Yoga is as much an emotional activity as it is a physical one.
A consistent yoga practice will improve not only your emotional, mental and spiritual health but it will also improve your physical health.
You do not go into yoga strong, you develop strength over time during consistent yoga practices.
Yoga changes your mind, which changes your body and how you take care of yourself. A changed mindset means a changed life.
Can Yoga Make You Stronger?
Yes, yoga can make you stronger. Yoga is quite possibly the best workout for building strength, muscles, and abs simply because you are using your own body weight to do all of the poses.
You have to learn how to hold yourself up in certain poses, you are using yourself to make yourself stronger.
A consistent yoga practice will leave your mind and body stronger and each time you leave the mat a little stronger than last time.
Whether you go to a local yoga studio to take a class or you do yoga in the comfort of your own home, the practice will not only strengthen your mind but also your body.
You will be able to strengthen your body to a point of being able to have fewer injuries because your muscles and joints will become stronger. Yoga also makes your nervous system stronger, relieves pain and increases your mental capacity.
Having to hold your own body weight as you do in yoga immediately begins to build your muscle strength.
Whether you’re in headstand, plank pose, handstand, crow, chaturanga or any of the warrior poses, your body is receiving an amazing workout.
Your muscles will thank you after every single class. After each yoga practice, you may experience what most call a “yoga high” and you will already be thinking about your next class.
Once you try yoga and tap into all of the amazing benefits for your body, you will not want to go back your life before yoga.
The good thing about yoga is that you can still do your other workouts yoga is just a great add-on to your regular workout schedule and will not weaken your body but strengthen your whole body.
Yoga strengthens every muscle in your body, sometimes without you even realizing it.
Does Yoga Build Muscle and Abs at the Same Time?
Yoga is an excellent workout for your whole body to build muscles as well as for your core; abs made on a yoga mat are quite common. There are many different yoga poses that help in strengthening your core, balance, arms and poses to help you strengthen your mind.
Plank pose helps to strengthen your core because you are using your own body weight to hold yourself up, your whole entire body is being used in this pose.
Your core is engaged as you exhale your breath and use that to strengthen your core. If you want to challenge yourself, try alternating lifting your legs in this pose or bending your knee one at a time while holding for three breaths to make your core stronger.
If you suffer from lower back pain or wrists problems, it is recommended not to do this pose. Side plank pose strengthens your obliques as well as the front of your core. This pose is amazing because you are holding your own body weight on just one side of your body at one time, which forces your muscles to work harder.
Open your chest in this pose so that your shoulders do not take a beating during this pose. Also if you suffer from wrist pain, this pose is not recommended.
Dolphin push-ups are one of the best poses to strengthen your whole body, especially your arms and shoulders.
Your arms and shoulders are holding you up in this pose and with one a few repetitions, you will begin to feel your muscles getting stronger, including your core. If you have any type of elbow issues, this pose is not recommended.
Yoga poses not only strengthen your muscles and core but there are some poses that improve your balance.
When some individuals think of yoga, balance does not always come to mind first, it’s mostly flexibility that comes to mind. But yes there are some yoga poses that require balance but those poses also help to improve your balance.
Warrior II pose helps your balance through sinking into your hips and holding your arms out in the front and back of you. In this pose you have to engage your core so that you do not fall, you have to be able to hold yourself on your legs, which in turn improves your balance.
Repeat the pose on the other side as well. If you have knee problems you should not do this pose.
Standing lunge dip pose can also be looked as a yoga squat.
Your glutes and legs, especially your hamstrings will definitely become stronger and your balance will improve because you have to hold yourself in the center. And this, in turn, strengthens your abs.
Airplane dip sequence pose will definitely improve your balance because you moving all of your body weight in one direction on one leg, which is incredible.
This pose forces your leg muscles and hamstrings to step in so that you do not fall over. If you have knee or ankles issues, this pose is not recommended.
There are also yoga poses that strengthen mainly your arms because you are holding your own body weight in just your arms.
Crow pose is a pose that allows you to think that you are flying. This pose gives you strength because you feel as though you can conquer it all just for holding your own body weight on your arms, hands, and wrists. If you have any type of wrist issues, this pose is not recommended.
Side crow pose is also incredible because any pose done on your side requires amazing strengthen but side poses also help you develop muscle if done consistently.
This pose helps to give your core definition and will ultimately make your wrists stronger. But if you come to class with wrist issues, this pose should not be on your list to do.
One of the amazing benefits of yoga is that it’s not just physically beneficial, but mentally as well. Yoga strengthens your mind and improves your mental capacity.
Yoga poses that are done upside down are actually really good for you. They help you calm down.
Inversion poses are upside poses that help to improve your balance and your mind. Some inversions can be done on your back and your legs straight up the wall.
Other poses handstands full and half as well as headstands. It is recommended that you do not do these inversion poses for the first time by yourself but in a yoga class with an experienced yoga instructor.
Also, half and full handstand poses should not be done if you have wrist issues. If you have neck or shoulder issues it is recommended not to do headstand pose.
Half handstand pose allows you to use the wall and get used to being upside down. Half handstand pose improves your arm and shoulder muscles. Also, your balance is improved significantly because you are upside in a halfway position.
That in itself can be challenging, which is good because any yoga pose that challenges you is the one pose that you should continue to master.
Full handstand pose is the pose where you are fully upside down and is the next step from a half handstand so you can work your way up to this pose. Your shoulders, arms, and obliques are strengthened in this pose and you just get used to being upside down and can see the world from a different angle.
