So I know some people think "oh yoga is easy, its just stretching." Then there are some who say "oh my god, yoga kicked my ass!" So let me shed some light on the subject for you. I'll start by painting you a picture. I'll pick a seemingly simple pose: Adho Mukha Savasana or more commonly known as DownDog.
The teacher asks you to tuck the toes, press the hands into the floor and lift the hips up. Your heels are lifted, legs extended; quadriceps firm, hamstrings elongating and lifting. Hip bowl is rolling over and the sit bones are pushing up and back. The abdominals are lifting up towards the spine. The back is maintaing the natural curve of the spine. The arms are firm and strong; triceps firm into the humerus bone, shoulders are strong but away from the ears, hands are pressing into the floor. Head is inline with the spine.
Ok now that you have all that going on.... hold and breathe for 2-5 minutes, ready, go! So for those who think it's just stretching, there's a lot more going on than just stretching, you are strengthening as well. Then for those who say it kicked their ass, they already knew but that's why, you are working so many of the small muscles of the body to build the endurance of the muscles.
Next week I'll talk about yogi strength and gym strength. So tune in next Tuesday to find out!