Is Yoga Functional Training?

Is Yoga Functional Training?

Functional training and yoga are two prominent exercise regimens that have been increasingly popular over time.

While functional training is a more recent type of exercise that has become popular among fitness lovers, yoga has been around for centuries. The goal of functional training is to enhance general functioning and movement patterns by simulating everyday tasks.

You might also be shocked to hear that many yoga postures call for motions that are similar to those seen in everyday tasks like bending, twisting, and reaching. Moreover, yoga may enhance body awareness, mindfulness, and breath control, all of which are crucial elements of functional training.

Yoga might thus be a game-changer for your training program if you’re looking to increase your functional fitness.

Is Yoga Functional Training?

Yes, yoga is a form of functional training. Yoga teachings and poses are considered functional training because they improve strength, mobility, and stability through bodyweight exercises based on functional movement patterns and everyday activities.

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Quick Summary

  • Yoga may enhance body awareness, mindfulness, natural movements, active range of motion, and breath control, all of which are crucial elements of functional training.
  • Functional training appeared in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
  • India is where yoga’s more than 5,000-year history as a form of physical activity began.
  • Yoga poses need the use of body weight resistance, which can aid in the development of strength, functional movements, and stamina.
  • Yoga and Functional Movement Screening tool can be used to produce a comprehensive functional training regimen.

The Origins of Functional Training and Functional Movements

Although functional training has been a popular kind of exercise for a while, it really took off in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation activities are where functional training first emerged. In order to aid their patients in recovering from injuries and enhancing their strength and mobility in daily movements, physical therapists would give them exercises that closely resembled everyday activities.

Functional training exercises were eventually adopted by athletes and fitness buffs as a technique to enhance their performance in sports and everyday life.

Functional training is now a mainstay in many functional fitness regimens and is widely acknowledged as a powerful method for raising overall fitness levels, reducing injuries, and boosting sports performance [1].

The Origins of Yoga, Yoga Poses, Classes, and Teachings

India is where yoga’s more than 5,000-year history as a form of physical activity began. Yoga is a practice that aims to bring the mind, body, and spirit together. The term “yoga” means to connect or to unify.

Throughout time, physical postures were introduced to the practice of yoga in order to enhance strength, flexibility, and general health. The early forms of yoga largely concentrated on meditation and breathing techniques.

Through time and continued practice, the yoga community has changed and evolved. There are several variations of yoga practice available today, each teaching yoga with a distinct purpose and advantages. Yoga Asana, Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga yoga are a few of the most well-liked varieties of exercise.

Notwithstanding the style, yoga classes are still a well-liked activity that has many advantages for the body and mind.

Shiva, Indian God of destruction sitting in the cross-legged stance, meditating in the beautiful sunset.

The first ever Yogi to walk the Earth. Shiva is the destroyer of the worlds and the founder of yoga. Shiva, or “that which is not.”

Is Yoga Considered Functional Training?

Several of the postures and motions employed in yoga may be considered functional training, even though yoga is not traditionally categorized as functional training. Yoga contains several positions, each of which has its own special set of movements and advantages.

The Warrior poses, for instance, imitate lunges, a typical movement in everyday life. In order to increase general stability and balance, this position can assist to strengthen the legs, hips, and core.

By simulating the motion of reaching overhead and extending the hamstrings, the downward-facing dog position helps increase flexibility and lessen tension in the back and legs.

By challenging the practitioner to balance on one foot while elevating the other leg and pressing the foot on the opposing thigh, the Tree pose tests stability and balance.

Yoga Classes as Functional Strength Training

Yoga is both a sort of functional strength training and a functional training method. Building muscles, boosting bone density, and enhancing general health and fitness all depend on strength training. Yoga poses need the use of body weight resistance, which can aid in the development of strength and stamina. 

Yoga classes are low impact and gentle on the joints, making them a great option for people with injuries or chronic pain. This is just one of the advantages of adopting yoga classes as a kind of functional strength training.

By doing yoga, people may increase their strength and endurance, prevent injuries, and improve their general health and wellness while also being better able to do daily tasks [2].

What Is Functional Movement?

Functional movement is the capacity to carry out daily tasks or motions effectively and without discomfort or harm. Functional movement patterns can be simple ones like walking, sitting, and standing, as well as more difficult ones like sprinting, leaping, and lifting.

Functional movements include more than one muscle group and joints cooperating in a coordinated way. To maintain optimum health and functionality, these motions call for a mix of strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination.

5 Common Areas Where Function Is Reduced or Lost Due to Habitual Patterns

Reduced function in some body parts might result from repetitive movement and postural patterns. These tendencies may result in muscular imbalances, joint problems, and discomfort over time.

Many variables, including lifestyle choices, job habits, injuries, and age, might contribute to the development of these patterns. 

1. Mis-Alignment in the Shoulder Girdle

A typical location where the function can be diminished or lost due to ingrained behaviors is the shoulder girdle. Misalignment in the shoulder girdle can result from bad posture, repeated motions, a lack of appropriate strengthening and stretching, and other factors as well.

Misaligned shoulder girdles can cause a variety of problems, such as shoulder discomfort, restricted range of motion, and decreased upper body strength and stability.

Rows, shoulder external and internal rotation exercises, and scapular retraction and protraction exercises can all target multiple muscle groups and aid to improve shoulder alignment and stability.

