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  • Writer's pictureJulie Crossman

Building Strength ~ is YOGA good for that?

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

Building Strength ~ is YOGA good for that?

My last post looked at how important aerobic activity is to your health. And that experts NOW say we don't need to sweat it out at high-intensity for healthy benefits, but rather suggest we "start low and go slow" (low intensity, short intervals, gradually increasing over time). This means GENTLE yoga a great tool to improve your health.

Today, let's take a look at another key factor for health ~ building strength ... and how yoga might help.

Pumping iron not your thing? I’m with you! The good news… according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans on, is that any moderate intensity muscle-strengthening that targets major muscle groups counts. So even repetitive activities like raking leaves or loading bags of rock salt in the water softener can help us build or maintain muscle.

But, did you know that many yoga classes are intentionally designed around STRENGTH requirements for each pose? Over time, in a series of classes, we can build strength to improve your health in a targeted way. Without strain. Or pumping iron.

For example, yoga commonly helps with back comfort. Developing back strength (and flexibility) in a series of yoga classes over time is an important part of the solution. Harvard Medical School reports 4 of 5 of us will suffer from back pain at some point. Back pain is frequently a result of overuse or patterns of poor posture (like tilting your head forward while texting or hunching your shoulders over a laptop for hours a day). A study published in the journal Surgical Technology International found that each inch the head is forward is another 10 pounds of pressure on your spine. Which means holding your head at a 60 degree angle is like having 8 or 9 gallons of paint hanging from your neck! Is it any wonder back pain is so common!?!

Impact of head-forward posture... 60 degrees = 60 lbs of pressure on your neck

Chronic back pain is why I started practicing yoga. My once-a-week yoga habit kept my back happy and healthy. If I missed a week, my back complained. And, no surprise, my students who took up yoga to relieve back or neck pain say exactly the same thing. Consistency is key. With yoga, we first release tension to find comfort. Then work a little at a time, week after week, to build strength and instill a pattern of resilience.

Wondering what an intentionally designed yoga experience can do for you? Check out our NEW 6-week series "FIT & Flexible". It's GREAT for beginners. Check it out at

Questions? Thoughts? I'd love to hear from you.

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