When you think of yoga, you may think of a deep breathing practice that has little muscle building benefits. If that is your perception, you need to keep reading this article to learn about some yoga strength poses that you can do to increase arm, leg, and core strength. You do not always have to go the gym and lift weights to build muscle and increase total body strength. There are many hidden benefits of yoga that can provide this workout.
1. Yoga Strength Pose for Arms
The Plank: This pose is dreadful, but so very effective for enhancing arm strength. The plank is great for beginners, but also great for yogis that wish to move onto more advanced positions. The plank is the initial stepping stone that can get the arms ready for the more vigorous poses.
To Do: Lay down on your mat like you intend to do a regular push-up; however, do not go back down. Hold the push-up in the “up” position- arms locked, core tight, legs straight. You may start holding for 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, etc.
2. Yoga Strength Pose for Legs
The Chair Pose: This pose is great for burning those legs! The chair pose strengthens the thighs, ankles, and works on posture for the shoulders, back, and core. This pose works to tone the body and increase endurance and stamina in the yoga practice. Do not worry if your legs shake and burn quickly, it will get easier if you keep practicing.
To Do: Stand tall in the mountain pose- feet together. Inhale and lift your arms high above your head. Exhale as you bend your knees to the position you would be in if you were sitting in a chair (remember, the chair is not there)! Hold the pose ensuring to keep your core tight, your legs working hard, and your arms up high into the air. Try to keep your weight back into your heels so that you could lift your toes off of your mat. Remember to breathe while you hold the pose. Hold it… hold it… hold it… good job.
3. Yoga Strength Pose for Core
The Dolphin Pose: This pose is a version of the plank pose for your arms. Instead of holding yourself up on your toes and your hands, go down onto your forearms. Keep your legs straight, toes curled under, and back flat. Squeeze that core tightly. You are getting stronger already!
Try these yoga strength poses out, and remember to breathe in and out, drink plenty of water, and listen to your body!