A lot of people who haven’t done yoga before think that it’s all about being super bendy and making yourself a human pretzel. I can’t tell you how many times someone has said to me, “I just want to get strong, so yoga isn’t for me.”
I’ve done weight training, I’ve done numerous bootcamps, I’ve even done Crossfit (for a whole year), and while all of those things work amazingly, yoga made me strong in such a different way. Weight training allowed me to learn how to properly lift weight over my head and squat properly. Bootcamps showed me that I can get a lot of hard stuff done in a short set amount of time. Crossfit taught me the value of switching your exercises up all the time. Yoga taught me how to balance on my hands, how and when to engage my core, how to hold myself upside down, and so much more. When I started yoga I couldn’t even do a proper girl push up. I started weight training, bootcamps, and crossfit with the goal of being able to do a handstand (I couldn’t even do one with the assistance of the wall). Instead, I found that I could do a few full push ups, proper squats, and I knew the alignment for many weight lifting moves… . And even after all that time, I still couldn’t do a handstand with the wall, what’s more I couldn’t do 80% of the arm balances that I knew of. So, I started doing more advanced yoga classes even though I feared that I didn’t belong because I couldn’t do inversions. The mere fact that I know my body so well allowed me to find my way into handstand in a mere four months. After more training, workshops, and of course more advanced classes, I found my way into 90% of the arm balances I know of. That’s not to say that all the other work I did did not contribute to the strength I found, it did 100%. What is to be said about all of this though is that yoga connects you deeper into your own body. Yoga is a 50/50 balance of strengthening and stretching. As much as I love the stretching, the strengthening I have found though yoga has changed my life. That’s why I LOVE the strengthening!