Headstand pose is the best way to see the world – upside down and you cannot help but smile. How often are you on your head for fun?
This pose can help you overcome your fears of absolutely anything because you are holding your whole entire body on your shoulders and neck; now that is incredible. You must stay controlled in this pose and that is where your core muscles step in.
Does Yoga Replace Strength Training?
Strength training is often times associated with weight training. Soreness of the muscles is often times linked to lifting weights in numerous repetitions.
Surprisingly yoga can give you the same exact feeling but with no weights, you use your own body weight. Sore muscles from your own body weight are incredible. It is recommended by the experts to do strength training at least twice a week to see results with weight loss and metabolism and to prevent bone loss.
Imagine if you did yoga more than twice a week, incredible things will happen to your body and not to mention your mind. The best strength training is your own body weight, think about it – when you gain more muscle that is more weight for you to hold, which in turn builds more strength and muscle.
Yoga prevents injury, tones muscles all over your whole entire body, uses eccentric contraction and increases muscle endurance. Different yoga poses help you develop muscle and improve strengthen over different parts of your body, you just have to know which poses work for what part of the body.
Arm balancing poses and inversion build muscular strength and doing poses that focus on your legs such as Warrior and Tree poses help to strengthen your leg muscles as well as improve your balance because your body is being held by your legs.
If you want a workout with variety, try adding yoga to your current workout schedule and you will begin to see changes that you have never seen before. Variety is important to keep your body challenged and your metabolism going.
Doing different styles of yoga also helps add variety to your workouts as well. Sometimes when you keep your regular workout schedule and increase weights or distance or increase any activity you may experience sore muscles.
Yoga can actually help with sore muscles, you just have to know which poses to do.
Can Yoga Make You Sore?
Sore muscles are bound to occur with any of your workouts, especially if you had new activities or new weights to your workout routine.
If you want to continue working out but receive relief from your sore muscles, you should give yoga a try. It is important to know which yoga poses to do to relieve muscle soreness.
All yoga poses are good for your body but certain poses are good for sore muscles because they target specific parts of your body.
Standing Forward Bend
This pose gives an incredible stretch to hamstrings and legs. We put so much pressure on our hamstrings and legs on a daily basis and it’s nice to stretch them every now and then.
Start by standing upright then bend over and reach for our toes. It’s okay if you cannot reach your toes right away, bend your knees until you can touch your toes with straight legs.
This pose can also stretch your arms and shoulders by putting your hands behind your back and clasping your hands together and raising your arms over your head, the best way you can.
Your body will thank you for this pose.
This pose takes time to accomplish because your body may not be used to bending in a certain direction. Once accomplished this pose is an excellent stretch for your neck, shoulders, and quadriceps.
If this pose is done consistently, you will improve not only you doing the pose but also your flexibility and you will be able to open up the front of your body more.
Camel pose also provides an incredible stretch for your shoulders, arms, back buttock and backs of your legs.
Start by sitting straight up on your knees and then take your arms and out them behind you reaching for your heels, keeping your front body forward and bend up and back from your chest.
Extended Triangle Pose
Your legs will receive an amazing stretch in this pose without straining hamstring, which is what some stretches do causing more soreness or injury. Your whole body can benefit from this pose because you are opening not only your chest but your whole upper and back body for this pose. Stand straight and open your legs for a straddle shape, turn your body to face one direction and reach your arm straight out then down to your toes. If you cannot reach your toes right away, you can always rest your hand on your shin or go down as far as you can go.
Cobra or Upward Facing Dog Pose
These poses relieve pressure in the back, core, shoulders, and chest. They also open your airway and improve digestion.
Both of these poses are great after a weight training workout focusing on the shoulders or an intense core workout.
Lie on your stomach and hold yourself up just a little bit but putting your hands in front of you and not coming up all of the way then you transition into a deeper pose by lifting your whole entire upper body off the mat. Either pose stretches your back, shoulders, and core.
Alternating Cat and Cow Poses
These two poses are connected and stretch the spine and neck. Alternating between the two is the most effective way to feel the benefits of these poses.
Cat and Cow poses massage your organs and help with digestion as well as opening your chest and airway more. The stretch that your back muscles feel is incredible.
Our bodies do so much for us, the least we can do is stretch every now and then. Start on your hands and knees and drop your stomach then come out of that and round your back, repeat these moves until you feel complete.
Reclined Spinal Rotations
This pose is great for stretching every part of the back as well as your core. Lie on your back and put one leg over the other and rotate to the opposite side and feel the stretch, stay in the pose for about 30 seconds then slowly switch the leg on top and rotate to the other side.
This pose is incredible for a full body relaxation because you literally melt into the floor through placing your forehand on the mat. But this pose is especially great for stretching the shoulders, back, and neck.
You should try this pose on a daily basis to see how much better your upper body feels. Start in downward facing dog pose, drop to your knees and put your arms straight out in front of you on the mat and melt yourself into the mat through your forehead and feel the immediate stretch for your upper body.
Yoga makes you stronger physically and mentally. Yoga can build strength, muscle, balance, and stability and provides amazing benefits by stretching your muscles that have been worked past exhaustion from other exercises.
Making sure to add breathing with each pose, you will begin to see and feel the benefits of this activity that requires you to use on yourself and your own body weight. When your body and mind are on the same page, you can do incredible things in your life.