How to build strength with your yoga practice?
Yoga uses a variety of muscle-grouping poses, bodyweight resistance, and targeted breathing techniques to build strength. You need to stabilize your body in a variety of asana during the practice to gradually build and tone your muscles. Furthermore, some yoga styles – such as Ashtanga Vinyasa – include dynamic movements, flowing sequences, that help in the development of strength. On top of this, the thoughtful breathing techniques enhance general endurance and stamina, which reinforces physical strength.
I recall feeling incredibly tired after my first yoga classes. Holding poses for an extended time seemed nearly impossible, and my breath was far from calm and controlled! When the teacher mentioned that we should “feel comfortable” in each pose, I couldn’t fathom how I could ever achieve a sense of ease while balancing on my hands or shoulders!
Over time, consistency played a crucial role, aiding muscle memory and the development of strength. As I continued with my practice, I began to experience a noticeable shift. The asana practice, which initially was so challenging, transformed into a source of enjoyment. Gradually, I felt less tired and increasingly vibrant and energetic. Each session contributed to a sense of growing strength, and I found myself feeling stronger and more capable on the mat.
The yoga practice has helped me become more flexible and strong, which has greatly benefited my climbing too. Making deliberate movements on the rock is essential for climbing advancement. The body & mind connection, which I had developed on the yoga mat, came in very handy when I was bouldering off the mat. The performance on the rock was improved overall because the mindfulness and awareness that I developed through yoga transferred easily into the careful and deliberate movements needed for climbing.
Although there are physical analogies between yoga and climbing, this is only one aspect of their relationship. There’s an underlying resonance that transcends our material world. We will go into more detail in future posts, but in our opinion, the process and flow are the most powerful connections between these two disciplines.