As you may know, I’ve started a strength training practice. For over a year, I trained three times per week. Then, I increased my sessions to 4 days per week, and recently, I’ve added a fifth day. Every day is different and leaves me feeling strong, accomplished, and pleased with myself. Three days per week is probably enough for me, but I really enjoy it, so there it is!
I wanted to add strength to my routine for a few reasons, but the primary reason is to combat the aging process. When you lose strength, flexibility, mobility, balance, your health can decline quickly.
I’ve started and failed in the past, mainly because of trying to do too much too fast. I end up aggravating and old shoulder or neck injury or I hurt my knee. Then I have to stop, heal, start over.
At one point, I told myself that all I needed was yoga. But as we age, even our yoga practice changes as our body changes. I started to feel like I was losing strength too quickly and that affected my stamina to do my yoga practice.
The good news is you can start over. You can start again. Just like a yoga practice, it’s always here to come back to. The key is, find someone to help you learn. Someone to teach you and to support you.
If you are starting a yoga practice, or a strength training practice, find a teacher or coach that you connect with, someone you trust and can talk to. Someone who will meet you where you are and work with you to achieve your goals.
One of my yoga teachers often says, “no pain, no pain.” I like that. I like the concept of getting stronger in a way that doesn’t hurt my body.
The perfect balance creates a body that is strong yet soft. The body doesn’t have to be “rock hard” in order to be strong. Picture a tall oak tree. Notice how it moves and flows, bending with a strong wind, or under the weight of a heavy snow. If it didn’t bend, it may break.
Strength training can complement your other movement practices, including yoga by helping you create mobility, stability, and stamina.
Yoga can complement your other movement practices, including strength training by helping you develop flexibility, mobility, and stability.
Combined, yoga and strength training can create a body that is strong, stable, and yet flexible and mobile. A body that can bend under strain without breaking.