Body Transformation With Yoga – Introduction
Yoga body transformation is probably not the first activity that comes to mind when you want to reshape your physique.
Instead, you might consider full-body activities like:
- strength training
- rock climbing
- roller skating
The surprising answer is yes, a daily yoga practice can do wonders for your mental and physical health.
In fact, yoga is the oldest formalized exercise program in the world.
It originated in India around 2,700 BC, and there are now many different styles and variations of yoga.
There are modern, athletic forms of yoga, such as Bikram, Hot, and Power yoga, as well as gentler, more traditional styles, such as Yin and Sivananda yoga.
Some forms of yoga emphasize the physical aspect of this ancient exercise system, while others are more spiritual.
With so many yoga styles to choose from, you should have no problem selecting the one that’s right for you.
Yoga is very compatible with other types of exercise, such as running and strength training, and offers a wide range of benefits.
This article reveals nine amazing ways that yoga can change your body!
9 Stunning Ways How Yoga Changes Your Body
Not sure if yoga is the right workout for you?
Check out this list of yoga benefits, and then decide!
- Improved mobility and flexibility
- Better posture
- Improve muscle tone
- Increase strength
- Stronger core
- Burn fat and lose weight
- Reduce stress
- Better sleep
- Cardiovascular fitness
Yoga Body Transformation Descriptions
#1. Improved flexibility and mobility
Flexibility is the elasticity of your muscles, and mobility is the range of motion of your joints.
Modern life, especially prolonged sitting, can reduce flexibility AND mobility, leaving many people tight and stiff.
Many yoga poses, called asanas, involve deep stretches held for extended periods.
It’s no coincidence that people who practice yoga are usually very supple!
Improving your flexibility and mobility will allow you to move better, squat deeper, and suffer less muscle and joint pain.
Most people tend to stiffen up as they age, and yoga could be the perfect solution.
#2. Better posture
Leading on from the point above, prolonged sitting and tight, immobile muscles can affect your posture.
Posture is the alignment of your joints, and it can be good or bad.
In good posture, there is very little stress on your joints, muscles, or connective tissues.
However, when your posture is bad, muscles and joints are under much more stress, leading to pain and loss of function.
Poor posture is invariably caused by some muscles becoming tight while others become weak, and many yoga asanas are designed to address this imbalance.
Adopting and maintaining better posture can help alleviate back and neck pain, muscle tension, headaches, and even breathing problems.
Good posture also makes you look younger, slimmer, and more confident.
Protracted sitting can destroy your posture, and yoga is one of the best remedies.
#3. Improved muscle tone
Muscle tone is best described as a readiness to contract.
Toned muscles are firm, healthy, and ready to work when called upon.
In contrast, untoned muscles are weak, soft, and often inhibited, so they don’t work as well as they should.
Many yoga poses involve supporting your weight on your feet, hands, or both, which puts beneficial stress on large numbers of skeletal muscles.
So, while yoga won’t build large, bulky muscles like lifting weights can, it will make your muscles healthier and firmer.
#4. Increased strength
Many yoga asanas involve supporting your weight statically.
This is called an isometric contraction.
However, because many of those poses are done with your muscles in a stretched position, yoga builds strength at the end of the range of motion, which is where muscles tend to be weakest.
Imagine getting out of a low chair – that stretched position is hard to get up from.
Holding yoga postures like the warrior pose, triangle pose, boat pose, and bridge pose will build strength in all your major muscles without resorting to lifting weights.
#5. A stronger core
Yoga will build strength throughout your body, but it’s worth mentioning that it’s especially useful for building core strength.
Your core is the collective term for the muscles around your midsection, including your rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis, and erector spinae muscles.
Your core surrounds your lumbar spine like a corset to support your lower back.
Almost all yoga poses involve your core, and some specifically target these all-important muscles.
A stronger core will help flatten your abdomen, improve your posture, and could also reduce your risk of developing low back pain.
And who doesn’t want a toned midsection?!
#6. Burn fat and lose weight
Yoga can help control your weight, especially when combined with a reduced-calorie or even better, a real food diet and exercise plan.
Like all types of compound exercises, doing yoga increases your caloric expenditure and, as such, can contribute to your weight loss efforts.
When it comes to weight loss, some types of yoga are better than others.
The more energetic your yoga practice, the more calories you’ll burn.
Hot, Bikram and Power yoga are probably the best yoga classes for weight loss, but most types of yoga will increase your calorie expenditure as you do it.
The number of calories burned during yoga will depend on the type of yoga performed, your weight, age, height, and gender.
However, it’s estimated that a 145 lb. person doing an hour of Hatha yoga will burn 183 calories or about 3.05 calories per minute.
