Can Yoga Build Muscles? How Is It Done ?

Sunil Murthy
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Building Muscles in Yoga Class And Not Through Weight Training

The good news is that yoga is excellent for building muscle in many ways. The bad news is that this muscle building takes time. Yoga is a difficult exercise for your muscles to adjust to.

Yoga has been proven to increase muscle endurance and flexibility, but it does not increase muscle mass like weight-training does. However, it is an excellent way to keep your muscles at a steady state of strength, and it is a great activity for recovery from injury.

As a yoga practitioner, your body will begin to learn and gradually be able to do complicated poses. But it seems the muscles of your arm can learn to do complicated poses before your leg muscles can. Over time, the transformation will be noticeable to you and your instructor. But it can take years. So don’t expect results right away.

Here are a top 4 benefits of building muscle through yoga

  • Build muscle through yoga if you are a beginner. If you are a beginner, building muscle through yoga is a great way to build your abilities and confidence. Studies have shown that yoga has the ability to make you physically more flexible and tone muscles without creating bulk. So if you are just starting out with weights or yoga, you will benefit from the muscle-building aspect of yoga.
  • Build muscle through yoga to tone and slim your body. Since yoga is a physical activity, you are likely to end up with slimmer, fitter legs, trimmer arms and a tighter stomach. All that is required is a lot of stretching and you just need to follow the particular yoga pose for more effective muscle building through yoga.
  • Build muscle through yoga if you are advanced. If you are advanced you can always enrich your yoga practice with more challenging poses. Yoga is a surprisingly advanced activity that makes you gain muscle and tone your body in a surprising way. Since it is a mind, body, spirit activity, yoga will give you good balance, personality development, good coordination and physical fitness that help you build muscle and tone your body effectively.

3 Ways Yoga Helps To Build Muscle ?

When you think of yoga, your mind may drift to a slender woman or man balancing on their hands, their finger tips, or laying on their back or stomach doing amazing things with their body. There's a good chance throughout the images that you are thinking fast, quick, flexible, and strong, but there is more to yoga than just that.

Yoga helps the body, mind, and spirit heal and grow. It can help you fall in love and enjoy the love that you have. Physically, yoga can help you build strong muscles, increase flexibility, improve posture, and release tension.

Core Strength: The yoga company, Yogitoes, refers to the core as the powerhouse, and they have been known to say “The more you strengthen your core, the more energy you can channel.” With this in mind you should incorporate as many core-strengthening poses as you can.

For example, something as simple as the core strengthener poses known as Cat’s, Cow’s or Fish can make a difference.

Build Muscle: To get and stay strong requires a functional strength which can only be accomplished by building muscle. This is where the classic yoga poses can help.

Progressive Overload

Yoga for muscle gain tends to work by increasing flexibility and improving balance and coordination. These are important aspects of strength training and are progressive in nature. Yoga isn't a weight training program, it’s a workout regimen, but for an enthusiastic weight trainer, yoga can be an important part of a workout that incorporates a strength training component.

Progressive overload refers to the gradual unloading of muscle groups, which is the basis of most muscle building programs. The process of picking up the drumstick, holding it, and slowly bringing it to your mouth is the progressive overload, as opposed to the muscle building exercises in which you use weight as resistance. Flexibility, balance, and coordination are part of yoga routines, but the strength can be increased by the weight training component of the workout.

This is achieved by taking the techniques and principles of yoga and adding weight training. These are some of the primary components of yoga for muscle gain.

Metabolic Stress

How does yoga build muscles? Think back to the last time you exercised. How did you feel afterward? Did you feel tired and sore? If you did, then you've felt the muscle-building effects of a workout as you've pushed your body to new limits.

Yoga, while relaxing, is an intense strength-building workout. Yoga focuses on the entire body, especially the muscles. If you were to survey people who do Bikram yoga, most of them would be able to point out the firm muscles they have developed in their arms, legs, and butts.

Like traditional workouts, yoga targets your large muscle groups, particularly those in your legs and butt. It also focuses on your smaller, supporting muscles in your arms. The specific asanas (poses) you do in yoga directly target the muscles, forcing them to work harder than they are used to doing.

