Hey everyone. As you know busy month around here running and recovering, but I don't want to leave you neglected.
Dr. David Kulla is stepping in and is delivering a guest post for all of you.
Yoga for Strength
If you want to get stronger, but you don’t see yourself lifting weights or strapping yourself to
a complicated machine at the gym, you can do strength training with your yoga practice. Most
people think about meditation and flexibility when they think about yoga, but it does a lot
more. Yoga can make you stronger by helping your move your body into poses, or asanas, that
require flexibility, endurance and strength. Even the most basic yoga poses require you to hold
them for a while, and that requires your muscles to show up and get to work. If you want to
build a body with even better muscle tone, make a conscious effort to practice asanas that will
make you stronger.
When you put yourself into different body poses, you often have to balance part or all of your
body weight onto one particular muscle group. Most people weigh more than the average
dumbbell, so you are putting your muscles through some strength training that way. You are
lifting your own weight by creating and holding positions that require you to support your body.
Creating more muscle tone and sharper definition may not be the primary focus of yoga, but it
will happen when you concentrate on it.
If you want to immediately bulk up your arms or chisel your calf muscles, weight training might
be a better option. However, if you are looking for a long term strategy, yoga is definitely a
good way to build your strength and get your core muscles toned. For starters, there is a much
lower risk of injury when you practice yoga. Sprains, strains and pulled muscles are far less
common among yoga practitioners than weight trainers. So, you won’t have to worry about
missing your workouts due to injuries. Yoga is also about timing, and getting your entire body
to work with itself. Instead of focusing on one specific muscle group, you will strengthen your
entire body as a single unit, keeping you balanced and your muscles in harmony with one
The stretching involved in yoga will help muscles stretch and repair themselves between
workout sessions. You will achieve better results overall when you build your muscles and
increase your strength with yoga. You might not get bulging biceps within a few weeks’ time,
but you will get stronger in a healthier, more sustainable way through your yoga practice.
If you are practicing yoga, you are most likely doing so because you want to increase your
overall health, help your body to work well and find a holistic balance that links you physical
health to your spiritual and emotional health. Yoga does all of those things and it also helps you
to be more flexible, leaner and energetic. Most people do not approach the practice of yoga
with the intention of building muscle. Strengthening your entire core and all of your muscles
will happen naturally as you practice yoga, and you will find yourself much stronger than you
were when you started.
This post was written for Running In Boise by Dr. David Kulla. Dr. Kulla is a licensed New York City Chiropractor and a nutritionist as well as owner of Synergy Wellness in Manhattan.