Yoga helps the body increase it’s strength, flexibility and tone. However, strength increases depend on the types of movements practiced. It also depends on the amount of time spent on each movement and the number of times one practices each week. It’s important to be kind and gentle with your muscles and not to be impatient. There are several reasons why the movements can improve overall physical condition and muscle strength.
Using the Body’s Resistance
Unlike weight lifting the exercise form utilizes the resistance of various muscle groups in the different poses or movements. Your own body is providing the resistance needed. A person who does the movements several times a week can greatly improve strength in a short period of time if movements are done correctly.
A person who uses yoga as a form of exercise will not build the type of muscles a body builder has but will find that strength and endurance are greatly improved. The body may also look a bit leaner and more fit. Often the poses practiced in the form of exercise are maintained for a period of time. This helps strengthen opposing muscle groups and helps them develop necessary stamina for many types of activities from dance, climbing, or mountain biking, to contact sports and endurance competitions.
Proper Muscle Balance
When targeting specific muscle groups during weight lifting or resistance training only some muscles are worked. With yoga movements even the smaller muscle groups tend to get worked. Muscles that develop are also leaner and longer than with weight lifting or resistance training. The body will be more balanced, which can help with endurance and can improve performance for those who participate in any kind of sport.
Having balanced muscle groups means you are less likely to become quickly fatigued during an endurance sport or one that involves a high level of physical activity.
Some forms of the exercise can be more beneficial for strengthening. Bikram, Kundalini and Ashtanga forms are those that can be helpful in improving overall fitness. The Bikram form includes hundreds of different poses. Many of them take time to practice and learn. The Ashtanga form focuses on developing muscle strength with power poses. There are fewer of them but many are more intense and require a great deal of concentration. All forms of yoga can bring muscle balance and improved fitness to those who are dedicated. If you want to become a yoga instructor then you should think about the population you wish to work with and figure out how to help your clients.