Mechanical Damage

Now, it's important to understand that yoga does not "build" muscles. Rather, yoga "releases" muscles, softens the fascia, relaxes the connective tissue, and improves flexibility. However, it is still possible to gain large, strong muscles doing yoga if that's your goal.

One way to do this is through isometric exercises. Hold a pose in yoga, and you'll be accumulating force. This can tire muscles and by doing this consistently, you can expect to see permanent gains in strength. However, if you are trying to build muscle mass, this alone won't cut it. You'll have to increase those isometric pressures, and while holding those poses, it is essential that you breathe deeply, frequently, and in rhythm with the muscle group you're holding.

Another way is to combine regular workouts with yoga. This is similar to the above except the difference lies in the fact that you are doing traditional weight training rather than yoga for the majority of the week. Only a small portion of the week should consist of yoga. In a traditional workout plan, incorporate yoga after your standard workouts in a cool-down session.

Yoga Poses to Build Strong Muscles

Yoga can benefit those who want to improve the strength of their body. Yoga poses (asanas) are practiced in a sequence to warm up the body before poses are held. These are poses that help you stretch and build muscle strength.

Yoga is often taken up by those who are looking for a lighter version of fitness. However, yoga makes you stronger and more flexible, and increases body awareness.

Depending on the style of yoga you are practicing, there are poses like supine downs facing down with the legs extended, the Cobra, or other poses that require you to lift your torso. The Plow pose is another example of a strength-training position. The Plow pose can also have the added benefit of improving your digestion.

Yoga also strengthens the core because it helps you to focus on breathing. Yoga and meditation help you to control your attention more effectively, focus on the present, and be thankful for what you have instead of worrying about the future or what is lacking.

# 1 Tree Pose

The majority of Yoga poses and exercise involve balancing on our feet and hands. The Tree Pose utilizes the whole body to maintain a balanced stance with the help of the mind. Like a tree, the pose requires personal strength and balance.

You need to step onto one foot and raise the other foot in the air. While doing so, you need to hold your arms out at the sides of your body, horizontally.

As you move into the pose, there are various things to keep in mind. You should attempt to bring your shoulders and thighs parallel to the floor. Your inner thigh must press onto the outer thigh. It also helps to keep your thighs and trunk in a straight line. Besides, keep your hips in a straight position, and your toes should point at the floor.

Hold this Tree Pose for a few minutes as you inhale and exhale deeply.

# 2 Warrior Three Pose

Warrior Three is a good exercise if you really want to build your muscles. This is a good exercise for your shins. You need a yoga mat for this purpose. It is an excellent workout for your entire body.

Step 1: Stand straight with your knees slightly bent. Hold your palms in front of your chest. Stand as tall as possible.

Step 2: Bend your left knee to a 45-degree. Do not bend it past a 90-degree. Lean your torso to the right and bring your right thigh perpendicular to your left. Continue your position leaning forward and contracting your right quadriceps muscle.

Step 3: To really work your quadriceps, make sure that your knee is pointed in the same direction as your left toes. Inhale deeply and hold this position for at least three counts. Put your left foot back on the mat.

Step 4: Repeat the process for your left knee. Bend your right knee and extend the left up. Contract the quadriceps muscle. Stretch your leg and lean forward.

# 3 Bridge Pose

The bridge pose is an easy yoga pose for you to start with in the beginning of yoga practice. In the bridge position, you will place your body on your back with your knees raised as high as possible. Place your palms under your buttocks for support. Focusing on the rhythm of your breathing, the bridge pose is done to gain control over the mind. It also improves flexibility and the health of the spine.

# 4 Chair Pose

The chair pose is used in a series of yoga poses that allegedly gives you long lean muscles. The chair pose is a non-impact, core-building move that can strengthen your back and buttocks.

To perform the chair pose, kneel on the floor. Keeping the knees on the floor, rise up on your toes and hold the position. If you can balance in that position, you can easily build a lot of muscular endurance in your legs.

