Initially strength training and yoga practice seem as different as day and night. Yoga is flow, spirit, relaxation, and flexibility. Strength training is power, force, effort, and pure fitness. You’re probably thinking these two would never work together. Until you realize exactly what these differing disciplines have in common – and it’s more than you might think. Here are the five benefits you can experience by mixing the two.
1. Balance, strength and flexibility
We all know yoga helps increase our flexibility. Strength training on the other hand helps us build strong muscles to support our body. By mixing these two methods of training can really help our body function at its best and make everyday functions completely effortless. Strength without flexibility is not particularly healthy, but flexibility without strength is out of balance.
2. Reduce muscle loss
Did you know that muscle mass diminishes with age? While yoga is an excellent way to maintain strength, whatever your age, the strength you build is limited by your body weight. This is where strength training comes in. Strength training two or three times a week builds muscle mass and increase bone density in a way you will not achieve through yoga alone, particularly as you get older.
3. Develop control and focus
When you carry out an effective strength training program (and not simply pick up a couple of light weights and move them around for a few minutes), you need to develop focus, emotional control, and desire. You know that lifting heavier and heavier weights is going to challenge you, but you teach yourself to do it anyway and to work through the discomfort. Transfer this iron-clad mindset to yoga for those days when you want to work on gravity-defying poses and hold poses for a little longer.
“One of the greatest moments in life is realizing that two weeks ago your body couldn’t do what it just did!”
4. Develop body awareness and avoid injury
Good quality strength and weight training is not just about building power and force; it is about building body awareness too. You learn how far you can push your body, and where you need to take a step back. If you’re super-flexible, you risk getting injured during yoga as you may push yourself too far without realizing when your body is saying no. Building awareness of the movements around joints helps preserve a healthy, injury-free yoga practice.
5. Improve muscle tone and feel leaner
Weight training builds lean muscle, as lean muscle increases so does your metabolism. A higher metabolism means that you will burn more calories long after your session is finished. Nearly all yoga poses addresses detoxification on some level. Detoxification encourages the purification of both the body and mind.
These two benefits married together can help you look and feel healthier, fitter and stronger then ever!
If your looking to give strength training a go to help boost your yoga practise, contact Catherine from 3BFIT located in our Dundrum studio to schedule a complementary consultation.
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