Yoga is great for flexibility and minimizing stress – but can it help build muscle?
The ability to build muscle depends on a number of factors, not the least of which are:
– Rest/ Sleep
Yoga is a workout in itself – effectively body weight/balance work : push-ups, squats, sit-ups, lunges, handstands, headstands, stretches. If you think that yoga sounds easy – do an one hour yoga class then we can talk. I’m not against gym work (I do it and enjoy it), but things like yoga and even simply walking can enhance the effect and help burn body fat and promote muscle.
Building muscle can be hard, but maintaining a good base is relatively easy – both building and maintaining are made easier with lower stress hormones (eg Cortisol).
So what has happened to me after several months of yoga? (male – already long term eating well and going to the gym, with reasonable starting base):
– Increased bulk (lean)
– Increased flexibility
– More balanced : now can do headstands and handstands
– Stronger legs
– Less stressed and happier
– Sleep better
How much of it can purely attributed to Yoga? : I’m not sure.
How much of it is placebo effect? (a real phenomenon) : I’m not sure
Though nothing works alone – everything works part of a system (eg weightlifting alone, won’t yield much if nutrition is poor, stress is high, sleep is bad and you’re not happy).
Perhaps if Yoga is part of your routine, you might find muscle is added and other aspects of your life improve.
Any thoughts on this : Does yoga promote muscle?