and physical health, reduce stress, and increase your energy levels.

Breathwork is a great exercise to do alone or with a group.

It can be done in a seated or lying down position, so it can be done by almost anyone, regardless of physical ability.

If you want to try breathwork, you can use a guided audio or try this exercise:

Sitting or lying on your back with your arms by your sides, take slow, deep breaths through your nose for a few moments.

Then start breathing in a pattern: inhale for 4 counts, hold your breath for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts and hold your breath there for 4 counts.

This is called box breathing, and it is an amazing way to calm your mind and body.

I love using this technique whenever I feel a bit anxious or not in my body.

Another great breathing technique is Wim Hof breathing.

If you haven’t tried it before, I would really recommend you give it a shot. It involves breathing for a few minutes while taking in more oxygen than you need, followed by holding your breath for as long as you can.

This is said to reset the alchemy of your body and mind.

When I tried it for the first time, I felt almost drunk or high, it was such an exhilarating feeling!

Never do this while driving or while in the bathtub, however!

Breathwork is a fun way to connect to your body and mind, which doesn’t take a lot of effort or time.

6) Ballet

I know, you probably only know ballet from the theatre or from being a kid and having lessons.

But Ballet is an amazing workout that helps to improve your mental and physical health, increase your energy, and reduce stress.

Ballet is a great way to improve your flexibility, build strength, and challenge yourself to be better.

It might not be the most relaxing workout, but ballet is a great way to exercise and get yourself out of your comfort zone.

If you want to try ballet, look for a class near you or try to find a group of friends to start doing it together.

Don’t worry if you’re a beginner: most people start when they’re young, but there are also adults who want to try it out for fun, so you’re in good company!

You can also try a barre class, which is a type of ballet workout. It’s a great way to get a full body workout with reduced impact on your joints.

The great thing about ballet is that it combines body posture, breath, music, and movement.

A great way to experience ballet is to join a ballet class, but if you don’t have the time or money, try watching a few videos online.

The best part about this?

Ballet can really bring out your inner child!

7) Cold water swimming (or cold showers)

Cold water swimming is known as one of the best ways to relieve stress.

It helps to reduce stress, improve your mental health, and increase your energy.

Cold water swimming is an intense workout that can help you relieve stress, challenge you (and improve your mental toughness), and make you feel amazing after you finish!

It’s not the easiest thing to do, but it’s definitely worth trying!

If you want to try cold water swimming, first make sure to start slow!

Start with a cold shower and see how your body reacts to that. If that is too intense, you can try cold water swimming in a pool or a lake that is not too cold.

Cold exposure in any way, be it an ice bath, a cold shower, or a cold swim is an amazing thing for the body.

It helps combat anxiety and depression and improves your mental health.

How does it do that?

Well, when you are in the cold, your adrenaline shoots up and your entire body is obviously alert and ready to fight or flee.

However, as soon as you are done and you step out or turn that water off, your body is flooded with endorphins, which are great for your mood.

This is a great way to improve your mental health, decrease anxiety or depression, and increase your energy!

Oh, and did I mention that it is great for muscle recovery, too?

While you do cold exposure, you can focus on breathing deeply.

8) Martial arts

Martial arts are a great way to challenge yourself, make new friends, and improve your mental and physical health.

They help to reduce stress, increase your energy, and improve your overall quality of life.

There are many types of martial arts, so it’s important to find one that you like and that fits your needs.

If you are looking for an intense workout that will challenge you both physically and mentally, you might want to try a martial art like Brazilian Jiujitsu or Mixed Martial Arts.

If you want to try martial arts, try to find a class near you or look for a group of friends who do it and ask if you can join them.

Now: don’t be scared of martial arts being aggressive, with a lot of classes you don’t really have to get hit if you don’t want to.

I’ve done boxing in the past, and all I can say is that martial arts are such a great lesson for life.

You learn how to roll with the punches (quite literally), you learn resilience, you need to breathe properly, and your mind needs to be 100% present.

All in all, it is the perfect combination of physical and mental fitness.

9) Climbing

Climbing is a full-body workout that helps to improve your mental and physical health, reduce stress, and increase your energy levels.

Climbing is a great way to get a challenging full-body workout and also be outside enjoying nature.

It’s a great way to get yourself out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.

If you want to try climbing, look for a climbing gym near you and try a few different routes until you find one that you like.

You see, when you climb, you need to be in the present moment, otherwise, you might make a mistake and fall.

Climbing is a great way to get in touch with your body, your mind, and the world around you.

When you are climbing, you need to focus on your breathing and your feet.

Because you are forced to be in the moment, this is an amazing mindfulness practice that will help you forget about your troubles for a while.

10) Moving meditation

Moving meditation is a type of exercise that combines the benefits of exercise and meditation.

It helps to reduce stress, improve your mental health, and increase your energy levels.

Moving meditation is a type of exercise where you move slowly and focus on your breath and being present in the moment.

It’s a great way to get the benefits of exercise and meditation at the same time!

You can try moving meditation while walking or doing another type of exercise.

Moving meditation might be a bit strange at first, but it’s a great alternative to yoga or traditional meditation.

If you want, you can even do a guided walking meditation when you are out on a stroll.

What are you gonna try?

There you have it: 10 alternatives to yoga that have great benefits and no downsides!

If you are bored with your current workout, try one of these activities to break out of a rut and make your workouts more interesting and fun.

And remember that the most important thing is that you are getting exercise and moving more!

No matter what ends up piquing your interest, go with it and have fun while you’re at it!

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