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    BestBetter's Avatar
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    getting ripped...with YOGA!

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    I've been doing a weightlifting program for about 2 years, from which I'd taken a 4 month hiatus over the summer. When my husband and I returned to the gym in the fall, we realized that we'd both lost a noticeable amount of muscle and we kind of felt like we were starting from scratch, which was very disillusioning. Due to his health issues, we've only been doing weights once a week, and I was kind of worried that I'd never get back to where I was pre-summer.

    Enter Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga (in a heated 90 degree room).

    After 1.5 months of doing these yoga classes 5x/week (75 minutes per class), my back musculature is better than it EVER was at my best (after a year and a half of weightlifting).

    My husband saw me doing some assisted chin-ups yesterday and was so shocked at how great the muscles in my back looked that he took a video on his iphone to show me. Last week, I even spotted the vague presence of visible abs, which I've never had in my life.

    All yoga is not the same. Some forms are more gentle and restorative. And other types push you to your limit in a way that most people don't associate with yoga.

    Just had to put another yoga plug out there because I'm really floored to be seeing these kind of results from yoga, which I'd always thought of as something that mainly focused on flexibility and balance.

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    People have that impression of Yoga, but it's not like that at all. EDIT: I don't lift weights anymore but was in the best shape of my life doing daily Yoga practice that focused on lifting my own body weight. (The pose in my profile pic is amazing for the back and butt). I was lean and toned, which I've never been before. And yip, my tummy was pretty tight. I even had a two pack!
    Last edited by YogaBare; 01-06-2013 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Nitpicking comments reminded me of my former fitness life.
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

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    I quit going to yoga after joining Crossfit (cost issues prohibit me from doing both), and I have to say I looked better physically as a yogi than as an athlete. I haven't made any impressive strength gains either. I want my yoga body back, please n' thank you.
    “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

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    Quote Originally Posted by SophieScreams View Post
    I quit going to yoga after joining Crossfit (cost issues prohibit me from doing both), and I have to say I looked better physically as a yogi than as an athlete. I haven't made any impressive strength gains either. I want my yoga body back, please n' thank you.
    Can you give us some info on that more intense form of yoga?
    It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out....Its the grain of sand in your shoe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richardmac View Post
    Can you give us some info on that more intense form of yoga?
    This page gives a breakdown of different types of yoga:

    The Different Types of Yoga Explained.

    The form I've been doing is a combination of Power Yoga and Vinyasa:


    Power Yoga is essentially yoga with brawn. It's the American interpretation of ashtanga yoga, a discipline that combines stretching, strength training, and meditative breathing. But power yoga takes ashtanga one step further. Many of the poses (also called postures or their Sanskrit name, asanas) resemble basic calisthenics -- push-ups and handstands, toe touches and side bends -- but the key to power yoga's sweat-producing, muscle-building power is the pace. Instead of pausing between poses as you would in traditional yoga, each move flows into the next, making it an intense aerobic workout.


    Vinyasa: Focuses on coordination of breath and movement and it is a very physically active form of yoga. It began with Krishnamacharya who later passed it on to Pattabhi Jois.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richardmac View Post
    Can you give us some info on that more intense form of yoga?
    I think you can basically divide Yoga into: fast / slow, strong / gentle. The one BB is referring to is a fast, strong Yoga, the one I practice is slow and strong. The gentle-slow ones are more for restorative purposes and mobility.

    The reason Yoga works so well is because you don't isolate muscle groups. You focus on areas, but you are continually working the whole body, so it makes you more coordinated, and you begin to move more effectively in day-to-day life. With weights you generally work the external muscles, with Yoga you work the deeper muscles, so you tone from inside out. Which is why the effects last longer. I've just gone a few months where my Yoga practice has been sketchy at best, but I havent lost any strength! I'm still holding poses for as long as before. I don't think I've lost any muscle tone either (though it's hard to know under all the new fat )
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

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    Quote Originally Posted by YogaBare View Post
    The reason Yoga works so well is because you don't isolate muscle groups. You focus on areas, but you are continually working the whole body, so it makes you more coordinated, and you begin to move more effectively in day-to-day life.
    I think this is why it's so effective. The instructors keep reminding us that every yoga pose is designed to be using all muscles equally. So even a pose like Warrior 1, which years ago I used to only feel in my quads (because I wasn't doing it right) now feels like it's pushing my whole body to the limits, which is so much more satisfying than working out individual muscles in isolation.

    Plus, there's never the worry that with yoga, you'll overdevelop glory muscles and neglect other ones, leading to injury or looking disproportionate. The whole system gets stronger in a balanced way. I also think that the balance component is really good for the neurological system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richardmac View Post
    Can you give us some info on that more intense form of yoga?
    I was attending various types of power and vinyasa classes. Believe me, many of these classes were as intense as a CF WOD. Just much gentler on your joints. I've been injured 3 times in 7 months of CF, compared to zero injuries of any sort in 10 years of yoga.
    “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

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    Quote Originally Posted by BestBetter View Post
    I think this is why it's so effective. The instructors keep reminding us that every yoga pose is designed to be using all muscles equally. So even a pose like Warrior 1, which years ago I used to only feel in my quads (because I wasn't doing it right) now feels like it's pushing my whole body to the limits, which is so much more satisfying than working out individual muscles in isolation.

    Plus, there's never the worry that with yoga, you'll overdevelop glory muscles and neglect other ones, leading to injury or looking disproportionate. The whole system gets stronger in a balanced way. I also think that the balance component is really good for the neurological system.
    This is specifically why yoga has benefited me for so long.

    Now, don't get me wrong; I like heavy weights. I will take the Olympic weightlifting movements I've learned with me to the gym twice a week.
    “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

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    Quote Originally Posted by YogaBare View Post
    With weights you generally work the external muscles, with Yoga you work the deeper muscles, so you tone from inside out.
    Quote Originally Posted by YogaBare View Post
    I've never lifted weights [...]
    Do me a favour. Try a 5x5 barbell program with heavy emphasis on deadlifts, squats and bench presses, and tell me if it works your "deeper muscles" and "tone you from the inside out".

    Seriously, that first quote is sig-worthy.

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