Teaching Yoga: Weightlifting - Yoga Practice Blog

Teaching Yoga: Weightlifting

yoga instructorBy Faye Martins

Some hatha yoga teachers strongly advise against weight lifting. When asked for a concrete explanation of why weight resistance would be harmful to yoga practitioners, I have yet to find a valid reason why a practitioners can’t enjoy the best of both worlds. From a physical point of view, both methods are a perfect cross training combination. If you are a yoga instructor, you are morally obligated to give your students the facts.

Many bodybuilders along with those new to weight lifting are concerned if yogic methods will be a good supplement to their lifting routine. The answer is yes, yogic techniques are a great compliment to any workout. Anyone who is combining yoga with weight resistance has to be careful to not overwork the body, which in any case can work against them instead of benefit them.


The Rules for Incorporating

The one aspect of yoga that can safely be practiced every day while lifting is meditation. Meditation can help you approach workouts with purpose and focus. Meditation also helps those who practice it sleep well and approach each day with less stress. Any weight trainer will tell you that you should alternate muscle groups each day. The simple solution to adding yogic techniques to your daily weight training schedule is to do yoga poses that work the same muscle groups that you are working with your weight resistance training. It is best to do the weight training first, and practice yogic techniques as a type of cool down session between sets or at the end of your session, where you stretch and relax the muscles and return to a calm state of being.

It’s also important to choose a type of yoga that incorporates slow movements, steady breathing and more of a meditative side. Hatha is the perfect choice for this purpose. Many believe that those who solely weight lift have muscles that are tenser, and in turn they have less flexibility. That is another benefit of combining yoga training and weight lifting. You will train your muscles in every way possible rather than just one way. In turn, yogic methodology can also help with weight resistance. Those who practice yogic techniques say that they are able to focus more strongly on the muscle group they are working, and in a sense let their mind take over. They tend to accomplish more than they had first believed they could because when mind and body work together, the results tend to be much better.


However one combines the two workouts, they should be sure to listen to their body. Do not push it too far past its limit. Fatigue can only do damage so if you are feeling overwhelmed you can take a seat and focus on meditation instead.

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