Have you ever wondered whether yoga and strength training could be combined with each other? The two terms bring very contradictory images to our minds. Yoga is peace inducing whereas strength training is hardcore. You will be shocked to know that yoga can be called a subset of strength training because you use your body weight to do the various poses.
However, for those who are not convinced, you are welcome to combine yoga with weight training. It does work wonders. Yoga with weights can be done easily by using dumbbells during your yoga sessions. Simply using your body weight also qualifies as strength training, believe it or not, and that is what we will be discussing here.
Some important points that you must remember are:
1. Not all yoga poses qualify as a strength training exercise. Think the exercise through and choose your regime.
2. You can increase the reps or hold the positions for longer to challenge your body. Posture and pace remain key.
3. If you choose to just use your body weight, it might take some time and effort to achieve your goals of bulking up but it will happen.
4. Do not go all in at once. In case you are planning on combining yoga and weights, go slow. Try and grasp one before doing both together.
Let us get into an effective yoga workout for strength training.
Headstands or Sirsasana
Step 1: Kneel down on the floor. Clasp your hands and place your forearms firmly on the floor. Your elbows must be placed under your shoulder. Be very careful with this placement because this forms the foundation of your headstand.
Step 2: Position the crown of your head on the floor in a way that the back of your skull rests close to your thumb.
Step 3: Straighten your legs and lift your hips towards the ceiling.
Step 4: Tiptoe to bring your feet closer to your head. In case you are not comfortable with this, do this pose near a wall for added support. Your feet must be on the wall.
Step 4: Slowly, lift your feet off the ground. You can either bend your knees or keep your legs straight. Be slow and careful, as this is a tricky part.
Step 5: Slowly, extend your legs towards the ceiling. Hold for as many breaths as possible.
Repeat according to your convenience.
Next up: Chair Pose or the Utkatasana
Chair Pose or the Utkatasana
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Use your toes to get a firm grip.
Step 2: Extend your arms over your head and make your palms face each other. Your arms need to be in line with your ears.
Step 3: Push your hip back, bend your knee and squat down. Your knees need to be in line with your toes and your thighs must be parallel to the ground. Keep your chest up and engage your core. Keep your back straight.
Step 4: Hold this position for 15 seconds and relax. Repeat.
Do this exercise 5 times and gradually increase the reps.
Next up: Ardha Pincha Mayurasana
Dolphin Pose or Ardha Pincha Mayurasana
Step 1: Kneel down on the floor and place your forearms on the ground. Clasp your hands together. Your wrists must be under your shoulder.
Step 2: Push your knees up and raise your hips towards the ceiling. Your forearms must be on the ground. Your back must be straight, so you can either bend your knees or keep them straight. Your feet must be flat on the floor and your head must rest between your arms.
Step 3: Hold this position for 30-45 seconds. Relax.
Do this exercise for 2 minutes.
Next up: Chaturanga Dandasana
Low Plank Pose or Chaturanga Dandasana
Step 1: Get in the push up position with your arms extended under your shoulder and your body perfectly aligned from your head to your heels.
Step 2: Bend your elbows so as to lower your body until it is just a few inches away from the ground. Your elbows must be over your wrist and must not open sideways. They must point towards your toes and should be close to your ribs. Your elbows must be at a 90-degree angle.
Step 3: Hold this position for 30 seconds and relax.
Do this exercise for 2 minutes.
Next up: Virabhadrasana III
Warrior III or Virabhadrasana III
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and extend your arms over your head.
Step 2: Slowly, lift your left leg off the floor. While keeping it straight, extend it behind you. Your body will now balance on your right foot. You may have to drop your left hip to keep it aligned with the right one. Both legs must be straight.
Step 3: Your upper body must bend forward to bring your torso in line with the floor. Your upper arms must be close to your ears.
Step 4: Hold this position for 15 seconds and relax.
Do 2 minutes of this exercise, 1 minute on each side.