Yoga + Strength training


I missed a Peter in this thread. To whom is the addressed?

Thank you,


Sorry, my blonde moment for the week, to Aaron. Sorry mate. :slight_smile:


It is action in asana not asana alone that will stabilize the joints.
Presuming you are an otherwise healthy human being and you are dealing with muscle weakness that is facilitating unstable joints…

For example Adho Mukha Svanasana, when done properly, keeps the humerus secure with it’s joint (glenohumeral) and can align the radius/ulna with the humerus. Done improperly the humerus is moved away from the security of the shoulder joint and the arm bones are malaligned.

The same principals hold true for standing poses. Some can train the femur to stay in it’s socket while the imporper ways will hang on the ligaments.

There are specific ways to stabilize the knee joint which do not specifically apply to the hip as the joints themselves are different. One is a hinge joint and the other a ball and socket joint.

[QUOTE=Aaron;10271]Okay, here’s what I’ve got so far.
Rest this injury. Do what I can to speed up the healing process if I can but ultimately it still needs time to rest.

Then equally importantly I should not re-injure it. (i.e. lifestyle)

I can do that, it’s usually my own blind enthusiasm that causes me these injuries. That can be tempered.

Still, as someone heavily focussed on strength I cannot help but notice that these injuries highlight a weakness. My elbows, wrists and knees. Surely you are aware of a few asanas that if practiced appropriately (and only practiced when injuries aren’t present) would allow these joints to handle a little more stress?[/QUOTE]


Pandara, thanks for your concern as I am new to yoga but provided I’m only dabbling in more basic asanas I’m very confident that I can avoid injury.

InnerAthlete, thanks for your suggestions.


I have successfully incorporated yoga with other work out types. In addition to yoga I am a martial artist and I lift weights. I lift weights two or three nights a week after my martial arts training. I practice yoga the other days of the week. This seems to work well for me.


Hey all,

I realize I’m way late getting into this thread, but I have long been interested in the integration of yoga posture practice with strength training. As a personal trainer and yoga teacher, this has been a real passion of mine. To be sure, asana practice in the classical sense, is intended to bring about comfortable stability in the body such that one can reduce physical discomforts/distractions while turning attention inward toward breath, eventually toward the nature of the various projections of the mind, and ultimately toward the divine nature of self.

That said, there is much value in terms of sustainable personal happiness in simply establishing the body in comfortable stability. For this, I feel a combination of yoga posture practice and strength training can be extremely effective if the overall design of the program makes sense. I have many suggestions for how this might work, but I cannot link to other resources until I have posted 15 times. Anyway, feel free to PM me if you’re interested in conversing more. Plus, look into Circular Strength Training and Prasara Yoga. Just google them.

Hope ya’ll have a good one!



So, I figured it might be somewhat useful to explain just a bit more about my approach to physical practice, if anyone is at all interested.

Basically, Circular Strength Training is a three-winged approach to establishing comfortable stability and reducing fear-reactivity. 1) Joint Mobility Work creates space in the joints, lubricates joints with fresh blood, and gradually helps increase mobility. 2) Resistance Training insures maintenance of muscle tissue as we age and really targets the fast-twitch muscle fiber types. 3) Compensatory Yoga finally integrates and brings into balance the various global tension lines in the body.

These three elements can be woven quite effectively into a single workout and into an ongoing training cycle. Also of value in terms of avoiding overtraining is to build recovery days into your training cycle and pay attention to how you wave your intensity level from workout to workout. Also, I don’t believe it to be smart training advice to continue one workout regimen for more than 4-6 weeks at a time.

Again, in terms of classical yoga, all this leads up to being able to sit comfortably for long periods of time and look inward, which is a truly rewarding experience; but the power and ease of movement that comes with this sort of training is also a reward in itself.




Interesting post. I would be curious to read your source(s) for blood lubricating joints. My understanding of anatomy is that synovial fluid lubricates joints, not blood.


You’re correct, InnerAthlete … perhaps my language was a bit clumsy.

