Let’s talk about yoga exercises

The word yoga has roots in Sanskrit which translated means join or togetherness. As an exercise is based in the believe that the body and breathing are strongly connected with our mind.

As you should know the ultimate goal of yoga is to free ourselves by the detention of the mind activities, I have uttermost respect for this practice, actually for any practice which promotes a self knowledge and the true expression of our being.

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As fascinating as it sounds further discussion is way out of my realm of expertise (for now) but I truly encourage anyone who try and embrace such a beautiful practice for what it is.

With that being said I believe we should talk about what happens with our muscles and body when performing a yoga pose (asana). By the way this is my realm of expertise 🙂

First we want to know what an isometric contraction means, and is simply a muscular contraction that doesn’t promote any length changes in the primary involved muscles.

This happens when the amount of resistive force equals the amount we are applying and by extension the muscle length doesn’t change.

There are benefits to this type of muscular contraction, naming a few:

1. Promotes strength gains
2. Increases capillaries (chronic effect)
3. Increased mitochondrial density
4. Increased flexibility (when performed throughout the range of motion)
5. Promotes articular health
6. Cardiopulmonary benefits (depending of what type of yoga, session and program length).

* Word of caution: this type of contraction can promote acute hypertension so you want to perform a risk assessment beforehand.

As you can see there are any number of reasons to practice yoga, but let’s move one to the actual execution of a pose…

Cobra pose:

1. First lay facing down (pronated) and relax your entire body

2. Place your open hands in the floor (your fingertips should be below your shoulders), at this time we must contract your abdominal muscles to protect the spine of the hyperextended final position).

3. Extend both arms until your elbows are completely locked, maintain chin up, and eyes to the nose bride, at this point you must remain still and breath through the nose.

There are variations to the amount of breaths, eye position and quickness of this pose, all variations have their reasons and benefits.

In the previous exercise what happens is that we are performing a concentric contraction when we extend our arms (much like a push up) and when we reach full extension and maintain this position that’s the isometric portion of the exercise.

Again abdominal muscles recruited at all times, what you may hear from your registered yoga instructor is to try and “join our belly button to the spine”, which is an indicator of abdominal muscles recruitment.

Plank:

How to perform basic yoga exercise2

1. First lay facing down (pronated) and relax your entire body

2. Place your open hands in the floor (your fingertips should be below your shoulders), at this time we must contract your abdominal muscles to protect the spine this is an ISOMETRIC CONTRACTION).

3. Advance to the push up position (elbows totally extended, parallel to each other and the body in an horizontal position).

4. Bending both arms place now your elbows, forearms and fisted hands on the floor  (the weight should be evenly distributed).

5. With a steady abdominal contraction you want to maintain proper form and breathing (this too is an ISOMETRIC CONTRACTION).

 

Also check this eating strategies during yoga

Have a great practice everyone and namaste. . .

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