Yoga for Strength
Muscle-strengthening, weight-bearing postures are the basis of yoga for strength.
The following yoga asanas are only examples and are not intended as a recommended sequence. Please consult your yoga therapist before attempting to practice.
1. Sunbird/Leg Extensions
10-12 on each side. Inhale on extension.
2. Plank to Down Dog Transition.
Inhale up to Down Dog. Exhale to Plank.
3. One legged Plank
Hold for at least three breaths.
Don't forget to breathe.
Rest in Child's Pose if necessary. Rest is essential for muscle-building.
A. Dynamic back leg extension
Keep your hands on the front knee. Inhale up, exhale down. Up to 10 times.
B. Static High Lunge
Raise the arms for a more challenging version. Breathe evenly. Release when you start to tire slightly.
Switch sides. Repeat if necessary for more leg strength.
5. Warrior Vinyasa
Hold Warrior pose for 4-5 breaths.
A. For back strength
Hold until you start to tire, breathing evenly.
B. For arm strength
Press down to roll up on inhale. Control the move-down on exhale. 10 times.
More challenging variation: Add a twist to look back at your feet on the way up.
Inhale raise the right leg, exhale down. Alternate the legs. 10-16 on each leg.
Repeat if necessary. Rest in between rounds.
8. Side Plank
Align the shoulders one above the other. Lower the upper arm on exhale; inhale up smoothly. Up to 10 times.
Moving back and forth with the breath. Inhale one way, exhale back. Keep pressing the forearms evenly into the floor.
Rest in Child's Pose.
10. Dynamic Half Boat
Inhale up and activate the back muscles.
Exhale and round the back, engaging the abdominals.
Up to 20 times. Rest in Forward Bend.
11. Dynamic Boat
Bring the knees closer on the exhale. Inhale and open.
Rest in Bound Angle pose.
A. Dynamic - for back and leg strength
Inhale roll up, exhale down. Coordinate the movement with the breath.
B. Static - for arm strength
Bend the elbows and press the arms down. Hold for a few breaths till you start to tire.
Rest on the back in a twist.