Yoga is a form of physical and spiritual enrichment that has been passed down through the centuries.
A regular yoga practice can help reduce stress while building strength.
If you are interested in using yoga to meet your fitness goals, keep the following tips in mind.
Pick the right style of yoga for your goals
Certain styles of yoga, like hatha and yin yoga, focus on breath, stretching, and intentional poses that cultivate mindfulness.
Others, like vinyasa and ashtanga yoga, focus on flowing through movements, building heat in the body, and challenging physical as well as inner strength.
If you are looking to build muscle and burn fat, vinyasa, bikram, or ashtanga yoga are a good choice for a primary workout.
Even if toning up is your primary goal, you should still balance swift and challenging practices with more restorative ones once or twice a week to prevent injury.
Focus on strength and flexibility
Once you have chosen a yoga discipline, make sure your program focuses on strength and flexibility for the whole body.
Lots of stretching combined with strength exercises will ensure you build long, lean muscle and don’t develop a bulky look.
Moves like downward dog and crow pose will tone your upper body, chaturanga will challenge your abs, and warrior variations will make your legs feel the burn!
A program that incorporates exercises in all of these categories will make sure your growth stays balanced throughout your body.
Track Your Progress
Find a consistent way to measure and track progress throughout your yoga journey.
Consider a weekly self-assessment of timing how long you can hold a plank, taking a photo of how deep you can go into a stretch, or how fatigued you are from doing a set of sun salutations.
Difficult poses can also act as a barometer of progress; achieving and holding a pose that requires balance and strength like crow or a warrior variation will show you how you have improved over time.
If you don’t see progress, examine other areas of your life that could be affecting your path – do you have the same focus on health when it comes to preparing meals?
Are you committed to getting enough sleep? Cultivate a life in which your body has the tools and the room to evolve.
Yoga is an enriching way to get the lean, toned body you want.
Start your journey today!