Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Augmenting your yoga practice with strength training

I have recently started a personal training program at the gym. My trainer (Nick) has also been a fellow student in Nuvana's classes at the gym. He has since started teaching yoga at the gym. I picked Nick because of his yoga experience, though I cringe at the thought of how one can become a certified yoga teacher in 6 weeks. Only "Yoga fit" could answer that! :-)

I have had two sessions with Nick. His yoga background has really helped in putting together this program for me, though in a number of exercises, he gently reminds me not too keep my chest open so much, especially in pull ups. It is an interesting paradox and contrast to how we do poses in Iyengar yoga.

There is about 10-15 minutes of cardio such as walking or biking, which allows a more gradual increase in heart rate and then the rest of the time has been spent on mostly isometric exercises to work the muscles. These include sit-ups, pull ups, and some light weight training that is working muscles in the arms, stomach, legs, calves, and the core etc. The movements add some cardio to it as well.

I think a program like this is a perfect augment to my yoga practice. I need to build up strength in my shoulders, arms and core in order to do some of the more challenging inversions and shoulder stands. The cardio work out is important to continually strengthen the heart. For the last 12 months I have not been focused on this, and mostly yoga and have since gained some of my weight back, which has impacted my yoga practice as well.

So I am returning back to my old program of yoga, cardio (walking) and strength training to get my weight down, improve my strength and feel more energized. And I cannot forget about the "cleansing diet" that Skeptic Yogi has gone through. It is on my list, at the right place and right time, I plan to try that and see how it impacts me. The diet component is as important in the overall wellness. So I shall attempt it one step at a time.

Julie Lawrence graciously sent me the shlokas she recites from Bhagvat Gita at the end of her class:

Loka samasta sukino bhavantu.
Loka samasta sukino bhavantu.
Loka samasta sukino bhavantu.
Om. Shan’ti, shan’ti, shan’ti.

May the entire world be filled with love and peace!


The yogi

1 comment:

will said...

mmm i love strength training. I'm actually picking up yoga right now. I need better flexibility to prevent injury from weight lifting.

discount fitness clothes