benefits of yoga

Why Yoga is the Best Way to Tone Your Muscles

Muscle toning is a term used to describe the strengthening and development of muscle groups such as abs, arms, thighs, and lower abdomen into a lean physique. Yoga, on the other hand, is a form of exercise, in which one can focus on working on flexibility and strength. Yoga poses commonly known as asanas, have a dual purpose. Some poses (asanas) such as ashtanga will focus on your body weight to tone muscle while others help in building up strength. (Source: Wikipedia Muscle Toning)

If you’re looking to tone your muscles, there is no better way to do it than by practicing yoga. These are some of the reasons why yoga is a great way to get in shape and improve your overall well-being

1. Yoga for strength and balance

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Specific yoga poses require full-body workout. Poses such as downward-facing dog require every inch of muscle in the body, especially your inner core muscles to avoid tripping over. In doing so, you are increasing your flexibility and strength at the same time. The beauty of yoga is that these aspects are correlated. When wanting to grow your balance or flexibility; you have to increase your strength, and increasing strength requires flexibility or balance. When you understand how to balance strength and flexibility, it will effectively help in toning of muscles.

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2. Yoga as a form of strength training

Strength training (also known as resistance training) is a type of physical exercise that uses resistance to induce muscular contraction. It has a substantial benefit to the body besides giving you a bodybuilder physique; it causes growth in bone density, boosts metabolism, and builds strength. Yoga can be an effective way of strength training. Some yoga poses such as vinyasa can break your muscle fiber creating tension in them, which is the kind of resistance needed for muscle toning. It also relies on eccentric contraction; the muscles stretch as it contracts, giving a muscle a lean and elongated feature, thus increasing muscle balance and toning.

3. Yoga for a full-body workout

Yoga does more to the body than just burning calories. It is a total body workout that combines stretching poses and strengthening tactics for muscle toning and also mental relaxation. There exist different yoga poses that aid in a full-body workout to enhance muscle toning and strengthening e.g.

  • Downward facing dog- it focuses on toning legs and arms.
  • High plank to low plank- it focuses on toning your, shoulder, upper thighs, arms, back and abs.
  • Bridge poses- it helps in toning regions of your thighs and abs.
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4. Yoga environment

Yoga classes are way different, from gym workouts. For instance, working out in the gym causes stress on the muscles, which makes them prone to damage. On the other hand, yoga classes have soothing music and calming environment which can help you focus and take your body to a full range of motions. Being focused and present can push you to try harder.

5. It pushes you to your limit

Being able to balance between strength and flexibility can help you push yourself. Yoga poses may look tranquil and relaxing but they can seriously push you to your physical limits. You will be able to increase muscle endurance because of the difficult poses you have to hold for an extended period of time.

6. A form of functional fitness

 Functional fitness or functional movement is a form of training that prepares the body for daily movement activities. With regular yoga practice, one can limit the risk of injury to muscles. It also conditions the body to perform better in everyday tasks; such as bending, walking, lifting, sitting, twitching, etc. As a form of functional training, yoga facilitates the movement of the body for better functioning and aid in muscle toning.

Conclusion

Yoga (asanas) has a lot of benefits to the body. As a form of exercise, it is excellent for muscle toning; it aids in building strength, balance, and flexibility.

Yoga enhances not only your physical being but also both your mental and spiritual wellness. It can help in stress disorders and assisting people in discovering their purpose in life.


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