• Anjali Rao

To cardio or not to cardio…tis the question…..

….and one I have only recently figured out.  Do I cheat on my love?? Do I trade one for the other completely?? Confusion!!! soooo like a good little analytical Virgo, I analysed, did research and of course!!!…..made a list of the reasons why I work out…

a) I like to eat, and am a die hard foodie, no eating salads for every meal, and pretending that it’s delish, been there and it didn’t work for me.

b) All the obvious health reasons, to keep away disease mainly and to maintain good health obviously.

c) i am vain enough to want to feel confident in what I wear, will be a hypocrite if I didn’t confess to this one 🙂

D) I like to sweat, get my heart rate up, get my strength and flexibility better, and metabolism revved up…..

Sooo after soul searching, asking my yoga teachers, talking to my yoga loving buddies, people who have done yoga for years, I came to the conclusion that I will not be cheating on my yoga experience, if I do cardio. It’s ok to do both and may work in tandem to make my yoga training a better one. Cardio gives me a whoosh of energy, so I can tackle volunteering, training, mommy ing, eating, drinking a bit better.

Yoga has given me a sense of calm like nothing else has, it has opened me up, my heart, my hamstrings, my psoas muscle ( this muscle is IMO the king muscle and deserves a blog post all it’s own) are all in love with the stretching, the twisting, the bending….my lungs are breathing sooo well that I will never go near a cigarette again. My kids tell me when I do yoga, I am nicer:)

Per research, yoga actually slows down metabolism, and this made me rethink all that we have been told of exercise (Hear that Jillian??), its a tool that detoxifies organs and is a proven stress and depression buster so one thinks twice before making ” bad” choices regarding food and alcohol…..I can’t drink more than one or maximum two drinks per month….just don’t want to…and I credit all this to yoga.

But…and there’s a big but……yoga doesn’t make you lose weight, atleast it didnt make me lose weight, and I have tried many forms, Vinyasa, intermediate hatha, gentle yoga, power yoga etc..Per New York Times science writer and long time yogi,William Broad, yoga lowers some common risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and blood pressure….it helps in changing the psychology of a person regarding lifestyle and life, so my love for it is stronger than ever but as he points out its not a plain old calorie buster and I need that a couple of times a week. So I do….a couple of times a week, elliptical and then yoga….so I can drink a few cocktails, eat biriyani and enjoy chocolate in bed with my daughter. Who knows, as I get deeper in the training, I may completely do away with cardio since I will not make these choices……..but until then, the elliptical beckons……..and I heed….

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