Strength training with weights has become hugely popular of late, thanks in part to emergence of Cross Fit and the following that it has garnered. However, lifting weights, and other high impact activities meant to build muscle, are not for everyone. Thankfully, there is an alternative, one you might not have considered, that being yoga. Read below to learn why it’s okay to ditch the weights in favor of a yoga practice:

Gives the body a leaner appearance:

Advocates of weight lifting and body-building endlessly claim that adding muscle does not add bulk to the body. However, through simple observation of their bodies, it is apparent that lifting weights does in fact add body mass. Thankfully, you can build lean muscle by practicing yoga through lifting and shifting your own body weight and holding poses, such as the warrior pose or the chair pose.

Cheaper and less time-consuming:

Once you learn several yoga poses and become proficient at cycling through them, a process called a vinyasa, you can practice yoga in the comfort of your home, for very little to no cost at all. You can order DVDs that will give you a routine to follow if that is more your style, or you can look online to learn several yoga poses or download yoga apps on your smartphone. Even if you choose to take a yoga class, which is recommended for yoga beginners, you will come off cheaper than paying for a gym membership or purchasing weights.

Easy on the body:

Although Yoga is challenging and does increase your flexibility and build lean muscle, it is easier on the body than many high impact alternatives. Lifting weights, jumping up and down, running and other high-intensity activities are hard on the body, namely the joints. After years of doing this type of activity, your joints can become damaged, you back can start hurting and your body will begin fighting you. Yoga, on the other hand, is easy on the body thanks to its natural movements, meaning it will not damage your joints or cause you any pain whatsoever, other than the occasional feeling of soreness that comes along with working unused muscles. 

Yoga is a calm, restorative form of exercise that is ideal for those who wish to build lean muscle and are unable to, or just don’t want to, endure harsh, high-intensity workouts.