Strength may not necessarily be the first trait that springs to mind when people think about yoga. However, this does not imply that it cannot or should not be a component of your practice.
Yoga’s physical practice is ideal for strength-building for various reasons. One reason is that it makes use of repetition. We gradually tire our muscles out when we repeat a movement, such as a Chaturanga or Warrior II, which helps them rejuvenate and get tougher.
We may achieve the principle of progressive overhead (i.e., increasing strain on the musculoskeletal system to acquire strength, size, and endurance), just as we would in any other athletic discipline by leveraging reputation and adaptation.
But to build strength through yoga, we need to structure our practice according to concepts from exercise science. Let’s talk about how yoga routines that increase strength, and enable us to acquire enjoyable new capabilities, may be created using lessons from gymnastics and strengthening exercises.
Putting this into practice
Let’s get this out of the way right away: increasing your strength won’t make you too muscular or necessarily less flexible (unless you spend all of your time in the weight room throwing barbells overhead).
So banish the picture of a powerlifter from your mind and focus instead on the ripped body of a gymnast or circus performer. So what is the process? How would this vary from the way yoga is typically practiced? Here are some concepts:
1) Initiate with a moderate warm-up, which doesn’t overdo it
The concept behind this method is that your strength-based yoga practice, will place more strain on your body than normal- so it’s critical to warm up fully without dissipating energy or overdoing yourself.
Gradually loosen up till your pulse rate is elevated and you’re just perspiring. Some little flow or a few Sun Salutations may be appropriate.
2) Commence with some skill-based activity
Attempting to master a freestanding handstand or the one-legged crow pose known as Eka-Pada Bakasana? Follow your warm-up with it. You’ll be able to work on skill-based motions, at this time, because you’ll be the most motivated and focused.
In yoga, we routinely place these challenging postures as peak poses after a session. Although not always detrimental, this prevents us from approaching them at our best, because we are usually already worn out.
3) Include some strength-training exercises early in the game
Strength training should now be done after warming up and practicing your abilities. One of the finest methods to do this is with a brief, but difficult, flow that you may repeat one to three times. Take a long break in the Child’s pose between each round of the flow.
While including one or two “reach” moves or postures, adjust the challenge of this mini-flow to fit your level. Ultimately, you will find a way to overcome the difficulty.
4) After strength training, proceed with the rest of your normal approach
Feel free to carry on with the rest of your practice as normal, after using all of your strength in your mini-flow.
This might centre on more dynamic movement, prolonged, slow-motion postures that promote endurance, breath work, or whatever other priorities you have.
5) End with additional mobility and flexibility work
After your challenging strength-focused flow, be sure to conclude by giving your body’s stressed-out areas a bit of extra tender loving care. Open up the wrist joints if you were hand-balancing.
Yogis are capable of some incredible things. But to do this, we must approach practice with an experimental and scientific mindset. This should incorporate some knowledge from other fields.
It’s easy to build strength when doing yoga. While employing repetition and adjusting as we go to utilize increasingly difficult variants of each posture, we do need to plan our flows so that we explicitly do the strength-focused exercise at the appropriate moments.
Some advice to conclude with
Have you ever attempted to use a yoga strategy to create a balanced lifestyle? It may have improved your physical or emotional health; alternatively, it might have been difficult but eventually satisfying.
However, keep in mind that yoga shouldn’t be used as a substitute for medical care or counsel. Before starting any new workout programme- it’s crucial to speak with your mentor to be sure you’re doing postures correctly and safely. Have you used this strategy? Share your experience with us!