Apart from increasing general function and lowering the chance of injury, adding yoga poses like downward facing dog, upward dog, and dolphin pose can help stretch and strengthen the muscles in the shoulders and upper back.

2. Elevated Hip

Another region that is frequently affected by ingrained behaviors is an elevated hip. Injuries, poor posture, and muscular imbalances in the hip and pelvic region can all contribute to this. Issues including lower back discomfort, restricted range of motion, and impaired lower body stability might result from having one hip lifted [3].

Exercises like lunges and squats may strengthen and stabilize the whole lower body, while hip bridges, clamshells, and lateral leg lifts can aid with hip and pelvic alignment.

Stretching and strengthening the muscles surrounding the hips and pelvis with yoga positions like pigeon pose and lizard pose can improve general function and lower the chance of injury.

3. Rotated Spine

Another place where function may be diminished or lost as a result of ingrained behaviors is a rotated spine. Rotation of the spine can cause problems including lower back discomfort, a reduction in range of motion, and a loss of core stability.

Planks and side planks strengthen the core muscles, while exercises like spinal twists, bird dogs, and dead bugs can aid to enhance spinal alignment and stability.

Stretching and strengthening the muscles surrounding the spine through yoga positions like the twisted chair pose, triangle pose, and spinal twists can also improve the body’s biomechanics and lower the chance of injury.

4. Kyphotic Thoracic Spine

A postural imbalance known as a kyphotic thoracic spine happens when the upper back becomes overly rounded or leaned forward. Kyphosis of the thoracic spine can cause problems including upper back discomfort, restricted range of motion, and impaired respiratory function.

Exercises that increase thoracic spine mobility and posture include chest openers, scapular retractions, and extensions and rotations of the thoracic spine.

Specific poses like the camel, cow, and cobra postures may be used to stretch and build the muscles surrounding the thoracic spine, enhancing the full range of motion and lowering the chance of injury.

5. Lordotic Cervical And/or Lumbar Spine

A postural imbalance known as a lordotic cervical and/or lumbar spine happens when the neck or lower back becomes abnormally arched, putting unequal pressure and tension on the spine and surrounding muscles.

When the cervical and/or lumbar spine is lordotic, it can cause problems including neck discomfort, lower back pain, restricted range of motion, and poor core stability.

Exercises that work several muscle groups and increase core strength and stability are glute bridges, reverse crunches, and planks. Other exercises to increase spinal alignment and mobility include pelvic tilts and cat-cow stretches.

The muscles surrounding the cervical and lumbar spine may be stretched and strengthened by including specific poses like upward-facing dog, sphinx pose, and cobra pose. This improves general function and lowers the risk of spinal disorders.

Functional Movement Screening (FMS) And Yoga

Fitness experts utilize the Functional Movement Screening (FMS) tool to measure and evaluate movement patterns and pinpoint weak or dysfunctional regions. Yoga and FMS can be used to produce a comprehensive functional training regimen.

Deep squat, active straight-leg raise, inline lunge, trunk stability push-up, hurdle step, shoulder mobility, and rotational stability are the seven basic movement patterns that the FMS evaluates.

The screening’s results might assist uncover weak points or functional issues that can be fixed with particular exercises and yoga postures.

What Is Functional Yoga?

Functional yoga is a type of yoga that prioritizes functional movement patterns to increase strength, flexibility, and mobility in daily tasks. Props like yoga mat, blocks, straps, and bolsters are frequently used in functional yoga poses to aid with alignment, stability, and mobility.

Moreover, functional yoga may use dynamic exercises like lunges, squats, and twists to increase strength and flexibility in particular body parts.

People may move more effectively and comfortably throughout daily tasks by adding yoga in their functional training program, which will enhance their overall functional fitness.

Functional yoga may also be customized to match the requirements of persons with varying degrees of fitness and experience, making it a convenient and efficient form of exercise for a variety of people.


Is Yoga Considered Training?

Yes, yoga is considered training since it entails the practice of certain movements and positions that need strength, flexibility, and body awareness.

Is Yoga Good for Functional Strength?

Yes, yoga is good for functional strength because it contains movements and postures that need strength, stability, and mobility, all of which are necessary components of functional strength.

Is Just Doing Yoga Enough Exercise?

No, doing yoga is not enough exercise since it often focuses on certain motions and parts of the body and may not give a well-rounded workout on its own.

Why Should You Incorporate Yoga Into Your Daily Routine?

You should incorporate yoga Into your daily routine to provide numerous benefits for both your physical and mental well-being. Frequent yoga practice can assist to increase flexibility, strength, balance, and mobility, making daily tasks simpler and lowering the chance of discomfort and injury.

Yoga is renowned for its capacity to encourage relaxation and lower tension and anxiety in addition to its many physical advantages.

Yoga’s emphasis on deep breathing and meditation can assist to relax the mind, enhance attention and concentration, and advance general mental health.

If you want to feel the benefits of yoga, consult your yoga teacher, whether you’re trying to get fitter, de-stress, or just take a break from your hectic schedule.

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Vanja Vukas

Student at the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education and a hardcore functional training enthusiast. Heavily inspired by Michael Boyle, a strength & conditioning specialist, and by Adam Sinicki, the founder of Bioneer. Vanja believes that transitioning to a movement-based exercise program can drastically improve your fitness, balance out your muscles, and support your current lifestyle.

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