Yoga is a body-weight exercise.
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Bikram yoga is a formalized, highly structured type of yoga based upon the principles of Hatha yoga and originally popularized in the 1970s. Classes last 90 minutes and rely on 26 basic postures conducted in a 105-degree room. Yoga is a form of weight training, but your overall fitness goals will dictate if you'll still need to work additional weight training into your routine.
Yoga as Weight Training
Although you don't lift weights during Bikram yoga, you're still getting a strength-based workout. The postures in Bikram require you to support your own body weight, and this can help strengthen your muscles. Just as exercises such as lunges, pushups and pullups don't rely on weights to train muscles, poses such as Half Moon pose, Eagle pose and Balancing Stick strengthen muscles throughout your body.
The 26 Postures
Technically speaking, every pose in Bikram yoga is a weight-bearing pose because you're required to support your body weight. Some poses, however, require more strength than others. Standing Deep Breathing and Blowing in Firm require little strength, but Tree pose and Triangle pose can tone your legs, while poses such as Locust and Full Locust pose can tone your core, back and shoulders.
Replacing Weight Training
If your goal is simply to ensure good health by keeping your muscles strong, Bikram yoga can replace strength training. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends at least two days of strength training sessions that work all major muscle groups each week. Bikram yoga fits this bill if you attend class or do poses at home at least twice a week.
Although you can replace basic strength training with Bikram yoga, if your goal is to bulk up, Bikram yoga likely won't sufficient. With free weights and weight machines, you can continually add resistance as you gain strength, but with yoga, you're limited to your own body weight. If you switch from frequent weight lifting to Bikram alone, you could see some atrophy in your muscles, particularly if you only do Bikram a few times a week.