In contrast, the same person will expend 574 calories doing Vinyasa for an hour, or 9.57 calories per minute.
#7. Less stress
All types of yoga are good for reducing stress.
With more athletic styles of yoga, such as Vinyasa and Bikram, stress relief comes from physical exertion, which increases the production of feel-good hormones such as endorphins.
Gentler, calmer types of yoga, such as restorative and yin yoga, lower your stress levels through purposeful relaxation, meditation, and breathing exercises.
Regardless, the outcome is the same – lower stress levels.
Stress is a plague of modern living.
Most people experience stress many times a day.
Sources of stress include health problems, financial worries, familial or relationship problems, the news, work demands, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and being overly sedentary.
Prolonged stress can have a negative impact on all aspects of your mental and physical health, including weight gain.
Yoga provides a haven from stress and can make your life much more enjoyable and rewarding.
#8. Sleep better
How is your sleep?
If it’s not great, you are not alone.
Many people are poor sleepers.
As a result, you might always feel tired, which can affect your productivity, creativity, motivation to exercise, dietary choices, and stress levels.
Yoga can help improve the duration and quality of your sleep.
Yoga breathing exercises and meditations are great for promoting sleep and are a viable alternative to sleep medications, which are sometimes harmful and habit-forming.
Getting more sleep will boost your energy for exercise, lower your dependence on high-sugar foods and caffeine, improve your mood, make stressors easier to deal with, and enhance almost every other aspect of your home and professional life.
#9. Improved cardiovascular fitness
Many people are surprised by just how aerobically challenging some types of yoga can be.
Flow yoga classes, where you move from one asana to another in time with your breaths, are especially good for your heart, lungs, and circulatory system.
Most yoga practices involve breathing through your nose only.
This reduces the depth of each breath and will make even easy exercises much more challenging.
Lack of oxygen to your working muscles will force your heart to beat faster.
Improved cardiovascular fitness is intrinsically linked to better cardiovascular health, meaning:
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced risk of strokes
- Better blood lipid profile
- Less “bad” cholesterol
- More “good” cholesterol
- Lower risk of heart attacks
Why Choose Yoga?
Yoga can affect your body in many different ways, but there are additional reasons that yoga could be the ideal workout for you.
Here is a list of the main reasons to choose yoga!
While you can go to a yoga class, once you have a grasp on some of the basic asanas, you can do yoga almost anywhere and anytime.
Just a few minutes a day will help improve your flexibility and mobility, lower your stress levels, and enhance your sleep.
Minimal equipment required
All you need for yoga is a mat, some yoga blocks, and a strap.
You can buy all this for less than $50.
You could even just use a large towel and do yoga without any equipment.
While yoga classes can be expensive, you can learn a lot from watching YouTube videos for free.
Many yoga teachers have online follow-along classes, so you can do your practice at home.
Compared to joining a gym, yoga is very budget-friendly.
Some yoga practitioners have incredible flexibility and can get into poses that the rest of us will never achieve.
That said, most asanas can be modified to make them more accessible.
That’s good news if you are a beginner or are very tight and immobile.
Using blocks and straps can make even the most demanding asana easier to achieve.
Yoga is not just suitable for people who already have excellent flexibility.
You can do it daily
Unlike high-impact, high-intensity workouts like lifting weights, running, or CrossFit, you can (and probably should) do yoga daily.
For example, you could do a couple of classes a week and some shorter, easier self-guided practices in between.
There are also several yoga-based daily challenges to try, such as the 30-day Bikram challenge run by many yoga studios.
This involves doing one Bikram yoga class a day for a month.
Regardless of your chosen yoga path, daily practices are highly recommended, even if you just do a couple of asanas to break up long periods of sitting at your desk.
You don’t know what your body is capable of until you push it.
And yoga is an incredibly effective tool to rehabilitate even the most seemingly hopeless case.
If you still have any questions as to whether yoga can help you transform your body, make sure to watch the under 5-minute video below from DDPYoga that has only been viewed a mere 106 million times.
If former paratrooper Arthur’s story does not motivate you, what will?
Motivational quotes are not enough, see it to believe it.
And never, ever, give up.
Body Transformation With Yoga – Wrapping Up
When it comes to body transformation workouts, yoga is not usually at the top of the list.
That’s a shame because yoga can be incredibly effective for changing your body.
Yoga can help plug the physical gaps left by running and lifting weights and complements most other workouts perfectly.
And in some cases, like Arthur’s in the above video, even the powerful benefits of deadlifts would have been a non-starter for a man who could not walk.
But yoga made the difference.
So, whether you choose to do yoga at home, attend yoga classes, or hire a yoga personal trainer, you will soon start to experience the many benefits of this ancient exercise system.