Adults lose 3-5 percent of their muscle mass each decade after their 30th birthday. This age-related muscle loss, known as sarcopenia, is a natural process that occurs due to many aging processes. As we grow older, our ability to create energy from protein weakens, and we may not get enough proteins to maintain muscle mass.
However, a recent study revealed that yoga can combat age-related muscle loss. This study, called NAMASTE, or Novel Approaches to Maintaining Muscle Mass and Strength, looked at two groups of healthy women between the ages of 50 and 65 for six months. One of these groups had not exercised for at least a year, while the other group practiced Vinyasa yoga at least two times a week for at least a year. The results showed that Vinyasa yoga can reduce signs of aging in the muscles. The Vinyasa group could facilitate the breakdown of protein better and reduce muscle loss. They had lower levels of body fat and higher muscle masses.
What Is Vinyasa Yoga?
Vinyasa is one of the most popular contemporary styles of yoga. The world Vinyasa translates to connection, which represents how the moves in Vinyasa yoga are all connected. Yogis that practice the popular style synchronize their movements to a breath, which anchors the body as they move from pose to pose. Vinyasa can also be faster than other forms of yoga, as movements from pose to pose are vigorous.
If you’re suffering from age-related muscle loss and want to get started with Vinyasa, then here are some poses that can help you get started.
This is a typical plank pose that can help strengthen arm, back, and core muscles while also working on arm balance. To enter the pose, get into the top of a push-up position and hold the pose for ten deep breaths. If you’re more advanced, try lifting one leg off the ground.
Start in the plank position, then shift your plank forward and stretch out your arms. Once reaching this position, lower yourself by bending your arms, much like completing a push-up. Switch between these positions between exhales.
Upward Facing Dog:
This position strengthens the arms, wrist and ab muscles. You will want to start with your body and stomach flat against the floor. Then push up with just the arms, extend the chest out, and point your toes.
Combine these three poses for a Vinyasa sequence. Each of the moves should be done in the space of one inhalation and by the next exhale, you should move to the next move. By doing this daily, you can prevent age-related muscle loss and build stronger muscles for a healthy life.