How does a slow-paced workout like yoga tone the body?
There is a yoga style for everyone out there and how you feel during and after practice is very important.
But, how good is a slow-paced workout to tone the body in comparison to hitting the gym?
This is a very personal choice.
However, from an anatomical perspective, while a workout at the gym will bust calories at a faster pace, it causes stress on your bones, joints and muscles, which also makes you more susceptible to injuries.
On the other hand, yoga gently takes your body through a full range of complex motions, which slowly loosen your tight muscles without putting any extra stress on the joints. As yoga is a weight-bearing exercise, it puts only adequate stress on your bones which in turn enhances their ability to store calcium, hence toning not only your muscles but also strengthening your bones at the same time.
In a recent study, slow-paced yoga has proven to relieve the tension of 54% of adults, improve the physical and mental health of 52% adults and unplug 21% of adults from tech after practising continuously for a period of 3 months.
Slow Yoga benefits your body and mind. Here’s how
Safe for all age groups
Children can learn balanced growth and new ways to strengthen their mind and body through yoga. Adults use yoga to protect and revitalize their health. Retired members of society practice slower movements to maintain strength, reinforce stamina and to pursue athletic activities. Adults feel younger when practising slow-flowing sequences. It’s for everyone and at any time. It’s an investment in pleasure.
Improves mental health
Slow flow yoga is for all age groups and it encourages the practice of mindfulness or staying in the moment. It helps by slowing everything down and it aids in better concentration. The foggy mind becomes focused and alert.
Less workout injuries
Reduces the scope of common workout injuries. Moving slowly allows you to feel what’s happening in your body, to be aware of and to make adjustments and make modifications unlike a fast-paced workout and hence reduces the scope or common injuries.
Increased muscle strength
Your muscles work intensely when you transit slowly and sustain postures. Your muscles work less when you rely on constant momentum.
If you have any doubt about this try a simple experiment: Spend 5 slow breaths moving from plank to a Chaturanga Dandasana; then, spend 0.5 breaths moving from plank to a Chaturanga Dandasana. Observe which one is harder and more likely to build strength and power.
One of the main purposes of a yoga asana is to break up the density of the physical body. This happens when a pose is held for an extended period of time. Long holds relax the muscles which result in more permanent elasticity and flexibility.
As Patanjali once said – “Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind.”
Derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuj”, yoga means ‘to unite or integrate.’ It is a way of life that aims to build a healthy mind in a healthy body and develop a balance between the physical, mental and spiritual being.
So, take a deep breath and make yoga a daily habit.