Can Yoga Change Your Body Type?
Yoga can help you reach your goals, change your body composition, and, in time, can even help you change your body type…whether it’s by accident or on purpose. It won’t happen overnight, and it won’t be easy, but I honestly believe Yoga is key in changing your state of mind, body composition, and quite possibly even your body type.
WHY AM I SO SURE?
Well, because it happened to me.
As you might already know, I spent the last year of my life trying to win a bet my brother made with me. On my way to winning that bet I completely changed my body composition (lean muscle vs. fat in the body) to the point of attaining a new body type (the characteristics of one’s metabolism, body frame, and body composition). As many of you may already know, I started P90X and LeanGains and forever changed my life.
BUT IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THE BIGGEST CHANGE WAS ADDING YOGA TO MY WORKOUT REGIMEN.
This is of utmost importance to note because it is a piece of the puzzle which I think is easily, and most often, overlooked. It is extremely easy to overlook the importance of Yoga to my workout regimen because it is part of both P90X and P90X2.
BUT I FEEL AS IF YOGA IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE PROGRAM.
You see, I have been lifting weights and sports training (typical resistance and plyometric training…i.e. the rest of the P90X program) since the age of 12 with all the typical endomorph body traits. But, when I found myself not being able to fully recover from my injuries and at a weight-loss plateau, the only new addition to my workout regimen helped me recover and blast through my weight-loss plateau….and that new addition was Yoga!
WHY IS YOGA SO IMPORTANT?
Well, for a number of reasons really.
ONE: It will IMPROVE RECOVERY
Be it from an injury, a workout, or mental stress – Yoga will help your mind and body recover. I suffer from a fully torn labrum and two bad knees, I workout 6 days a week, and I have been suffering from migraine headaches since the age of 12. But, since starting Yoga over a year ago, I have very little to no shoulder or knee pains, I haven’t needed an off day due to over training, nor have I had a single migraine over the past 11 months.
TWO: It will IMPROVE all-around life PERFORMANCE
From working out, to basketball, to softball, to running, to gardening, to sleep, to burning calories, and even mental awareness, Yoga improves balance, strength, flexibility, alignment, recovery, and breath control and in doing so improves all aspects of your life.
THREE: It will IMPROVE WEIGHT LOSS
There are a number of different types of Yoga’s out there and each with their own set goals. Though they all work to improve aspects listed in No. 2 above, each and every Yoga type is meant to improve you…and a better you will be a healthier you which means that you will eventually unconsciously start eating healthier foods, working out more, and feeling overall happier about yourself. This happens because Yoga will eventually start to CHANGE YOUR STATE OF MIND and THAT’S WHAT YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE TO A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE!
FOUR: It can CHANGE your BODY COMPOSITION
Yoga, especially for people who have never done it before, aligns not only body and spirit but also body with body. Any Yoga session puts you in positions that help align all parts of your body…but to do it right you’ll have to actively engage in the moves (i.e., work at it)!
We aren’t talking just stretching in some awkward position for 30 seconds…we are talking about WORKING TO HOLD THAT AWKWARD POSTION! Using all opposing muscles to stretch the other muscles out, Yoga calls for you to exert muscles in ways you’ve never done before and, at times, you’re even using muscles you never knew you had.
So, if you are really WORKING to get better at Yoga, no matter what Yoga you are doing, you will start to gain muscle in places you’ve never worked out with traditional exercises. And, though you may not be losing weight right off the bat, you will be changing your body composition which will lead to more weight loss and eventually may even….
FIVE: Help CHANGE your BODY TYPE…or get as close to doing it as physically possible.
Now, this is not common but it can happen…and it happened to me. Until a year ago I have always been an endomorph (i.e., very thick legs, gained muscle mass easily but not very defined…more thick than tone). As an endomorph I would have to work very hard to lose fat which meant I was always pretty bulky. Even mid-way through P90X (as seen below) I was still an endomorph.
But sometime during the middle of my first P90X2 program, I started noticing a change in my body. I was becoming more and more like a mesomorph until one day I found myself with the build and characteristics of a mesomorph (i.e., my muscle tone was a bit more defined as opposed to thick with more elongated muscles mass, it was a noticeably easier to lose weight and gain lean mass, and I noticed that my metabolism was burning fat a lot better).
My overall body composition and metabolism had changed to the point that my body type classification was closer to a mesomorph than an endomorph…And, YES, I contribute it mainly to Yoga!
CAN YOGA REALLY CHANGE YOUR BODY TYPE?
YES! I REALLY BELIEVE IT CAN…though not by itself. Nonetheless Yoga will be the most important contributing factor in doing so!
HOW DO I KNOW?
Well, because, as noted above it happened to me.
You see, as previously stated, I had been a workout, diet, and overall health nut since the age of 12. I was born an endomorph and was an endomorph until the age of 30…until the day I started P90X.
Yes, technically it was P90X and LeanGains that helped change my body type. But I can confidently say it was the Yoga part of P90X that helped the most. I can say this because I had been lifting weights and cross training for over 18 years while staying visually and physically an endomorph…something that changed after introducing YogaX and YogaX2 into my workout regimen.
SO IT MUST HAVE BEEN THE YOGA?
What I mean exactly is that Yoga was the gateway to changing my body composition.
A gateway that allowed the other parts of my workout regimen, along with the LeanGains eating style, to change the visual appearance of my muscle mass and the physical/biological characteristics of my metabolism to the point where I was closer to a body type with which I was not born.
Yoga alone CANNOT DO IT but YOGA ALLOWS YOU TO TRAIN, IMPROVE, and LIVE like you’ve never done before…and by the time you’ve aligned your body and mind you’ll be able to reach any goal…even if that goal is changing your body type.