In this fast moving world, where everyone is running behind strict deadlines and working late hours, a major part of our life is getting compromised; “Health”. We are all pressed for time and thus going to a gym isn’t always a possible. Not to forget, it costs a lot of money as well if you wish to join a well equipped health centre.
Yoga, on the other hand is a very economical way to maintain a healthy body, mind and soul. It is a great way to burn fat and gain muscles at the same time. It can be done either as a standalone routine, or can be complimented with other forms of exercise. Yoga can be a form of strength-training exercise as well as meditation. During regular yoga practice, body weight is used and suspended to condition muscles. Both strength and endurance is required in certain poses when we hold them for an extended period of time. Over time, these poses get easier because of gain in muscle condition.
There are some poses which when practiced regularly help in building stronger muscles.
- The Tree Pose (Vrikshasana):. It helps to strengthen legs and hips bones and gain muscles in the legs.
- The Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana): It is another excellent pose to build leg muscles. It also strengthens and tones the arms and lower back.
- The Plank Pose ( Kumbhakasana): This pose targets the abdomen and builds abs muscles. To some extent, it is beneficial for the arm muscles as well.
- The Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): It stretches and strengthens the muscles in shoulders, chest, arms and abdominal.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are some other poses as well which help in muscle growth such as the bear pose, Triangle pose, Boat Pose, Downward dog, Bridge pose and shoulder stand.
These various poses should be performed at least 3 times a week and with time should be done every day as a routine. The beginners can try to hold it for 30 seconds and with practice you can take it to higher levels. It is also crucial to do yoga on a flat surface and in flexible clothing. One must not forget to warm up and cool down before and after a yoga session.
Some other advantages of Yoga apart from muscle building are :
- Increases flexibility: Yoga increases the flexibility of the body by gradually loosening the muscles and making poses easier day by day.
- Higher bone density: Many postures in yoga requires to lift our own body weight which helps to keep our bones strong. Daily practice of yoga increases bone density and vertebrae and lowers the level of stress hormone, which helps to keep the calcium in bones, thus making the bones stronger.
- Increases heart rate: Yoga can improve the maximum intake of oxygen and can relieve depression.
- Reduces stress: Regular yoga practice helps in reducing stress by lowering the stress hormone level. This greatly improves the standard of life.