Synovial fluid indeed lubricates the joints. It also provides much-needed nutrition to the interior areas of the joint capsules. But from where does this nutrition come? The blood stream. And where do waste products from the joint capsules go? The blood stream.

But there is no direct blood supply to the joint capsules themselves. In the end joints get nutrition from the blood stream via diffusion through several layers of tissue, beginning with the capillaries, and all this happens thanks to movement. The heart itself will not pump blood out of the capillaries into surrounding tissues. Movement causes contraction of the capillaries, which opens tiny valves, freeing fresh blood supply, which then diffuses nutrients into the joints and waste products out.

Quoting the book, Management of Common Musculoskeletal Disorders:

“Intermittent compression and distraction of joint surfaces must occur for an adequate exchange of nutrients and waste products to take place … The three primary machanisms by which synovial joints undergo normal compression and distraction are the following: 1) Weight bearing in lower extremeties and spinal joints, 2) Intermittent contraction of muscles crossing a joint, and 3) Twisting and untwisting of the joint capsule as the joint moves toward and away from the close-packed position.”

The joint mobility work indicated in a program like CST, and an effective combination of strength training (particularly movements like the squat, the deadlift, etc.) and mixed-mode yoga posture practice are in my humble opinion, the best way to maintain comfortable stability for life.

Glad to have found this thread …


What distinguishes “fresh” blood supply from stale blood supply?

What is “compensatory yoga” and what is it compensating for?

What is “fear-reactivity”?




  1. Good question about fresh versus stale blood supply, and I’m not sure I have a good answer. I suppose a fresh blood supply just means oxygenated arterial blood being carried to the body from the heart. Not sure there’s really anything like stale blood, so perhaps the phrase “fresh blood supply” is not the most accurate, though it seems helpful in getting the point across.

  2. In my practice compensatory movement, or compensatory yoga is simply compensating for events that leave behind habitual tension, or undue residual tension in certain areas of the myofascial network. Obviously a certain amount of tension is necessary to keep our bodies from simply being lumps of tissue on the floor, but activities ranging from trauma to overtraining to sitting at a computer desk all day create pockets of undue tension. Compensatory yoga is meant to compensate for these events and return balance to the various global tension lines in the body. In terms of what compensatory yoga looks like, well, you probably know as well as I do, that will vary from individual to individual.

  3. Fear-reactivity is a physical reaction to trauma, stress, or the expection of trauma or stress. This can be seen most easily when we accidentally push a glass off a table. We immediately cringe and brace for impact. This is the physical manifestation of the emotional expectation of injury (injury to ourselves, others, or to something we perceive to have value). Fear-reactivity has many more subtle manifestations as well, such as a person’s tendency to slump and look at the ground when in the presence of someone who emotionally abuses them. Yoga is fantastic for undoing the effects of (or at least the degree of) fear-reactivity, because we are placing ourselves in odd physical positions and focussing on our breath in the process, which begins to unravel the knee-jerk nature of fear-reactivity. Really, breath awareness is the key, in my opinion, to unraveling fear-reactivity.

Be well …


Fair enough Philip. I’ll only add the following:

  1. “fresh, oxygenated blood” is a very common teaching cue in vinyasa or power yoga. And I personally find it misleading, which is why I asked for clarification. The cue relies on anatomical ignorance for without oxygenated blood we’d not live very long.

  2. Any well trained yoga teacher worth their salt is already teaching from a paradigm of what is defined here as “compensatory yoga” (which is really compensatory asana, for this thread). However this is only half a concept. A sound teacher not only helps to move students from undue tension (presuming there’s such a thing as undue) but also from undue laxity.

  3. Just as the concept above is half, so too is this one. In teaching yoga (with the intention of balancing the student) it is not about addressing fear-based reactivity (exclusively). It is about all reactivity, be it from fear or jubilation. Homeostasis is a middle way, balance a middle way. A yoga that only undoes fear-based reaction neglects half of the equation.



