If I could have one wish for our yoga community in the coming year, it would be for us to intentionally *load our bodies* more. But what do I mean by that?
When I talk about loading the body, I just mean exposing the body to enough of a physical challenge that its tissues are stimulated to *adapt* to become stronger.
When our tissues become stronger, our whole body becomes more resilient.
We are less likely to experience injuries because we’ve increased the load-bearing capacity of our tissues, we have more confidence and trust in our body (which can decrease the likelihood of pain), and research suggests that higher levels of strength levels are associated with increased longevity and long-term health!
So all of those are excellent reasons to load our body regularly. But as amazing as yoga is (and I personally love this practice!), yoga is actually a *low-load* activity.
(Obviously for an inactive person, yoga might offer enough load for some adaptations, but at some point, we all adapt to our yoga practice and plateau, you know?)
For all of the talk we hear these days about injuries in long-term yoga practitioners, the reality is that it’s most likely *underloading*, and not overloading, that is the root cause of the bulk of these injuries. Crazy, huh?
And that’s why my biggest wish for yogis in 2019 is to load their bodies more! This could come in the form of integrating more strengthening moves right into our yoga practice (see my online class library for tons of yoga classes that do this!), and/or in the form of yogis taking on other additional activities that involve higher & varying loads (i.e. weightlifting, rock climbing, etc - the possibilities are endless!)
More load = more resilient tissues = happier yogis!