Yoga and Muscle Fitness - Making You Stronger
Stronger muscles, flexible body - Yoga!
Many people wonder about
yoga muscle fitness, can yoga improve their muscles fitness?
They recognize that yoga help reduce stress and increase flexibility, but when it comes to increasing muscle mass, they think it might be a little too 'weak' to do the job. The truth is that practicing yoga makes you stronger.
A study was conducted at the University of California at Davis. Ten college "coach potatoes adopted a yoga routine for eight weeks. Each week, they attended from two to four classes during which they spent 10 minutes on breath control, 15 minutes doing warm up exercises, 50 minutes of performing yoga asanas, and then 10 minutes of relaxation/mediation.
At the end of the eight-week period, the researchers measured the students' muscle fitness and discovered the following results: Their muscular strength had increased by up to 31%, their muscular endurance improved by 57%, their flexibility increased by 188%, and their cardio respiratory fitness improved by 7%. These results are pretty amazing when you consider that the yoga exercises were only done for eight weeks.
How can something that seems so gentle have such a major impact for yoga muscle fitness?
Muscle Strength - Unlike traditional weight building exercises, in yoga your body provides the resistance. While you are not likely going to produce the bulked up muscles of some weight lifters, you will certainly increase your muscle strength.
Many poses in yoga are done very slowly or you stay in the posture for several breaths. These methods are great strengtheners. It is much more challenging to your muscles to hold a pose or do it slowly, than it is to allow momentum to move you through an action.
I have been working out with weights for many years, so my muscles are used to being strengthened. Such activity, I thought would give me all the stamina I would need. Yet, I have practiced certain yoga routines during which my muscles screamed for mercy. And I actually had to get out of the pose and then resume it because my muscles were so challenged. I don't often experience this during weight training sessions.
In addition, some balance postures such as Tree Pose and Shoulder Stand require enormous muscle control in order to prevent you from falling over. The need to maintain balance in such poses helps to build and strengthen your muscles, too.
Muscle Toning - In weight training, you isolate a specific muscle as you perform an exercise and this leads to a short, tightened muscle. The muscles you develop during yoga are more likely to be elongated, because while you are strengthening them, you are simultaneously lengthening them. In yoga, you also do not focus on an isolated muscle, but actively recruit the smaller muscle groups as well. You truly work your entire body when you practice yoga.
Practicing yoga can help realign your muscles, so they are more balanced. Since you are not overworking any specific muscle group, you are less likely to get injured.
In addition to all its other benefits, yoga can help you improve muscle fitness. Whether you choose to practice yoga as a primary means of strength training or you want it to supplement your other exercises, yoga can help your muscles grow fit, balanced, and strong. Yoga muscle fitness is just one benefit of yoga.
Scott Harker is the publisher of several websites including: About the Author: Protect Your Pets From Fleas, Signs of Pregnancy, and Didgeridoos For Sale, Dieting Help Blog.
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