# 5 Plank Pose

The plank pose is a static pose that is intended to strengthen and stretch the upper and lower abdominal muscles, as well as the triceps, chest, and lower back. It is also intended to improve the body's flexibility, reduce stress, prevent and rehabilitate lower back pain, improve athletic performance, and reduce fatigue. Considering that just 15 minutes a day of yoga helps decrease stress, you can see the therapeutic value that can be derived from 20 minutes of this pose.

The following are 5 other benefits of the plank pose.

{1}. Builds abdominal muscles – The plank pose will help condition the abdominal muscles. These muscles must be pretty strong if you want to maintain a straight back while holding this pose.
{2}. Improves posture – Not only will your abdominal muscles be strengthened but so will your back muscles. This will give you better posture and you will be able to stand up straighter and taller.
{3}. Reduces backaches – When you do the plank pose, you will be strengthening the muscles in your back. It will give you a stronger back and it will lessen the chances of suffering from backaches.
{4}. Strengthens the core – If you're working on losing weight, this is a great exercise for you. When you get in this pose and hold it for the recommended 20 minutes a day, your core will get stronger and it will help stabilize your posture.

# 6 The Suryanamaskar Cycle

(Sun Salutation)

Make a straight line with both feet. Stand up straight. Place your hands in front, and hold them together. Now bend forward and put your hands on your feet. Do not bend too much. Then move a bit forward. Bend your knees and put your hands on your knees. Do not bend too much. Straighten your hands and stand up straight. Now slowly raise your left leg and put your hands on the foot. Bend and bring your head to the knee. Bend only to an extent where it does not cause pain. Hold your back straight. Then raise the leg and put the foot on the ground. Stand up straight. Now do the same with your right leg. This completes one Suryanamaskar cycle. Practising this Suryanamaskar for a few minutes helps to develop some muscles of the abdomen and chest. It also helps in toning the muscles of your neck and legs and improves flexibility.

# 7 The Cobra Pose

Also known as bhujangasana, or the cobra, this yoga for beginners pose works on your chest, back, shoulders, and stomach muscles. This is the perfect pose for both mat beginners who haven’t yet developed core and abdominal strength, as well as for more advanced practitioners looking to regain or strengthen back strength.

Lie on your stomach and place your hands down next to your body in child’s pose. Push yourself up to your stomach and push your upper torso upwards. Slowly lift your upper body and hold for a few seconds. Repeat 20 to 30 times.

# 8 The Headstand Pose

One of the most important postures in Yoga is called the “Salamba Sirsasana” or headstand.

The posture is performed by taking your legs behind your body and then raising your buttocks up until it is above ground.

Grab your ankles with your hands and allow your body to fall backwards until your head rests in the same plane of space as your feet with your back on the floor.

This posture is done for meditation as well as for therapeutic purposes and is believed to cure diseases like leprosy, tuberculosis, and migraine. It is also said to combat anxiety, nervousness, and depression.

Just like any other athletic activity, Yoga isn’t all fun and games. It would be a good idea for a beginner to seek guidance before attempting the headstand.

Once you master it, you can add it to your list of Yoga poses that help to burn fat and build muscles.

The posture strengthens the abdominal muscles and those located in the back of the neck.

It also helps to improve circulation and stimulate the thyroid. The salamba sirsasana, is also claimed to speed up the elimination of toxins and blocks in the vital channels of the human body.

Can Yoga Build Muscle ? Concluding Thoughts

Yoga is not a body-building workout. You will not bulk up by doing yoga. Yoga does focus on developing lean and strong muscles and it does allow you to build strength. Building strength and flexibility is especially useful after giving birth. This is because your body will go through many changes that will make it almost impossible to get back into exercising.

If your goal is to build muscle, or to develop lean muscle, you will need to find a new workout routine. Some research suggests that the strength gained from yoga can be useful for athletes that have other workouts in their training.

If you are planning on taking up yoga, remember that it is very different from a physical workout. It is definitely not a weight-training session. When you see celebrities in yoga classes, they most likely took it up to assist with weight loss.

If you have injured your body, though, yoga may be a good choice as it will help you improve your flexibility.

No matter what your goal, look at your instructor and level of experience. Yoga teachers can assist you in finding a routine that will match your fitness level