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The Benefits of Strength Training for Your Yoga Practice

When you first start yoga, it’s easy to fall in love with the practice and feel like it’s the only thing you want to do when it comes to movement. But if you really want to get the most out of your yoga practice, it’s important to have a well-rounded movement routine. Even if your practice includes strength building styles of yoga like Power Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga, there are still muscles that need pulling movements not found in your usual practice. Let’s take a look at why strength training is so important for yogis and some of my favorite ways to supplement my yoga practice.



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Why You Need Strength Training

The main reason why strength training is important for yogis is because it allows us to target muscles we don’t always hit in our regular practice. This can include muscles like the latissimus dorsi and biceps which require pulling motions instead of pushing. Regularly hitting these muscles also helps us build better posture and body alignment which can help us move more safely and gracefully on the mat during our yoga practice.


In addition, strength training helps with pain management too! By strengthening certain areas that are prone to injury, we can reduce the likelihood of getting hurt while practicing. For me personally, strength training is imperative to the management of my Ankylosing Spondylitis. By keeping my muscles strong I reduce the pressure on my spine and joints.


blonde yogi holding pair of pink dumbbells wearing pink outfit


What Types Of Strength Training Work Best For Yogis?

When looking for strength training activities that will complement your yoga practice, there are quite a few options available. I personally love weight lifting, but any type of activity that focuses on building muscle mass will do! If you’re just starting out with weight lifting or other similar activities, make sure to listen carefully to instructions from instructors or ask questions so you know exactly what kind of form to use when lifting weights or performing certain exercises - this will help ensure safety and avoid injury in the long run! IF weight lifting doesnt feel like your thing (I still encourage you to try it!), Pilates and Barre can be wonderful options! They both incorporate lots of strength building, often with the help of external resistance like a resistance band, ankle weights, a Pilates reformer, or dumbbells!


pilates girl with pink dumbbells in pink yoga pants
Weight training changed my life AND my yoga practice!

Ultimately, having a well-rounded movement routine is essential for any yogi who wants to make the most out of their practice - both physically and mentally. While yoga provides an amazing workout all on its own, adding strength training into your schedule gives you an edge when it comes to improving posture and body alignment overall as well as helping with pain management if needed. Weight lifting, Pilates classes and Barre classes are some great ways for yogis to get started with their strength training journey! Try them out - I guarantee you won't regret it! If you're looking for quick and effective Pilates classes, I have a few really good ones in The Yoga Studio! But I'd also recommend to go to a gym and perhaps to a session with a personal trainer to at least start to dip your toes into weight lifting! Its truly life changing.


Happy training, yogis!


Namaste,

Elina

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