Yoga can do many great things for the body. It has been proven to improve sleep, relieve stress by promoting serenity, and it will even improve muscle tone and increase muscle strength. The benefits of yoga are both instant and long lasting. Those who practice will immediately feel a sense of well being and will also see their flexibility improve quickly. In addition, muscle tone and fat loss will show in just four to six weeks.
Yoga allows people to find a little bit of peace in their otherwise chaotic lives, helping to relieve stress and increase focus on their minds and bodies. The cardiovascular system also reaps the rewards here, because the body will feel fewer headaches, less (or no) panic attacks and feel less strain on the heart with alleviated stress levels.
In relation to strength, Yoga is a perfect strength training workout because it is completely weight bearing. The entire body's weight rests upon the limbs, and the core helps to balance in all poses. This increases calorie burn, which in turn helps to show the body's lean muscle mass.
Greater flexibility will also increase muscle mass as it leads to longer, leaner muscles. The length of the muscle provides for more room for the muscles to grow. This means that larger muscles can develop, but not so much as to become big and bulky. Rather, they will appear more toned and streamlined. The types of Yoga that require Yogis to hold their poses for five breaths or longer are more weight bearing, because the muscles are being forced to hold the body weight for an extended period of time.
Yoga both strengthens and lengthens the muscles. Body weight is used as resistance to give one a resistance workout, and then the muscles are stretched in each pose to increase flexibility. This increase in flexibility becomes very important as one ages, because it can help to prevent injuries and soreness.
Anyone, at any age, can find a class that is right for them. Overall, Yoga is one of the best workouts one can get in terms of strength and serenity, and it is one of the most beneficial forms of exercise available.
1. University of Rochester Medical Center, “Strength-Training With Yoga.”