Yoga is an ancient practice that is meant to naturally discipline and condition the mind, body and spirit. It is thought to have originated by ancient Shamans, or healers, of the East. Yoga’s history is long and complex, but the fact that it has been practiced for thousands of years is a testament to its tremendous benefits for human beings.
Through yoga practice, one reflects on the strengths and weaknesses present in each individual body. On top of its spiritual benefits, the physical benefits of yoga practice are undeniable. Many people see yoga as a means of relaxation and meditation only, not realizing how effective building strength through yoga can be. Since yoga does not require any tools or machinery to perform, the body is strengthened in a way that is absolutely natural. Yoga positions evolve out of the natural sitting and standing positions of our bodies. As we practice yoga, our bodies will experience multiple important benefits:
- Increased flexibility
- Improved strength across all the major muscle groups
- Better balance and core strength
The result of building strength through yoga is toned, lean muscle definition: your muscles grow from supporting your own body weight. Compared to lifting dumbbells, this practice recruits far more muscle power. Instead of isolating a single muscle, entire groups of muscles (big and small) are engaged in supporting the body’s weight. Weight training can often result in tight, bulging muscles, but yoga simultaneously builds muscle while stretching them. Recruiting these smaller muscles is the difference between having a bulky bicep look and an arm that is toned all over.
For those who ever wondered if it is really possible to build strength through yoga, the answer is unquestionably yes! Through yoga, one uses their own body weight to make their body stronger. In this manner, the mind focuses itself on the body and allows the two to come together for all-around strength training that is both mental and physical.