The Benefits of Yoga-with-Weights - dummies

The Benefits of Yoga-with-Weights

By Sherri Baptiste, Megan Scott

Before you take the plunge and give yoga-with-weights a try, you may be interested in knowing what the many health benefits of yoga-with-weights are. Here’s a catalog of health benefits you may experience if you devote yourself to yoga with weights.

Yoga-with-weights makes you stronger

When you stress a muscle with exercise or a repeated activity, the muscle increases in strength and diameter as the muscle fiber expands. In other words, the muscle is toned. The weight-bearing aspect of yoga with weights improves the oxygenation of muscles, which promotes the muscles’ growth and repair. The stretching improves the flexibility and health of muscles and tendons.

Yoga with weights also reduces the risk of muscle tears and strains because weightlifting integrates the muscles closer to the bones.

Yoga-with-weights builds your core strength

The core refers to the muscles of your trunk and torso that support your spine. These muscles are the major players in balancing and coordination. The core muscles also support your shoulders and hips. Most people don’t know it, but the abdominal muscles, which are also core muscles, are very important for supporting your spine.

Unless your core muscles are strong, you can’t develop the muscles of your arms and legs to their fullest potential, in much the same way that tree branches can’t grow big unless the trunk of the tree is strong enough to support the branches.

Your core muscles are responsible for good posture. They keep your back straight and your shoulders square, and they keep you from slouching. Your core muscles also support and protect your internal organs. Without strong core muscles, you’re more susceptible to back problems.

Yoga-with-weights tones your muscles

Yoga-with-weights exercises are designed to work and tone all the muscles of your body. If you think your arms are flabby, or if you want to strengthen your legs, you can find many yoga-with-weights exercises that target those areas. In traditional yoga, you can tone and refine your body with exercises. The addition of weights makes it possible to really dig into a muscle group and work it hard.

Increase your flexibility with yoga-with-weights

Yoga is well known for making people more flexible, supple, lithe, and limber. Think of all the practical advantages of being flexible. You can reach higher, sit more comfortably on the floor, sit at your desk for longer periods of time with greater ease, or stand longer.

Soreness, swelling, and pain relate to the loss of body tissue movement. To prevent injury and postural changes, it helps if your joints have a maximum range of motion.


Yoga-with-weights improves your circulation

Whenever you exercise, you improve your blood circulation. After you stretch or contract a muscle in a yoga-with-weights exercise and the muscle relaxes, it becomes flooded with blood! This blood inundation is good for you because it increases the flow of blood to your muscles, and blood delivers nutrients. Your muscles become stronger and healthier because they receive more nutrients. Stretching also helps renew muscles and muscle fiber.

Yoga-with-weights helps your balance and coordination

Most of the yoga-with-weights exercises challenge your ability to balance and your coordination. Balancing is discovering how to work muscles in opposition to one another.

Balancing improves your ability to direct your thoughts or stream of concentration. You develop skills of concentration in order to balance. Recent studies in brain elasticity indicate that exercises that develop coordination and balance stimulate the brain to create new maps and communication pathways, keeping the brain healthy and vital.

Yoga-with-weights builds bone density

Loosely speaking, “bone density” refers to how strong and dense your bones are. To be specific, bone density is a measure of how tightly packed the cells and molecules in a bone are. The more tightly packed the tissue is, the higher the bone density, and the healthier the bone. Low bone density increases your risk of fracturing or breaking a bone.

Weight-bearing exercises such as yoga with weights help bones retain density. When you lift a weight, your muscle pulls against your bones, which makes your bones experience stress. Detecting this stress, your body sends a signal to the cells in your bones that makes it stronger and denser.

Correct breathing with yoga-with-weights

Most people don’t realize that they aren’t breathing correctly. They don’t breathe with their abdomens, mid-diaphragm areas, or upper chest areas in a balanced way. Instead, they habitually take short, shallow breaths. When they exercise, some people even hold their breath without realizing it. Most people miss out on the many wonderful benefits of proper breathing.

Proper breathing can reduce stress and lower your blood pressure. It delivers life-giving oxygen to your body so you have the energy you need. Yoga and yoga with weights are two of a handful of exercise programs that concern themselves with breathing properly.

Squeeze and soak with yoga-with-weights

Squeeze-and-soak exercises are exercises that massage your internal organs — your liver, stomach, intestines, pancreas, and others. When you bend forward or twist your spine, you squeeze and soak. When you return to a resting position, your organs open up and return to their normal shapes and sizes, and as they do so, they soak up oxygenated blood cells. This oxygenation restores and helps to maintain the organs’ health and vitality.

Yoga-with-weights develops the quality of self-awareness

Consciousness and self-awareness is developed when yoga practitioners commit themselves deeply and intensely to yoga. Yoga encourages you to be more aware not only of your body, but also of the world around you. The discipline helps you stay in the moment so you’re more cognizant of sounds, sights, and sensations. It teaches you to live a life without blinders so you’re more in tune with the flow of life.