Question, can you just do yoga and get a complete body workout that builds strength, stretching, cardio and calms the body? The short answer is yes.
Yoga is great for the whole body by building strength and flexibility. It also relaxes and quiets the mind and body through breathing, holding and moving through poses. And in some styles of Yoga you get a cardio workout.
I believe most forms of Yoga are lacking in aerobics and I encourage you to find an aerobic exercise that works for you. Yoga must be incorporated into your exercise routine if you want the best quality of life. You will be more mobile, feel and look better.
I have been asked what else I do for exercise other than my Yoga practices. I ride bike every three days for cardio, sometimes more in the summer. The aerobic training from riding gets my heart rate up to strengthen the heart for heart health. It's non impact and healthy for my knees and hips, and building strength in my legs. I also do pull ups and dips every three days to work the shoulders, upper back and arms this helps to balance the strength in my legs. I believe the core is important too and Yoga works my core. But I still like to work on my abs so I work them three days per week. Everything connects to our core so we always want to maintain a strong core. Inversions and arm balances definitely call on the core to hold the pose.
I do what I can to keep my body balanced and aligned. I know if it's out of balance and alignment, I can no longer be healthy. This also means not over doing it with exercise and work. Keeping myself in check and listening to my body is the best thing for my health.
When doing Yoga I do not create a new practice daily or weekly. I keep it simple so it's not overwhelming. I started with beginner videos and worked my way up to intermediate and advanced videos of Yoga practices. Then I took the best parts of the videos and combined and tweaked them to work for me. Over time you'll have them memorized adding and subtracting poses to get it to work for you. This worked for me when I really knew nothing about Yoga the first few years of practicing. So be creative, It's your Yoga practice.
Yoga time is your time. Take time in your day for yourself and let everyone know that this is your time where you don't have to answer or speak to anyone. This makes for great self-care.
Just to be clear, besides your regular Yoga practice it's my opinion you should add cardio two to three days per week to balance your exercise program.
Happy & Healthy,