Yoga is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu tradition. It originated in India and includes physical, mental and spiritual practices.
However, the view of yoga in the western world is a bit different to what it traditionally was in India.
Most people who have never done yoga before assume that it is just stretching and that doing yoga isn’t enough exercise to be considered a real workout. However, once you actually try yoga, you will see that it can be an excellent workout for the whole body.
Also, yoga is great for building muscles in the long-term, since it will strengthen and tone all of your muscles, and not just bulk you up.
According to multiple instructors and websites like Muscle Gaining Secrets, yoga does actually build muscle. Additionally, it will increase your strength and flexibility.
Let’s take a look at some of the best yoga exercises to build muscle.
Benefits of Muscle Building Through Yoga
Does yoga build muscle? The truth is, yoga might not be the fastest way to build big muscles. However, it will help build muscle and it has some advantages over going to the gym.
Firstly, yoga will build functional strength. With yoga, you are continually making functional movements, rather than the isolated movements that you perform at the gym.
Sure, you will get strong in the gym, too, but yoga will make your muscles more functional in every way. Yoga also includes more balanced workouts.
Additionally, yoga helps you build muscle strength while also maintaining muscle health. Most people forget to stretch after their training, which is very important for muscle health. However, with yoga, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to stretch, since most yoga exercises involve stretching.
Note that as you build muscle in the gym and increase weight over time, it will have a long-term impact on your joints and tissues. With yoga, you won’t have to worry about that. It will build up your muscles in a low-impact environment.
Yoga will drastically increase your flexibility while building muscle at the same time. Many people who build muscle in the gym lose their flexibility over time. This leaves them with big, but not very useful, muscles.
Another thing that you should consider is optimizing your yoga practice for the best muscle growth. At first, you should identify the key poses that are effective for building muscle, and then plan a progression from the easiest to the most difficult poses. You will notice an improvement over time.
Also, if you are comfortable with one variation but are not ready to go for a more difficult one, you should either increase the repetitions or the time spent in that pose. When you are ready, you should switch to the more difficult one.
Also, don’t forget to implement vinyasa sequences. They are excellent for your endurance, but they will also cause metabolic stress. However, that stress won’t occur if you rest between poses.
The fact is that yoga is not just stretching. You build muscles in the gym by making them do something difficult, like lifting weights. With yoga, you are doing the same thing to your muscles, but with different exercises.
This is the first pose that should be mentioned. Navasana, or “boat pose”, is actually pretty hard to do, but it will have a significant impact on your muscles.
It will work both your abs and hip flexors by forcing you to balance on your sitting bones and tailbone.
Although it might look relatively simple at first glance, when you try it you will realize how difficult it is to stay in that pose and maintain balance over time. If you want to use yoga to build muscle, this is a pose that you shouldn’t miss.
Also known as “chair pose”, with Utkatasana, you will never have to do weighted squats again.
You need to make sure that you lift your chest as you sit deeper and deeper in your imaginary chair. This pose is also challenging, but over time you should be able to do it properly.
As one yoga instructor jokingly said, “this pose will hurt you on a spiritual level.” If you do it properly, it will strengthen your arms, wrists, and legs while simultaneously stretching your pectoralis.
Surya Namaskar Cycle
This is one of the best poses to build muscle, strength and endurance. It will hit almost all muscle groups and, over time, make you toned, flexible and strong.
This exercise will tone both the upper and the lower torso and will leave you with a refreshed mind. By all means, be sure to include this exercise in your training.
This is also known as “warrior pose”, and it was named after a warrior in Hindu mythology. It may seem strange that a yoga pose is named after a warrior, since yoga is all about peace. However, it refers to the spiritual warrior in all of us.
This is a great pose for beginners since it is not complicated to do. You should apply this pose in your everyday routine by practicing it every morning on an empty stomach.
It will stretch your lungs, chest and stomach, while also strengthening your arms and back. Another great thing about this pose is that it will improve both your focus and blood circulation.
However, be careful not to overwhelm the front knee and stop the practice if you feel any discomfort.
So, does yoga build muscle? As we’ve explained, yoga is a very good practice for building muscle. It has many advantages over the gym.
The truth is, you will build muscles faster if you go to the gym and lift weights. However, yoga will have a much better effect in the long term, and will also make you stronger, both physically and mentally, as well as making you more flexible.
Another great thing is that yoga will not only make you stronger, but also more functional. If you treat yoga as a way of life, you will notice numerous benefits in the long term. For more information, check out the Muscle Gaining Secrets website.