While yoga is not primarily a strength-building activity, it involves holding various poses that require muscular engagement. Certain yoga styles can develop strength, particularly in the core, arms, and legs. Those engaged in other sports or training activities—like running, soccer, basketball or weightlifting– may find that they are generating power and stability through regular yoga practice.
If you are an athlete that is looking to increase strength and would enjoy the additional benefits of yoga like increased flexibility, improved stability, mental focus and stress reduction this blog is for you! Review the following tips to better understand how building strength through yoga can be achieved with consistent effort and the right approach.
- Practice Power Yoga or Vinyasa Flow: These yoga styles are more dynamic and physically demanding, focusing on flowing movements and continuous transitions between poses. They may also incorporate strength-building elements like lunges, planks, low push-ups and arm balances. At Yoga Body Shop, we incorporate these elements into our daily Hot Yoga classes and make them accessible to all levels of yoga practice.
- Incorporate Standing Poses: Standing poses such as Warrior I, Warrior II, and Triangle pose require strength and stability in the legs, core, and upper body. Hold these poses for longer durations, engage your muscles, and focus on maintaining proper alignment. As you progress, you can deepen the poses by adding variations or transitioning between them fluidly.
- Practice Arm Balances and Inversions: Arm balances like Crow pose, Side Crow, and Eight Angle pose, as well as inversions like Headstand or Handstand, are excellent for building upper body and core strength. Start with easier variations or use props, such as blocks or a wall, for support and gradually work your way up to more challenging versions. Our yoga instructors are trained to guide you and ensure the appropriate safety precautions are taken when attempting any advanced arm balances and inversions.
- Engage Your Core: Core strength is essential for stability and balance in yoga. Incorporate poses that target the core, such as Plank pose and Side Plank. Pay attention to engaging your abdominal muscles and maintaining a strong core throughout your practice, even during transitions between poses.
- Practice regularly and be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to building strength. Aim for regular yoga practice, whether it’s daily or a few times a week, to allow your body to adapt and grow stronger over time. Consistency will help you progress and see improvements in your strength.
- Challenge Yourself: Don’t be afraid to push your limits and try new poses or variations. As you become comfortable with certain poses, explore more advanced options or incorporate challenging transitions into your practice. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone will stimulate strength development.
Remember to always listen to your body, practice proper alignment, and seek guidance from our trained yoga instructors. At Yoga Body Shop, we know It’s important to progress at your own pace and honor your body’s limitations, while rising to the challenge. We are a passionate community of yogis that support one another and look forward to helping you enhance your strength physically and mentally. Click here to find a class and join us!