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TACDGB Posts: 6,136
2/5/13 8:46 P

You will become flexable but that is it..........Weight training will work those muscles where yoga won't.

SAKS20111 SparkPoints: (18,208)
Fitness Minutes: (9,978)
Posts: 576
2/5/13 6:40 P

im a beginner yogi, so, i normally dont get the same muscle workout like i do w/weights. im not sure if the more advanced yoga is different? im not too sure. maybe other sparkers have better ideas.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,251)
Fitness Minutes: (15,537)
Posts: 9,713
2/5/13 5:03 P

DEFFUZZ, that's a common concern, but fortunately, it's not one you have to worry about. You are female, therefore you are simply not likely to bulk up! This article explains the difference between toning and bulking up, and why you do NOT need to be afraid of weight lifting, and lifting heavy at that. In addition to being female, you can't gain muscle because you are eating at a calorie deficit!

Yoga has many benefits, among them all that you've listed, but it is not not an adequate substitute for strength training. It's flexibility and stress-reducing, improves balance, and can provide some strength benefits in the early parts of your training, but does not challenge your body the way true strength training does. Increasing strength and increasing muscle mass are not the same thing. In order to "bulk up", you need to lift like a body builder, and eat like one, too: at a calorie surplus. While eating at a deficit, the most you can hope for is to preserve the muscle you do have. Like Jen, I'm not certain that yoga is strenuous enough for you to even manage that.

Yoga will not develop "long, lean" muscles as they claim; it can't really help with that, and there's no way to lengthen muscles, anyway! It's very beneficial, and as a fellow practitioner myself, I strongly recommend it to anyone who will listen. But I still lift weights, and will always lift weights. They serve two different, entirely compatible, goals.

Here's another article that will help:

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 2/5/2013 (17:06)
JENMC14 Posts: 2,786
2/5/13 4:14 P

You are not going to gain muscle by doing yoga. In order to gain muscle, one must lift heavy and eat at a surplus, or, at the very least, maintenance. Yoga can help to strengthen your muslces, but only to a certain degree. I'm not sure that yoga will counter losing muscle while eating at a deficit, either. Personally, I'd add in at least a little resistance training, even just 2 or 3 compound exercises with resistance bands if you don't want to lift heavy.

DEFFUZZ Posts: 26
2/5/13 3:07 P

Thanks Sergeant. I am just looking to be healthier. I want all the benefits of yoga, physical and spiritual. I don't want larger muscles, just toned and well used muscles. I am still young (27) but I know that I need to develop all the good habits now, because in a few years my metabolism will slow down and I'll start to lose muscle mass unless I work at it.

2/5/13 2:56 P

It will depend on what your goals are to decide if yoga will suffice. If you are unused to the poses there will be some increase in muscle function as you continue to do them. Do not confuse this with increases in strength since once you have enough strength to proper execute the pose you will gain no further increase in muscle function or strength. Yoga has never been taught as a way to increase strength, its primary purpose to to teach the proper execution of the poses which were designed with a religious and spiritual agenda.

If all you are looking for is flexibility and enough muscle function to go into and hold the poses then yoga will suffice. It is in no way a substitute for proper strength training for overall health and fitness.

DEFFUZZ Posts: 26
2/5/13 2:39 P

So, most fitness gurus recommend a combination of cardio, strength and fitness as your ideal program. It's not that I don't enjoy lifting weights, but I feel like yoga can satisfy my strength and my flexibility needs. And I don't mean the yoga that is slow and less demanding. I enjoy the types that are more physically demanding and my muscles get an adequate workout.

I really enjoy doing yoga and would love to be able to focus on it guilt free without thinking I am gypping my muscles!

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