Yoga is great, but after a while it’s just not much of a workout. If you’re dedicated to a consistent practice, you already know that yoga is actually an amazing way to get your entire body moving, challenging your physical and mental stamina, agility and strength.
That said, yoga isn’t exactly the rigorous, high-intensity workout that many people crave. But, we’ve got some great news for anyone who wants to take their yoga up a notch: add weights to your classic vinyasa flow, offering that extra dose of strength training that is so good for full body conditioning.
Here is a simple, yet effective, five-move yoga sequence with weights that you can try on your own. We guarantee this challenging flow will leave you feeling both blissed out and sore for days.
Horse calf raises:
- Begin in horse pose, with legs spread out wider than shoulder-width, toes pointing outward, and feet planted firmly on the ground.
- Grasping a weight in each hand, place your hands on your hips.
- Inhale and root down through all four corners of your feet.
- Exhale and lift your left heel off the mat, lower it, and then repeat with your right heel.
- Engage your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes as you ascend.
- Lift your heels 10 to 15 times on each side.
- Start from a forward fold position, knees slightly bent.
- For additional height and balance, hold one side of a dumbbell in both hands and press it into the ground.
- Then extend one leg up into the air as you inhale.
- Exhale and and bring your lifted knee behind your bent standing knee.
- Inhale and extend the leg back up.
- Repeat this 10 to 15 times on each side.
Warrior Two With Weights:
- Holding weights in both hands, begin by getting into a warrior II pose.
- With hips and shoulders facing forward, bend your knee 90 degrees.
- Square your shoulders and stack them over your hips.
- Reach your arms in opposite directions, at shoulder height.
- Maintain a micro-bend in your elbows to engage your biceps and triceps.
- Hold for 10 to 15 seconds on both sides.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then fold your body forward over your legs.
- Next lift up halfway so your back is flat, arms extending toward the ground.
- Be sure to maintain length in your spine and a micro bend in your knees to activate your entire back body.
- Spread your collar bones wide as your lift your chest away from your thighs.
- As you inhale, bring your arms up until your hands are right below your chest.
- Be sure to keep your arms in tight, just grazing the sides of your body.
- Then bring your arms back down.
- Repeat this 15 times.
SEE THIS: Five Yoga Poses To Relieve Anxiety
Side Lateral Raise:
- Start in a warrior II stance, arms extended, with a weight in each hand.
- Rotate your torso and head the same direction as your hips, keeping feet planted.
- Keeping arms extended, bring your weights down to your sides.
- Then, as you inhale, lift your arms back up to shoulder height, as you would for warrior II.
- You should feel your shoulders working as you do so.
- Be sure to keep a slight bend in your elbows the entire time.
- Repeat this 15 times on either side.
There you go! This is a great workout, try it!