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How To Strengthen And Tone Your Muscles With Yoga

Aug 17, 2007
Yoga is one of the best disciplines for strengthening and toning your muscles. There are many postures or positions that will help you do this. Each position works on a certain set of muscles and teaches you how to control them. Some will strengthen, some relax your muscles while others will release tension and promote flexibility.

The physical positions of yoga are known as asana. They are divided into simple basic ones and more advanced. Before you start it is always good to do warm up exercises before starting on your regime and then finish with calming or cooling exercises. Warm up exercises include; eye rolls, moving your eyes without moving your head, neck rolls and shoulder lifting.

Here are a few common positions that will strengthen and tone your muscles.
1. The cat position helps you to warm up.
2. A standing position like the Mountain will help you to strengthen your spine and leg muscles. It will also help you to prepare for other positions.
3. There are many sitting poses. Some will strengthen your muscles others relax them. The hero pose and warrior position are 2 common positions.
4. Muscle stretching is good for your muscle strength and toning. The Seated Forward Bend is a common one that stretches your back, shoulders, and hamstrings.
5. The most famous sitting posture is the Lotus position. This will help you to relax your muscles.
6. A common muscle strengthening exercises is called the Backward Dog.
7. Another position that strengthens the spine is the Half Spinal Twist.

Other physical postures can help improve large motor skills, when you balance for some positions and co-ordination. Many of the exercises will also help you heal from injuries. Whenever you do Yoga it is very important to have careful supervision from a qualified yoga teacher.

Yoga can also relieve stress, its philosophy of calmness and balancing the body's energy can help you to relieve everyday tension. Physical exercise can often help to relieve tension. Many of the postures are designed to release energy and will automatically lessen tension and stress. When you are less stressed your overall health will improve.

There are also breathing exercises, called Pranayamas that can energize and warm the body. Examples are Kapalabhati Pranayama and Ujjayi Pranayama. Other exercises include cooling and calming Pranayamas. An example of this would be Sit Cari Pranayama. Different conditions of the body will need either cooling or warming of the body in order to heal and improve your health. These exercises will help to do this.

It is important to see the big picture when practicing yoga. When you practice the different poses for your different body areas you are in fact improving your entire body health. Your daily routine should be made up of different exercises for different areas of the body to improve your entire overall well being.

A fun new way to practice yoga and improve your physical conditioning is ball yoga. This is doing the basic yoga positions with the aid of a ball. You can either sit or lie on a rubber exercise, or Swiss ball, when you do yoga positions. This can help beginners and can also serve to make exercises more challenging for advanced users.

There are different sizes for different people. Adults 5'7'' in height or taller should use a 65cm ball. Smaller people should consider a 55cm. Fill less air in the beginning and put more in when you are ready for the challenge.

As you can see there are many ways to improve your physical condition through the asana or postures of yoga. An important thing to remember is to always learn from an experienced teacher, who can advise you as to what is the best regime for you. Yoga is a skilled discipline and needs some guidance especially if you are new to this fascinating art.
About the Author
Zach Thompson is a Glyconutrients Representative. His clients range from actresses to pro athletes. You can get a free Glyconutrients consultation by visiting Glyconutrients. Clinical studies have shown that glyconutrients can help balance your immune system.
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