A lot of people despise yoga as workout. They think it’s all about placing your body in strange positions and consider it to be an effortless exercise. They couldn’t be more wrong. Yoga isn’t just a bunch of body positions, but a five thousand years old science. The word yoga is Sanskrit and means balance or union. Originally yoga was a technique to achieve total awareness, being present in the now and being attentive with all senses. Today yoga is used to create energy, balance, flexibility, physical strength and inner peace.
Can yoga help stress?
Prolonged stress usually has a negative effect on physical and mental health. Science has shown yoga is very effective when it comes to reducing stress. The slow and deep breathing technique used in yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system and reduces the pulse and blood pressure. When it comes to physically demanding workout, such as bodybuilding, the muscle degrading stress hormone cortisol increases.
Yoga is an effective way to lower the cortisol levels in the body, and the benefit is not only less stress but also preventing muscle mass from degrading as much. Yoga has other benefits. It makes the body stronger and more flexible. It increases the blood circulation and level of oxygen in the blood, toxic waste is cleansed from muscles and inner organs, the immune system improves, the level of concentration increases and your sleep improves. Yoga has also shown to be very effective when it comes to depressive conditions.
Does yoga build muscle mass?
Yoga is a lot more physically demanding than it seems. With yoga, you build a strong and muscular torso, and get better posture and balance. The risk of back pains also reduces and your mobility increases a lot. Practicing yoga as a complementary exercise to any sport or demanding workout will help you preform better and become more successful. You will also risk injuries a lot less, recover quicker and get more stable results due to the fact that yoga will help you use your body more effectively in sports or workout based on technique.
Yoga as a complement to bodybuilding is a very good combination. Yoga makes the body more mobile and flexible, meaning the bodybuilding exercise will be more effective. When practicing yoga, you do not use a few muscle groups at once, as you do in bodybuilding. Instead, there are many muscle groups that has to work at the same time, because certain positions and movements in yoga demand the support from different muscle groups, or you wouldn’t be able to preform them.
Every serious bodybuilder and professional athlete is well aware of how important breathing technique and the ability to control your oxygen intake is for the result. It doesn’t matter how much muscle strength you have if you can’t control your breathing.
In this case yoga is also a fantastic complement to your workout or exercise. The breathing techniques you will learn and the physical flexibility you will get through yoga, will improve your results at the gym significantly.
What is the best yoga for core strength?
The type of yoga considered the best for increasing mobility, flexibility and core strength is Ashtanga Yoga and the more modern type of yoga called Power Yoga. Ashtanga Yoga is a physically demanding type of yoga not suited for beginners, since it takes some basic strength. Ashtanga Yoga has different positions preformed in a continuous and smooth rapid movement without any breaks in between. Power Yoga originates from Ashtanga Yoga but has influences of aerobics. Power Yoga focus on balance, strength and flexibility and has less meditative orientation.
There are some yoga positions considered the best for increasing core strength.
Here are six of them.
Warrior 2 pose
What do I need?
Practicing yoga doesn’t take a lot of equipment. Comfortable cloths, a water bottle and a yoga mat is all you need. (The latter because the floor is a little to hard.) Most every gym has yoga classes, and there are instructional videos to follow if you want to practice at home. Yoga is a perfect exercise to do with your partner, and there are even positions suitable for couples yoga. You can practice yoga as a sole exercise or as a complement to your workout, and everybody can do it. Here I have mentioned Ashtanga Yoga and Power Yoga, but there are many more types of yoga out there adapted to any need. Why don’t you give it a try?