Yoga is not easy, not for only certain body types, and not a little sister to a workout. The mat and the kettlebell deserve equal respect. Combining yoga practice and working out with kettlebells can yield amazing benefits for overall physical and mental well-being.
Yoga can also help you work out smarter and achieve more in the gym than ever before. Conversely, strength training and conditioning with kettlebells can allow you to approach your yoga practice more confidently and find power for poses you otherwise would never attempt. In this blog post, we’ll focus on the 5 yoga principles and how regular practice can be combined with kettlebell exercises to help you work out stronger and smarter and achieve better fitness results.
Kettlebell yoga is a powerful combination of two forms of exercise that can help improve your overall physical and mental well-being. It combines the mindful movements of yoga with the strength and conditioning benefits of working out with kettlebells. Regular practice of both disciplines provides numerous advantages for your fitness goals, such as improved stamina, flexibility, coordination, and balance. This hybrid form of exercise can also help you burn calories and lose weight in a more effective manner than traditional workouts alone. In addition, the combination of both yoga and kettlebells results in better overall strength gains that allow for more dynamic movements during everyday activities.
Yoga Principles (For Kettlebell Exercises and Yoga Poses)
When using kettlebells in conjunction with yoga poses and exercises, it’s important to remember these principles listed below to ensure that you are doing each exercise safely and effectively. Taking the time to learn proper techniques can help prevent injury and maximize results. Following a program with both yoga and kettlebell exercises can be an excellent way to reach your fitness goals safely and efficiently. Let’s take a look at the yoga principles and how to apply them to your kettlebell exercises:
The first one is to create a stable foundation. That means stabilizing the part of the body closest to the floor. But in the case of a standing pose or standing exercise, it isn’t just the feet that form the foundation, the foundation runs up the legs to the hip joints. The legs are our foundation while standing. But when using the arms, the foundation is the ribcage (and then the shoulder blades) for the scapulae and shoulder muscles. While using a kettlebell it means gripping the weight firmly enough so that you don’t lose control.
Further Reading: What Muscles Are Worked With The Kettlebell Row?
It also means making sure that the area around you is clear of obstacles (and people) so that if you lose control of the kettlebell you can ditch it safely. That means without injuring yourself or anyone (or any animal) around you.
Connect and Feel (Connect to Feel)
The second one is connect and feel. That means feeling your body and what you are attached to. The connection also means adjusting your body so that you can feel all of the parts.
If you’ve ever been stuck driving behind a bus, you know that to see ahead you have to drift to one side or the other so that you can see and get around the bus. Likewise, with your body, there may be a small (or large) adjustment you can make between one part and another so that you can feel your body, and feel whether it is in a good position to do what you are asking it to do.
Center and Balance
Center and Balance are the third principles. To balance you have to keep your center of gravity over your foundation. And in an exercise like the kettlebell swing, you are center and the kettlebell is shifting. So it helps if you can feel where your center is. But in addition, if you “tie” the parts of your body together you effectively unify the different centers of all of these parts to act as one. A single center is easier to control and balance than a multitude of them.
The fourth principle is space. Create it. Create space so you can use your senses and so that your muscles, your bones, and your body as a whole have room to act and move without restrictions.
The fifth principle is to express yourself. Know what you are doing and do it.
Whether it’s a kettlebell exercise or a yoga pose (or something else completely) if you know what you are trying to do then you can get on with doing it. But more than that, if you consider the legs to be the foundation, then the expression is the part of the body that isn’t the foundation, the torso, neck, and arms. Meanwhile, the pelvis is the center that ties these elements together.
Applying These Principles
When applying yoga principles to kettlebell workouts, it is important to remember the five main principles, a stable foundation being the most crucial. By utilizing the five main principles of yoga with your kettlebell workouts, you’ll be able to make sure that each exercise is done safely and effectively. With time and practice, you can create a powerful relationship between body, mind, and spirit while obtaining amazing physical fitness results.
The Bottom Line
As we mentioned above, yoga and kettlebell workouts can be a powerful combination for obtaining optimal fitness results such as building strength, stability, balance, and flexibility as well as increasing power, endurance, and agility. Beyond just being great for physical fitness, the combination of yoga and kettlebell workouts also encourages mindful movement. When done with intention, you can use these exercises to cultivate presence and awareness both on and off the mat or in the gym. Allowing yourself to synchronize your movements with your breath will help keep you in the moment while providing an opportunity to nurture a strong connection between body, mind, and spirit. So go ahead and give it a try! With proper instruction and guidance, you too can reap the amazing benefits of combining yoga and kettlebell exercises. Good luck and happy training!