Yoga is more than a powerful way to relax, it can change your body, If flexibility and balance are what you’re after, even the gentlest forms of yoga will do the trick.
Many types also help you build muscle strength and endurance. If you want to work on your cardio fitness, yoga can do that, too, as long as you opt for a more rigorous form.
Hatha, Integral, and Iyengar yoga. Choose one of these gentle forms if you want to target flexibility, balance, strength, and relaxation. In a recent study, people who did Hatha yoga for 8 weeks had better balance, improved flexibility, a boost in endurance, and an upsurge in strength to change their body.
If you choose Bikram or Hot yoga, you’ll sweat more, because the room is kept at a higher temperature.
You’ll reap the benefits of the gentler types of yoga – flexibility, balance, strength, and relaxation – plus you’ll get a cardio workout. Moves like Sun Salutation A and Sun Salutation B boost your heart rate and build stamina.
One footnote of sorts: If your goal is to build muscles, weightlifting will give you better results. If you want to lose weight, good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are also key. “Often someone who practices yoga regularly starts to make more optimal choices when it comes to being healthy,” Eliot says.
The more you practice yoga, the more chance you’ll see in your body. Start with three sessions per week. After about a month, bump it up to five or more.
Mix it up. Each style of yoga has unique benefits. Try to vary your yoga practice to target different areas of your body and fend off boredom.
Be mindful. Use your sessions to let go of tension and stress. As a part of your fitness routine, yoga can be a powerful way to manage stress, think more positively, and feel good.
How long until Yoga changes your body?
It will depend on your age and how to fit you are, of course. The beauty of Yoga is that you can practice anywhere, with no need for equipment. Your body is your tool, if you’re practicing at least twice a week the results will be visible in the first 6 months. However, the biggest change will probably be in your mindset, of how your expectations of body changes will differ from your initial goals. While holding the poses, your mind gets busy calming your breathing. Your attention shifts to your body in a holistic way. You won’t have any time to be checking on the mirrors to see how well you’re doing or comparing yourself with others. For one thing, there are no mirrors around in a Yoga room. It’s you with yourself.
How your body will look like with Yoga practice
Fit, strong, your body muscles will develop keeping the proportion of your body structure because all the weight you’re lifting is yours. Your muscle lines will be elongated and stretched, you will feel and look taller.
It is a totally different body than a weight lifter for this reason. You will be more focused on how well YOU feel rather than on how good your body looks, achieving the freedom to be your own YOUR body with all imperfections and limitations, learning to love it, respect, and honor it.
Health and Mental Benefits of Yoga
1. Your immune system will be stronger. Fewer colds, healthier days, and more time to enjoy life.
2. You will enjoy a mind state where you’re more peaceful and centered
3. You will learn how to be in the moment
4. The feeling of gratitude for being healthy, having a body that can move any way you want, will be so prevalent that happiness will be your closest friend.
5. You will start to learn how to trust your intuition
Everybody is different and all these benefits above will vary in one way or the other. For me the main lesson Yoga has taught me is that our bodies are unique. Comparison and competition are not part of Yoga practice in any way.
You will learn to appreciate your body and value every step of your practice as an evolution in your physical life.
Yoga body versus Gym body
It all depends on what you enjoy the most. Obviously, if you’re reading this article is because you’re interested in Yoga as your main exercise. It is an environment for the ones who strive for calmness and quiet. If your goal is to build serious muscles you will need to add some extra weight lifting to do along with your Yoga. It can be a good combination as well. It’s your call. The way I see it, why would you waste so much time at the gym working each part of your body separately?
For example, your weight lifting will become more organic since is your own weight. In different inversions and arm balances, you will be multi-tasking with your body and mind.
Many different body actions will be happening at the same time: raising your heartbeat, opening up your joints, strengthening your muscles, and lengthening them out all at once.
That’s a road that can take you everywhere and can define who you will become.
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