I’m a 45-year-old woman who’s an avid yoga practitioner who takes class three times per week. I’m considering starting a workout routine in addition once or twice a week, but am afraid I’ll make myself too stiff to do all of my yoga moves. Is there any way to avoid this?
I’m actually not much of a yogi myself – I prefer getting into the gym and hitting the weights rather than sitting on a mat practicing my breathing. Not that there’s anything wrong with yoga. I know a number of men and women who enjoy it tremendously wnd who have derived great benefit from it.
That being said, I do understand your concern. While exercising once or twice a week probably won’t affect your yoga practice too much, progressive resistance training can make your muscles bit sore and stiff – especially when first starting out – and this can obviously limit your range of movement.
My advice to you is to start out slowly with fairly light weights and to stretch during and after your training. I’ve previously explained why I’m not a fan of stretching before exercise (it weakens cold muscles and can lead to pulls), but warming the body up before exercise is crucial. Start off with 10 minutes on the stationary bike followed by a half hour of lifting, with gentle stretching between sets.
After a month of this you can up the time to 45 minutes and increase the weights as you get stronger. Keep the rep count at between 10 and 15 and the sets at 6 for biceps, triceps and shoulders and 8 for chest, back and legs. This should give you a good strength foundation that will actually improve your yoga ability rather than detract from it.