Yoga is a great way to become more flexible, and it also helps build strength and muscle. Classical yoga texts do not speak of muscle building asanas as a separate practice. This is because yoga as a whole, including relaxation and pranayama, has the greatest effect on the muscles.
You don’t have to do specific exercises to get stronger. Did you know that the “dead man’s pose” (shavasana) in yoga is a great way to tone muscles? In addition to pranayama and shavasana, there is a combination of well-known asanas that help keep our muscles not only strong, but also toned, flexible and elastic. That is why yogis have no problems even in old age.
People often look to yoga for ways to get a six pack or fit body. This is a relatively new trend. However, yoga is a full-body practice that keeps the body and brain as flexible and healthy as possible.
In yoga, you don’t just focus on one part of the body at the expense of the others. This comes from the fact that yoga is meant to unite, not divide.
Patanjali’s definition of asana is Sukham Sthiram Asanam, which means Happy Stable Pose. For this reason, relaxation is also an important part of our muscle exercises, as it affects our nervous system, which is what makes our muscles work in the first place. Synchronizing your breath with your exercise also greatly helps to tighten, tone and burn fat and extra lactic acid in your visceral muscles.
Yoga in general is very effective for the muscles. Most yoga asanas are also good for toning your body, whether you want to work on your biceps, triceps, hamstrings, serrated muscles, tendons, or ligaments. With relaxed and synchronized breathing, the exercise ensures that there is no damage to muscles, ligaments or tendons.
How Can Yoga Help Build Muscle?
Different types of yoga work the same way as lifting weights when building muscle. To promote muscle growth, you should do more sets and repetitions. Some yoga myths say that yoga isn’t good for building muscle, but studies show the opposite.
In fact, the European Journal of Applied Physiology published a study in 2010 that found that people who use progressive overload in their workouts can build muscle and strengthen their biceps. However, the main difference from yoga is that you don’t add more weight to your barbells or make your resistance bands stronger. Instead, you use your own body weight to build muscle as you move from one pose to the next.
To keep the pose progression working well, try changing your yoga variations over time and steadily moving to more difficult ones. A 2014 study in the Journal of Complementary Therapies of Medicine states that each change tightens and stretches your muscles. This will make your muscles grow.
Start with a simple pose and add slightly more difficult variations as your strength increases. Triangle Pose or Warrior II are great starting points if you want to build muscle in your legs.
One way to build muscle is to train it mechanically, which is usually done when lifting weights. However, you can also achieve the same result by doing yoga.
A 2014 study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology states that lifting heavy weights puts stress on muscle fibers, leading to tiny tears. As those tears get better, the muscles get bigger.
In yoga, if you hold your poses for too long, you can injure your body. This burns out muscles and tires your body, causing your muscle fibers to stretch and your cells to divide while they heal, helping your muscles grow.
How Does Yoga Help With Belly Fat?
Let’s start with the good news: yoga does help with belly fat, but in ways you might not have thought of. Most of us know that stress can lead to weight gain. The stress hormone cortisol has a direct effect on fat storage and weight gain in stressed people.
Further research shows that cortisol appears to be able to transport fat cells deep into the abdomen as visceral fat, which is not only ugly but also very dangerous. Yoga helps you learn to manage stress and take care of yourself, whether it’s through eating healthy or getting enough sleep.
All of this helps lower your cortisol levels, making it easier for you to lose weight, especially belly fat, which is often directly related to stress.
Another thing to remember is that yoga can’t reduce weight in just one spot. With just a few yoga classes, your tummy might look flatter than it did before. First of all, yoga helps you achieve better posture by strengthening your core and getting you moving your whole body. This will instantly make your stomach look thinner.
If you combine yoga with a fat loss or calorie deficit diet, you will see faster results and can see your total fat decrease and your body become more toned.
It is common knowledge that yoga is only good for flexibility. However, depending on the type and number of yoga asanas you do, it can also help in muscle building, fat loss, and toning your body.
The best thing about yoga is that it grounds you, unifies your whole body and relieves stress by promoting relaxation. This will automatically translate into your efforts to be fitter, healthier, and more active. So what are you waiting for? Get this yoga mat and start practicing today!
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