mariahjazmin

Gym supplementation to yoga?

9 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

 

I was wondering if anyone had some good gym exercises to supplement your progress in a given pose. I am currently working on the Tripod Headstand, Dancers Pose and a complete Forward Fold, and was wondering whether incorporating some gym stuff such as Kettlebell Swings (for tripod) and straight leg Deadlifts (forward fold) would be helpful? Or am I missing something? I know that within the fitness community it can sometimes be seen as a duality (its hard to be flexible when doing strength training, etc), so I just wanted to get a second opinion before going to crazy at the gym. 

Thanks!

PS - sorry if this is the wrong forum, wasn't sure if this should go in the Newbie section or the general one! 

:huh:

yogafire likes this

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Hey there! There is a really great blogger named Jenni Rawlings who has a lot to say on this particular subject (http://www.jennirawlings.com/blog). Check her out!

I don't have anything to add other than that there has been conventional yogic wisdom regarding asana that turns out to be limited to certain contexts. I think that this is one of those cases. BUT...

That doesn't mean you will benefit from going crazy in the gym! If you get DOMS from your SLDL, you aren't exactly going to feel compelled to fold further into your forward fold. Just sayin' ;) I'm not an expert, but I am married to a truly one-of-a-kind personal trainer (and former national level qualifying bodybuilder), and his hamstrings are bulkier than 99.9% of the population. Despite this, he's pretty darn flexible and would make an incredible yogi if he ever decided to go down that path *fingers crossed*. My point is that he defies conventional yogic wisdom in this regard...as do a lot of people.

If I was going to use my time at the gym to complement my yoga practice, I would be placing a lot of focus on my back (right, yogafire?!). Pullups, rows, etc., because the back is underworked relative to the front body. At least that's my take :)

Edited by KristiSmithYoga

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Yes! I had similar questions, too, whether I needed supplemental exercises (for overall balance and posture, not specifically for yoga poses), and Kristi's husband very nicely answered here! http://kristismithyoga.com/blog/balancing-yogas-bias-towards-pushing-poses/

But overall, I think Candace had a good post talking about weight lifting, which helped her inversion and arm balancing poses the most. In case you missed it, here it is: http://yogabycandace.com/blog/working-out-to-complement-yoga

If you want to further your yoga practice, strength training makes a lot of sense.  I have instead focused on cardio due to cardiovascular disease in my family, so, after almost 5 years of yoga practice, I still cannot do an arm balance, but, that's ok with me!

 

 

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Hey there! There is a really great blogger named Jenni Rawlings who has a lot to say on this particular subject (http://www.jennirawlings.com/blog). Check her out!

Oo, I actually had more time to fully read Jenni Rawlings posts, about strengthening while not losing flexibility.  I would like to add my personal anecdote that you can still become more flexible while building strength. For instance, about 3 years ago I started running longer distances more consistently, and my calves got bigger.  After running for the first few times, I would always make sure to do calf stretches to minimize the soreness.  Some time while doing both running and yoga, I ended up touching my heels to the ground in downward dog (which for me, was an issue of "tight calves" before).  Anyway, this was all within moderation - I alternated running days with yoga so my knees wouldn't take too much impact.  I know running isn't the same as weight lifting, but, I thought this example isolated the calf muscles.

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I've been doing P90X and it seems to help. I like how it changes things up every day, and sometimes I'll swap out a workout for a Power yoga practice. I've noticed some poses, like hand balances, have gotten a lot easier. But the downside is is the P90X videos are kind of long...but you can do them at home (only really need a couple weights and an over-the-door pull up bar), so you save the money of not going to the gym.

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This is super interesting! I see your logic KristiSmithYoga, and it's actually really relevant to my progress - over the past month or so I have been incorporating a lot more back-work into my practice (Camel, Wheel pose, etc) and it's only since developing in this area that I have been able to reliably hold myself up in tripod, which is super great yaay!! I definitely think it has something to do with strengthening my back, and, to be honest, I would love to think that I should be focusing on back-work at the gym. I love rowing, pull ups, etc but abhor leg work and cardio (other than rowing! haha), so this works out perfectly fine for me ;-). I adore the fact that, despite being super new to yoga, I can feel my body getting stronger and more mobile, despite spending less time at the gym and more time on the mat. I think at this point my back is my weakest point, and bringing my back flexibility and strength up to a proportionate level compared to the rest of my body would be really helpful! 

Also, thanks for the additional blog links guys, by golly Jenni Rawlings definitely does go into this in detail - I have some studying to do! ;)

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I really liked your comment about creating balance. Physical balance also contributes to balance in many other ways. It also helps us avoid injury and dysfunction in other ways as well.
Yoga does offer a great deal for strengthening the entire backside of the body. The poses you mentioned Camel and Wheel are traction backbends. Move with gravity to get into the pose.
Some other options are contraction backbends, pull away from gravity. Poses like Salabhasana – Locust, Dhanurasana – Bow, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge, will be helpful for that. All these basic poses have more complex and challenging versions when you are ready for that.
These two different types will give strengthening and lengthening in different ways.
Backbends are Delicious is well written but a little challenging as well. https://www.eastlandpress.com/upload/0-939616-5_pdf_excerpt_20060325154657_1/asn.pdf
If you like going to the gym then a little of both is likely good thing to do. If you like certain poses then just do them everyday and they will get easier.
 
scottcraft likes this

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