Misconception: yoga does not build muscle

In the world of sport, certain received ideas die hard. Among them ? The fact that you absolutely have to do cardio to lose weight, that weight training makes you look like Schwarzenegger or that yoga does not build muscle. However, this engaging and demanding practice actively participates in toning the body. “Of course there are very gentle yogas like Yin where you simply stretch on the mat. There, it doesn’t muscle,” explains Ludivine Leprêtre (@yogiandwild), yoga teacher. Conversely, other ultra-dynamic forms – such as Vinyasa – help to sheath the body thanks to the rapid and intense sequences of postures. But also Viniyoga, where you only have one breath left in each posture, “it’s quite physical, it works a little on cardio but also strength, adds the expert. There is necessarily a muscular commitment, so yes, it is a received idea to say that yoga does not build muscle. Obviously you won’t grow as if you were going to the gym, but it will strengthen the deep muscles. Indeed, some positions – such as the hand stand – require a lot of muscle contraction, whether in the abs, arms or even the shoulders. Practiced on a recurrent basis, yoga allows you to tone up while keeping a thin and slender muscle.

The many benefits of yoga

Beyond toning the body, yoga also has many benefits. It allows you to gain flexibility, relax and let go. “Yoga helps to learn how to breathe correctly without even realizing it and releases endorphins. The mind is lightened and we are calmer, ”says Ludivine Leprêtre. A discipline as beneficial for the body as the head. The little extra? According to the professional, it is a practice that allows you to progress quickly. “You have to persevere because at first you’re a bit lost, but after two or three lessons, you quickly understand and let yourself go. »

Put aside the preconceptions of the type “I’m not flexible so I can’t do yoga”, the more you practice, the more flexibility you gain. It is for these reasons that yoga is extremely complementary to other disciplines such as running or even muscle building. The teacher’s advice for beginners? “You shouldn’t be afraid to go there, to say that you are a beginner. We are progressing quickly and that is what is rewarding. And above all, do not stop at just one time because sometimes it just depends on the teacher. There are so many styles of yoga that there is bound to be one that can suit you. »

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