If you practice yoga for long enough you are bound to encounter physical barriers. Currently, I am working towards proficiency in Ashtanga’s intermediate series. But increasingly I find that I simply lack the strength to juice this sequence for all its worth. Lately, I’ve come to the realization that perhaps a little bit of strength training would go a long way. So I’ve essentially been testing this hypothesis by lifting every other day since the start of the new year. The whole experiment is turning out to be a great success, and I’d like to share what’s been working for me thus far.
Extra strength comes in handy when accomplishing postures which are known to sap one’s energy. For me, shallow backbends and forearms stands are high on my list of improvements as I work to make to most out of my own yoga odyssey. To address each, I find that doing superman stomach lifts with dumbbells and straps works surprisingly well in order to improve my locust pose shown above. With respect to forearm stands, I find strap assisted tricep extensions to be great for overcoming the resistance brought about when my range of motion is pushed to its limits.
Strength is an essential commodity, and the ability to readily apply it or ration it for later is a tremendously important skill in its own right. Although an overabundance of muscular tension can certainly be a liability, I think it’s worth it to take up a weight training routine, stick to it for a month, and then see what happens. It could revolutionize the physical dimension of your yoga practice. I continue to find great success through cross training and I hope will find a complementary exercise method which works for you.