Yoga practices are increasing exponentially day by day! People are rerouting themselves towards this activity because they are in a power to find in it the peace with their damaged bodies. What I mean by “damaged bodies” is the damage caused by work-related stress, boring non-healthy routines, physical traumas, physical stress, spine-related fatigue and structure abnormalities.
But why YOGA? Why not tennis for example?
Yoga is an ancient practice that comes from Indian practitioners (5000 years ago). In this article we will be demonstrating how Hatha Yoga (the branch of yoga that focuses on the physical strength and mobility) can ameliorate the general health of its practitioners.
Ten people were tested to determine the outcome of Hatha Yoga practice in untrained women and men according to Effects of Hatha Yoga Practice on the Health-Related Aspects of Physical Fitness by Mark D. Tran, MS; Robert G. Holly, PhD; Jake Lashbrook, BS; Ezra A. Amsterdam, MD
These people were told to follow continuous Yoga classes for a period of 8 weeks. Every week they had 2 sessions and each session was 1h30 long. Their training was divided into 4 parts:
- 15min of pranayamas (breathing exercises)
- 15min of dynamic warm-up
- 50min of asanas (hatha yoga postures)
- 10min of savasana (supine relaxation : laying on your back)
according to Effects of Hatha Yoga Practice on the Health-Related Aspects of Physical Fitness by Mark D. Tran
Results of this study showed incredible and stunning conclusions!
- Isokinetic muscular strength was increased in those 10 people. Isokinetic exercise refers to movement at a constant speed regardless of the force applied, according to www.healthline.com . For example, you can hold up a dumbbell, align it with your standing body position, and move it upwards, flexing your biceps at a constant speed.
- Isometric muscular strength was also successfully improved. Isometric exercise or isometrics are a category of strength training where the joint-position and muscle-length is unchanged during the course of contraction.
- Maximal Oxygen uptake increased by 7% in people following this study. This explains the relative effect of pranayamas (hatha yoga breathing exercises) on the body.
These findings suggest that consistent Hatha yoga activity can produce enhancements in the health-related aspects of physical fitness, according to Effects of Hatha Yoga Practice on the Health-Related Aspects of Physical Fitness by Mark D. Tran, MS; Robert G. Holly, PhD; Jake Lashbrook, BS; Ezra A. Amsterdam, MD.
Here are 2 of many Hatha Yoga postures that will improve your overall health:
The Cobra Pose
This pose is interestingly awesome for a lower back pain. It stretches also your abs if you feel any soreness in this area. Lower back flexibility is improved, and the isometric strength of the glutes (scientific word of butt) is highly targeted. Keep in mind to retain your elbows locked and arms straight.
The crow pose
This posture focuses on your abs and straight arm strength while activating isometric anterior deltoids contraction (front shoulder). It is well known of the difficulty to maintain balance while in this position.
If you are looking for more Hatha Yoga postures with their biomechanical explanation you can go check Yoga Journal for interesting poses!