Over the past few years, there has been a boom in strength training, from CrossFit and weight lifting to outdoor, more natural movement training. People are getting out, moving more, and encouraging each other to become stronger! Building strength is important to increase bone density, retain muscle mass as we age, stabilize and strengthen joints to prevent injury, improve metabolism and for the overall health of our bodies. It also has a positive effect on mental health, including reducing anxiety, depression and pain intensity while improving sleep, confidence and self-esteem. So what about strength based yoga? Does it actually build strength and what can you expect when adding a yoga practice to your strength training and muscle building goals?
Does yoga build strength?
Types of yoga, like our Power Flow, Core Flow and Hot Mess Buti classes at Joy & Vitality Centre will help you build muscle as you support your body weight in different poses and strengthening movements. Yoga poses often involve the whole body, rather than isolating specific muscles, and that means some muscles are where the main action takes place while other muscle groups to act as stabilizers. This means yoga can be a great form of functional strength training! Functional strength training builds strength in the whole body so to perform activities in the real world, not just lifting a certain amount of weight.
How can I get stronger with yoga?
There are different ways to build strength through yoga and using a mix of techniques is a good balance. Repetition of body weight bearing poses or adding in extra core planks or arm balances will build strength. Holding poses longer is a simple way to build strength quickly without equipment and to see how you’re progressing. Poses like Plank, Dolphin, Downward Facing Dog, Tree, Warrior, Chair & Boat are great for this.
Should I do yoga alone or with other exercises to build muscle?
Since yoga is a form of functional strength training, it will build the strength you need for daily life. A rigorous practice won’t give you a bodybuilder physique, but will build your bone & muscle strength for great health! If you’re looking to build more muscle bulk, combining yoga with more classic weight lifting activities will help you build more muscle while retaining the flexibility and holistic approach to health that a yoga practice offers.
In yoga classes at Joy & Vitality Centre, our instructors are always willing to help you reach your goals in your practice. They can offer suggestions on which classes to try for more strengthening poses, suggest modifications during class to help you build further strength while making sure your form and breathing are always working for you and not against you. One of our goals is to see strong & healthy people enjoying their lives and unfolding their value and wholeness. Get in touch with us today so we can partner with you on this journey to strength and incredible health.