Yoga is a bodyweight strength training. This is that simple. Inversions, arm balances, require and build muscles to resist the gravity.
Doing yoga comes handy in everyday life, doing anything, from walks, climbing the stairs to carrying the groceries. Yoga will help us gain strength to the level where we will easily manage our day-to-day task, yet for greater level of strength, strength training is required.
When we want to get stronger, we start doing strength trainings, leaving the yoga out, most of the time, thinking ‘it’s not going to do anything, but take my time’. We need to consider the needs of muscles, too. When we do only these training exercises for some time, we lose the range of motion in the muscle, because these exercises are muscle-tightening exercises. To get the most out of strength training, we must add muscle-expanding moves, as well. So, flexibility is required when it comes to gaining or bulking the muscle. Plus, if the body is not flexible, while doing exercises, injury may happen because of the shortage of the range. When we are flexible, we can have balance, therefore do more, proper and effective exercises. While doing yoga muscles stretch, therefore more blood can flow, which helps prevent the injury.
Both is better
For balanced fitness, it is better to do both yoga and strength training workouts. Different kinds of workouts both help get the results faster, and a person can find favorite exercise through trying new workouts. After all, these are lifelong habits, not some chore to ‘get over with’.
Yoga poses for strength
Poses like inversions and balancing poses are effective for building muscle strength. Standing poses like Warrior pose, Triangle pose, 3-legged down dog, we can build muscle in legs. Balancing pose such as Tree pose, increases the strength because one leg holds up the entire body. There poses called static strength training that we can try and build up strength fast.
Plank, Boat, Warrior Poses, Tree, Dolphin
We can track our strength through yoga by paying attention to the time we hold the poses. Gradually increasing the amount of time will show us the progress.
The best thing about doing yoga for strength is that in yoga you don’t compete, you are by yourself, just trying to be better than what you were yesterday, where in strength trainings people can get a little bit competitive. This is where self-discipline comes in the game. Plus, it works on your whole body rather than one muscle group, as it is in the strength trainings.
During the sequence, when it feels challenging to hold a pose or your muscles feel uncomfortably tight, slow down your breath and you’ll find that you can stay in the position longer as you go deeper into the stretch.