Complement your Asana practice

Yoga is a great thing! You train your mind and your body.
A student of mine who just started doing Yoga again after a few months break, said to me after class today that now after the break she realised how much strength you need and build in Yoga.

And even though the main goal of Yoga is originally not about the body, in the Western society Yoga has become mostly about the physical practice. If it’s a good or a bad thing is just another judgement, and it’s not what this blogpost is going to be about.
This post is about the things I am missing in the (physical) Asana practice.

If you are one of those practitioners who do mostly or only Yoga, like I did over the last months, due to lack of time or energy to do anything else, then there are a few things you could do if you are interested in overall physical fitness and to avoid muscular imbalances.

Pulling
Pulling is one of the things that we just don’t do in Yoga. This is mostly because with just a mat and the common used props it’s not really possible to do any pulling movements.
In my workout in the gym I now focus on exactly those movements to avoid muscular imbalances (in this case mostly shoulder area).

Jumping
Exercises for explosive strength and speed like jumping are not part of an Asana practice. Of course, if we go to a Yoga class a big part of it is relaxation, slowing down and also keeping the heart rate down. But I felt like it needs a place somewhere in my physical exercise program.

Endurance and Cardio
There are some bodyweight strength endurance positions in many Yoga styles, but one focus is to keep the breath and the heart rate even. That’s why I also started to do rope jumping and running in my weekly routine.

Climbing
Because of the pulling movements climbing is a beautiful training you can do to add to your Yoga practice. Since years I’ve been thinking that I want to start climbing but so far I haven’t found the motivation to do it! If you’re a climber, please let me know and force me to join you the next time you go! 🙂

If you have more ideas about what else is missing or what exercises are complementing the Yoga practice feel free to share your ideas with me!

 

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