An active yoga practice can certainly build strength. But it may also challenge some muscles without equally challenging their opposing muscles, or antagonists, leaving many yogis feeling muscularly unbalanced. Yoga is an intense exercise. These poses are designed to pick up the intensity, working multiple muscles at the same time. It will get you feeling pumped up, motivated, and ready to build some strength. Don’t forget to bring your barbell when doing these yoga poses!
Downward Facing Dog with Shoulder Taps
From hand and knees, place the knees directly underneath the hips and the feet hip-distance apart. Hands should reach out in front of the shoulder with the fingers spread wide and the palms fully pressing into the floor. Lifting the knees off of the floor, reach the tailbone up towards the ceiling and straighten into the legs. Press the heels towards the floor and look up at the belly button, relaxing the tops of the shoulders.
High Lunge with Tricep Kickbacks
From downward-facing dog, step the right foot up in between the hands, making sure that the knee is stacked right over the foot. Staying on your left toes, press into the left heel to straighten and strengthen the back leg. Center your hips forward by pressing your left hip towards the front of the mat.
Lift the chest forward and pull the shoulder blades back. Place dumbbells into each hand, holding directly in front of the chest, elbows hugging in. Keeping the elbows tucked into the sides, exhale and extend the hands directly back behind you.
Warrior I with Rows
From downward-facing dog, step the right foot up in between the hands, making sure that the knee is stacked right over the foot. Step the left foot slightly out to the side and angle the foot at a 45-degree angle to the front of the mat. Center your hips forward by pressing your left hip towards the front of the mat.
Place a dumbbell in each hand, one on each side of the knee. Hinge at the waist to hover over the knee. On the exhale, bend your left elbow, keeping it tucked into the side, and pull the elbow back as far as comfortable.
Goddess Pose with Bicep Curls
From standing, turn to face the long edge of your yoga mat and step or hop your feet wide and parallel, about 3 feet apart. Turn your toes out and your heels in, creating a 45-degree angle with each foot. On an exhale, take a deep bend in your knees, moving toward bringing your thighs parallel to the ground and your hips in line with your knees.
The knees have a tendency to bow inwards as they bend, so ensure that your knees remain stacked directly over your ankles. Place a dumbbell in each hand and bring the arms out to your sides, elbows slightly bent. On the exhale, curl the dumbbells up towards the shoulders, trying not to move the elbows with you. Repeat 8-10 times.
Tabletop Donkey Kicks
Come to your hands and knees, placing the hands directly underneath your shoulders and the knees directly underneath the hips. Flatten the back by slightly tucking the pelvis and bring your gaze to the ground below your head. Place one dumbbell behind the knee, making sure to have a firm grip on the weight. On an inhale, lift the knee behind you, as high as you can. Exhale to lower the knee back to the floor. Repeat 10-12 times.
The reason why people prefer Yoga over other exercise forms is because of its help in the balanced development of physical, mental and spiritual being, whereas in other forms only physical being is assured It’s important to find enjoyment in your strength-building journey and to remind yourself that it really is a life-long process to become the most powerful version of yourself.