I had a brand new student come to my Gentle Yoga class last Saturday. Young, healthy, buff, late 20’s or so. I could tell halfway through the class he was loving the stretching because he moved his Yoga mat to clear more space for his long legs and arms to stretch. After class, he confided that he woke up with a dilemma … “Should I go do my typical muscle strengthening routine or go to Yoga (which I have never done!)” He said his low back answered… “YOGA!” And he was glad he listened. He shared that his quest for pumped-up muscles is slowly getting replaced for comfort and ease in his body. Oh what a wise man!
Think you can’t get strong and toned muscles without lifting weights or using the gym machines? Think again. Any time you create tension in the muscle through a contraction, then stretch that muscle… you tone the muscle. That’s why Yoga can do what it can do…. make your muscles strong and toned. It is the combination of strengthening and stretching that is the key. When your muscles are toned and not just pumped up through contraction, they can better support your mobility and flexibility rather than restrict it. That keeps you safe from injury, pain and discomfort.