I was really trying to be as concise as possible with my earlier posts … thus the analogy of “fresh blood.” Also, I think most undue tension (and there is certainly such a thing as undue, or unnecessary tension in terms of maintaining structural integrity in the field of gravity) implies undue laxity on the other side.

Your point about reactivity is fair. Most of the folks I deal with, though, don’t have negative responses to jubilation holding them back. Most of the people I work with are held back by fear of losing something, or of not becoming what they would like to be. My work is mainly involved in dealing with those issues.

Please excuse the brevity of my posts. That’s mainly a function of just trying to make interaction on a forum more digestible. No need to write a dissertation here :slight_smile:




Raga and dvesha, both obstacles.

We’re good Philip. Thank you for sounding it out with me in such a compassionate way. Brevity is sweet. One day I’ll try it:-)


Aaron – I think you’ve hit on the area where yoga (the whole thing) can help you the most. You said:
it’s usually my own blind enthusiasm that causes me these injuries. That can be tempered.

I highly suggest you start a practice with an instructor (your best alignment might be different from the pictures in a book, especially with joint concerns) who knows about alignment and who can introduce you to the broader work of yoga. Examining your habits (like following blind enthusiasm) might be just the thing.


I strength train and practise Asthanga Vinyasa Yoga.

I am currently in India and away from my gym, so I have been doing some 45 minute short versions of the primary series, several times a day, since I have nothing else to do and am on a health resort. This seems to be working.

For the OP:

I found that doing the full primary series was enough for me, Mon, Wed, Fri.

Like you, I have found that weight-training tires me. So, I make sure that I have a rest day the next day.

According to ayurveda the best, times of the day to take heavy exercise is in the morning, during the kapha period (from sunrise until about 10am).

So I suppose that means, for me, going early to yoga, having breakfast, and then going to the gym before lunch.

So far, I have not managed that, and it sucks… but like yourself, I like to do both. This is because I live and isolated and sedentary life.

Complicated, but just make sure that you give yourself 48 hours after training before yoguing.

Perhaps split routines are not appropriate for you. You will spend too much time resting.

The vedas say that we should not exceed 50% of our maximum capacity, and exercise daily. That would make sense as 50% seven days a week is like exercising to 117% three times a week.

Nevertheless, I am also stuck on exhaust and rest… except that as I am away from home, I have been doing three-four short asana practises daily before each meal and this has been brilliant…

Nothing else to do here… :lol:


i personllay found the effects of the weigh/machine-training or gym tended to cancel out or even undermine the effects of the asana. And i concluded there was plenty in ashtanga to seriously develop the body, muscle-wise ,circulatory-wise, gain strength and leaness especiallyw with all the arm-balancing poses and yang active lifting of one’s body during the various series which are peformed fairly quuickly and repetitively.

The gym just mademuscles feel weird and contracted, and so to speak undid or undermined,canceeled out the mental and physical effects of asana.

also ashtanga is more balnced and allround, in excercising muscles that weigth-training machine s could barely touch on.

Watch swenson’s video- do exactly what he does, providing ( here is the proviso)**** you are perfectly healthy and without any therapeutic issues,have good alignment - then see what i mean.

That is just my experience


Oh no, these are not the answers I wanted at all!

I recently took up yoga in the hopes that it would compliment my weight training schedule. For me, yoga is more about recovery and mental flow - I love it first thing in the morning before work as it seems to give my day a level of calmness that otherwise can be lacking.

It would also allow me to maintain a bit of flexibility as weight training can make you a little ‘muscle bound’ and tight, and I weight train for muscle gain so the tightness is real!

I don’t mind a bit of muscle pain when stretching, to me it is active recovery and actually helps you get past it quicker.

I will just have to wait and see how it goes, but I will be disappointed if I can’t make it work.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


Recently I've been weight lifting 4 days a week and Yoga 1 day, in the past I've done 2 months Yoga only the 2 months weights only.

I've also combine Charles Atlas Dynamic Tension with Yoga and there's also Maxalding Muscle Control...