YOGA POSES FOR STRENGTH BUILDING
Body strength is simply the ability of a human being to put the internal force against the external demands. The strength of the body should be more or at least equal to the demand to succeed in the moment. Events from the environment may be or may not be planned always. Hence it is mandatory to prepare the body strength and keep ready for surrounding demands. In the practice of yoga, the strength is required and is always unplanned for a beginner. It is nearly known even for an expert. So strength training must be a common protocol for daily life and healthy life. Here we discuss few of such practices which works on maximum part of the body and differs from Gym practices to avoid the imbalance between the muscle strength. Many people think that only food can increase your body strength, but it is not true at all as a good body strength can be achieved with the exercise along with the good nutrition, not the quantity of food.
Yoga is safe way of “muscle training”
Yoga classes are different from gym classes because of maximum muscle usage at a time than individual muscles. Gym needs equipment like weight cuffs, dumbbells to build muscle of strength, but hatha yoga use own body weight. Yoga altogether relies on Asana to create tension among deep to outer muscles and thus helps in acquiring the amplest body strength without the use of any artificial or harmful supplements as used in modern day’s gym.
Is Yoga a “good path for strength building”??
By understanding the strength as it is only muscles, Gym and other pilots practices are made for certain sports but not for long daily life (they need retirement). Yoga defines the strength as physical, immune, mental and environmental. Bodily postures named with movement and name of the body part like Paschimottanasana means back stretch pose, will improve the strength if do quickly for few times. But the same will be maintained for more than 5-10 breaths to allow the immune changes to happen and that is the way yogi can deepen his/her concentration on the changes (mental strength). Eventually the ability to withstand with the external demands or even the climatic changes can be seen in life. Hence the journey of body, breath, mind and internal environment are the goal in yoga but it is just the physical and goal oriented in Gym. Yoga practice can bring natural flexibility to the body in an optimum level because of internal observation.
Yoga Poses for strength building are as follows:
Phalakasana (Plank Pose) : Phalakasana is often used as quick transitional pose which must be done for at least 10 breaths (a minute) to achieve the optimum strength of Core muscles. The muscles are; Diaphragm, rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, obliques abdominus, erector spinae, multifidus, quadratus lumborum, pelvic diaphragm. Other common major muscles are; Trapezius, Biceps, triceps, Pectorals, Ilio-psoas, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, etc.
Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose) : This is a challenging pose because of lees base of support and weight in the air is more. Usually done five in a row, this asana is a mindful push-up which will help in strengthening your triceps to keep elbow extended, Quadriceps to keep knee extended, Gluteus minimus and Ilio-psoas to keep pelvis in neutral. Other muscles are same as Plank pose.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) : Meaning of this pose is shoulder region pose. As an initial step to Urdhva Mukha svanasana, this pose helps in taping into the underused muscles of upper back. If done without skipping any step, this pose stretches muscles in chest, abdomen, and shoulders. The placement of plams on the floor just below the shoulders helps neck and shoulder muscles, palms just at the level of 6th rib strengthens the pectorals and intercostals, plams just at the level of 12th rib can strengthen the lower back muscles through isometric contraction. Hence the entire vertebral column muscles are strengthen safely by Bhujangasana. This technique often used for spinal issues and gain general relaxation.
Navasana (Boat Pose): A well balanced pose is managing the weight on a small base of support. Navasana is the pose which demands the base of support from all the muscles around pelvis like, pelvic diaphragm, glutei, ilio-psoas, lumbo-sacral and abs. When maintained a nice sharp V shape the abdominal and pelvic cavities will be changed rhythmically with movement and breath. This leads to the strengthening of smooth muscles and blood vessels. Hence it is a best pose for digestive and excretory functions.
Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose): The meaning of being a Warrior comes from the bodily strength to the mental strength. The mind-body connections can be easily felt for a beginner in this pose. Hence there are 3 variations till now for beginner to start and progress in asana practices. With the longer holding time up to 10 breaths and with proper alignment, this pose will leads to activation of chakras.
Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose): This is a lateral balancing pose improves the cerebellar and basal ganglionic connection at sub-cortex. This pose enhances ankle strength and stability.
Vrksasana (Tree Pose): Maintaining the whole body weight on a single foot with or without closed eyes improves the cerebellar and frontal functions. Hence it improves motor skills, psychological skills like attention, performance tasks. Hence it is a meditative pose yet a best results physical strength.
Utkatasana (Chair Pose) : By sitting long in chair pose, excretory organs and digestive fire will be balanced. Hence this is the pose for Samana vayu which is surrounded by core muscles.
Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Tree pose in Handstand): This pose is an incredible strengthener for the core and the arms. This pose helps in enhancing your stamina and increase the fresh supply of blood to the brain improves the collateral circulation. Hence the blood pressure and supply of brain will be neutral at stressful situations. The reaction to demanding situation like stress, brain and mind will work efficiently. Hence this pose is for physical and mental strength.
Shavasana (Corpse Pose): This pose is the best recovery pose as any intense practice and preferable for meditation. But it is the best pose for improving the immune system and relaxes the autonomic nervous system. Hence the stressful situations of any other practice can be easily recovered and improve immunity and mental strength with 10-20 minutes of Shavasana (Corpse Pose).