Physical Exercise

Choose Tapas practices from the following options or create your own. 

# Cardiovascular / Aerobic Exercise

Let the heart pump more blood, the lungs move more air, and the skin produce some sweat.

1. Set up a weekly aerobic exercise schedule. Start with 20 minutes three times a week, and build up to 4 or 5 days a week. 

2. Be consistent as to the days of the week. For example, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday after work. This ensures that it becomes a pattern of your lifestyle. 

3. What type of exercise? Change it up. As long as it makes you sweat and breathe a little harder.

  • Go for a walk with intermittent jogging intervals, 
  • get on a bike, 
  • hit the pool or a lake where you can swim without interruptions,
  • take a dance class, or Zumba, 
  • join a martial arts school. 

The merits of aerobic exercise are countless.

All body systems improve with aerobic exercise: the heart and blood vessels; skin; digestion and elimination, or detox; mental focus and sleep; and emotional balance. 

We are born to move, run, climb, jump, etc. 

Humans are one of the most efficient endurance athletes in the animal kingdom. We can run for hours and hours, and in some cases, days. With practice of course. In many human vs. horse long distance races (like the Western States 100-miler), humans often take the first place. 

# Strengthen

Ever watch children at playgrounds?

You'll see them use every muscle group - They climb, crawl, swing, slide, balance, and hang = all great for deep strength of the spine, joints, and the core. 

When was the last time you crawled on the ground, climbed up a rock wall, or hung from a high bar? 

Our daily movements seem to be limited to walking, standing, sitting, and lying down. Not much more.

  • We almost never move laterally.
  • We rarely raise our arms above the shoulders. 
  • We almost never hang upside down, or hang on a bar. 

These are all natural movements which become limited or impossible after a certain period of neglect. 

Body Rule: If we don't use it, we lose it. 

Strength, muscle tone, and joint stability will not last unless we work on them. 

It's no surprise that grownups get hurt during simple activities which used to be easy.

1. Spend at least 15 minutes each day to tone all the major muscle groups.

A few ideas for Yoga for Muscle Strength.

# Flexibility & Mobility 

Stretch those muscle groups that tend to tighten from our unfortunate, but often necessary, habit of sitting:

  • Hip flexors (see the lunge stretch for hip flexors in the photo)
  • Hamstrings (90 degrees flexibility is a good goal)
  • Calves and Plantar Fascia (bottom of feet)
  • Pectoralis Major and Minor (chest muscles) 
  • Lats (arms up stretch) 

10 minutes of stretching each day goes a long way. 

Don't stretch beyond comfortable edges. 

To create permanent length in the tissues you are stretching: Hold the stretches for 1 minute or longer.

To maintain good range of motion/mobility: 15-30 seconds holds, or dynamic stretches are best.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are based upon the opinions, research, and experiences of Surya (Slava Kolpakov), unless otherwise noted. The information on this website is not intended to treat, prescribe, diagnose, or replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or yoga therapist and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information. I encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.