Yoga for strength: Asanas to make you stronger
When you are a teenager or still in your 20s, your focus might be just on weight loss. But as we grow older, we must also think about building strength. That’s because if our body becomes weak, there might be chances of having many health problems. Also, ageing means losing lean muscle mass. No wonder why strength training is becoming popular. If sweating it out at a gym isn’t your thing, try yoga for strength. You might think that yoga is all about stretching and bending, but it helps not just with flexibility but also strength.
To find out how to build strength with yoga, Health Shots connected with Dr Mickey Mehta, a global leading holistic health guru and corporate life coach. He says that every human loses 5.1 percent of their muscle mass annually, and yoga can help to build strength. It’s not just strength training in a gym that can do wonders.
Yoga asanas for strength
Yoga helps to increase flexibility, muscular-skeletal strength, and balance, says the expert. Here are some asanas that can help you increase strength!
How to perform Vrikshasana or Tree pose
• Stand straight and balance firmly on your left leg while lifting your right leg up.
• Place your right foot against the inner side of your left thigh.
• Join your palms like you are praying and bring them to your chest level.
• Hold in this position for 10 seconds then gradually you can hold for up to one minute.
Dr Mehta says that balancing on one leg and focusing on one point increases your focus. Vrikshasana also improves the strength of the gluteus, hamstring, hips, quadriceps and knee muscles.
How to perform Parvatasana
• Sit in Vajrasana and keep your hands in front of you.
• Raise your buttocks and push your head down until your heels touch the ground. Do it without shifting the position of your hands and feet.
• Hold it for some time then slowly come back.
Keeping your palms and feet on the ground and raising your torso up can make your determination strong. Shoulders, hands, heels, calves, hamstrings, glutes, hips and lower back muscles are involved in this asana, making them strong.
3. Double Pawanamuktasana
How to perform this yoga asana for strength
• Lie down on your back while keeping your legs straight.
• Raise your legs straight up to 45 degrees then bend your legs at the knees up towards your chest until your thigh touches your stomach.
• Hug your knees and lock your fingers then gently lift your head up and try touching the tip of your nose to the knees.
• Hold this posture for 30 seconds and you can extend it to one minute if you can.
• Bring your head down and straighten your legs and then bring it on the ground and relax.
This helps to have strong inner core strength.
How to perform Naukasana or Boat pose
• Simply lie down flat on your mat while keeping your feet together and your arms on the sides. Your fingers should be stretched towards your toes.
• Lift your upper body and bend your knee, stretching your arms towards your feet.
• Slowly try to straighten your legs and feel the stretch in your stomach area and balance your body entirely on the buttocks.
• Ensure your toes, eyes and fingers are in one line.
• Remain in this position for at least 10 seconds then bring your legs then the upper body down and relax.
It strengthens your core and confidence, says the expert.
How to perform Virabhadrasana
• Stand straight with your feet three to four feet apart. Turn your right foot out so that it is at an angle of 90 degrees.
• Turn your left foot in, make sure it is at an angle of around 15 degrees.
• Slowly lift both arms sideways to your shoulder height. Your palms must be facing upward.
• Bend your right knee then turn your head and look towards your right.
• Stretch your arms more and hold your head high.
• Hold it for about 20 seconds then follow the steps for the other side.
It strengthens the back and front of the calf muscles, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles.
To be stronger, you don’t have to just rely on weights. But the expert says that functional training and calisthenics can be done if you wish to switch things up a bit. Weight exercise can help to maintain and increase muscle mass, as well as strengthen ligaments and joints.