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Filling The Gaps: Weightlifting & Yoga - A Perfect Pair

Nov 3rd

Hey guys!  I’m Kaila - a yoga teacher and personal trainer at Capital Fitness.  I know - yoga and training: they’re so different, right?  I can’t tell you how many questions I get about how to balance a strong yoga practice with a great resistance/lifting routine.  Let me tell you a little bit about why you’ve got to have both.


The reality is that any movement modality is going to have benefits - and likely some drawbacks or “gaps.”  For example, while yoga is the foundation of my personal programming, the reality of it is that yoga is mostly “pushing” movements, which tend to strengthen the front of the body.  In yoga, a good deal of the strength-building work is all about holding your own body weight against gravity, so it’s safe to say there is a certain degree of “pulling” movements lacking.  Any yogi will benefit greatly from introducing a resistance training program to build stability and strength for the back of the body.


Here are some other ways that yoga could fill a gap in a resistance training program - and vice versa!  Have you ever considered the following for your own routine?

  • Use of the breath while working: in yoga, breath is a starting point and potentially a practice in and of itself.  In resistance training, the breath is a useful tool but may not necessarily be a starting point.​

  • Where the degree of “load” or (and therefore strength-building) is limited to body weight in yoga, we have thousands of options to add load when it comes to resistance training.

  • For those that tend toward flexibility and mobility (read about our Yoga Director Ellen McKenzie’s experience here); resistance training can be a valuable addition to a strong yoga practice.  For those that tend toward strength or power, yoga as a flexibilty and mobility practice to support lifting routines can be a great idea.

  • Let’s be real: there’s a lot going on on the gym floor. It’s easy to get distracted and lose focus while working.  A meditation or yoga practice could help you to hone in and get the work done more efficiently, faster.  Conversely, a strong resistance routine could help you to find strength and power that will take you to the next level in yoga - maybe graduate from Flow to Power Flow.

  • The world of yoga is full of people with good information - and the world of resistance training is much the same.  There’s a good chance you’ll meet someone who is going to open your eyes to a new relationship with fitness if you’re willing to try something new.

We will continue to explore each of these topics in more depth so keep your eyes open for more blogs from yours truly!  In the meantime, check out The Sangha’s class schedule here, consider picking up some personal training to see where you have room for growth (click here for details), or join me in my next workshop on Novemeber 13 - Hip To Be Square (click here for details).  I look forward to working with you!


Kaila has been serving the Madison area as a yoga teacher, personal trainer and group fitness instructor full-time since 2011. Kaila believes that health and fitness should have a multifaceted approach so that every client achieves balance and a well-rounded routine that remains engaging over time. Kaila specializes in working with clients who are brand-new beginners to yoga and fitness spaces, those returning to rehab and injury or surgery, and individuals who desire a varied routine.