Yoga vs Weight Lifting
Both types of exercises are beneficial in very different ways and actually greatly complement each other. Weight lifting is good for immediately releasing any pent-up feelings and emotions like stress and anger. It also increases muscle size which will increase metabolic rate. It also increases physical strength as you get used to and increase the weights you use. On the downside if you suffer with imbalance in your structure or bad posture you may be contributing to the problem.
As most people know the body is made up of many muscle groups but within those groups there are different types of muscles that need to be used in different ways to benefit and improve them. There are strengthening muscles, stretching muscles and deep muscles. Strengthening muscles are growth body building muscles, stretching muscles increase flexibility, deep muscles which are important to core strength. These deep muscles are made up of strengthening and stretching muscles which is one of the reasons that yoga and weightlifting are great companions.
In my experience increasing flexibility in stretching muscles builds great strength much faster than weight lifting but without increasing muscle size, but you can use the strength to help you more quickly increase weight load in the gym to therefore more quickly increase strength and muscle mass. At the same time you may find a slightly better and more balanced muscle shape and definition due to deeper muscle workout.
The benefits of yoga reach far beyond building greater strength and better muscles. It improves balance, backache, digestion, posture, concentration and focus, can help reduce high blood pressure and massively de-stress you. In fact the calming benefits of yoga last long after doing it and the more often you do it the better and more long lasting the effects. It encourages mental and emotional discipline, it’s as though your mind becomes more flexible along with your body.
So it helps us cope with and deal with problems and stress more calmly and appropriately, helping to prevent build-up of anxiety and anger. It was also recently reported in the Daily Express that yoga increases life span and ability to stay active into old age. I would also like to add the importance of cardiovascular activities such as walking, jogging and cycling and the part it plays in keeping the heart and circulation healthy, its ability to reduce and stabilise blood glucose which in turn helps to maintain and reduce weight. Any well rounded fitness regime would ideally include these three forms for exercise for best benefits.