If you put the words ‘strength training’ and ‘yoga’ together, there’s not an immediate perfect mix between the two. In fact, a lot of yogis don’t like strength training and a lot of weightlifters don’t really enjoy yoga – but the two couldn’t be a better compliment for one another.
They practically go hand in hand.
Here is a good example: I love to lift weights and I’m also a huge yogi. I find that unless I do both, I either end up too sore to function or I’m craving the stress relief that weightlifting gives me. And yes, I know it seems a bit counterintuitive. But actually, lifting weights before practicing yoga gives me the muscle definition to actually do chataranga with the proper form and alignment. There are certain poses that are much easier for me now than they used to be thanks to weightlifting.
But what about the other side?
When you lift weights, it’s not hard to jump to the conclusion that you also need to stretch A LOT. It’s really important to make sure you’re giving your body length, and not just bunching everything up tightly. Make sense? You’ve seen pictures of those crazy weight-lifting champions in the 1980s and 1990s, right? Unless you want to channel Arnold at his crazy moments, then you have to stretch. Long and lean is so 2018!
If you don’t, you could actually tear ligaments and muscles.
I’m serious here, folks… and I’m fairly certain no one heads to the gym with the goal of leaving with an irritation or injury. It’s a pain to be injured, whether it’s from doing too much yoga or from straining your back from a badly formed squat. You need good posture, endurance, AND strength to do anything, but particularly for yoga and weightlifting.
Doing yoga can make you more conscious about your weightlifting techniques. And weightlifting can strengthen your muscles so it’s not as much of a challenge to lift yourself off the ground and do one of those awesome handstand-crow-chataranga transitions that we all dream about.
What do you guys think? Are you weightlifters? Do you think you would try it if you haven’t before? What’s stopping you?