Yoga with Weights

Yoga with Weights

On its own, yoga is a great strength and flexibility workout; add weights and it becomes an express ticket to sleek, defined muscles and increased stamina. Sometimes called yoga sculpt, sculpting yoga, or yoga muscle, yoga with weights combines hatha yoga series with 1, 3, or 5 pound hand-held and/or ankle weights. While the weights require added exertion, they also act as guides, engaging the correct muscle groups and forcing your limbs to work together to balance. Practicing yoga with weights instills an awareness of how your body is meant to move.

The modern, western version of weighted yoga was started by Sherri Baptiste, the daughter of power yoga pioneer Walt Baptiste. Typically, a weighted yoga class will start with stretching and basic strength exercises like crunches, push-ups, and squats. Many typical yoga poses follow, such as Crescent Lunge, Warrior Poses etc., but they are often interspersed with more strength exercises, and the students keep their weights throughout the class. Some poses don’t change—students just hold onto their hand weights. Often, however, strength moves will be incorporated into the poses: bicep curls during modified child’s pose, arm lifts during boat pose. In general, poses are held for about 30 seconds longer than in traditional hatha yoga.

Yoga with weights is an excellent way to increase muscle mass and bone density while still retaining the mental and relaxation benefits of traditional yoga.

Yoga with weights requires some adjustments, especially for arm movements to make sure more intricate muscles, tendons and ligaments are protected in your body. Listen to your yoga teachers instruction on how to best move through poses with weights especially prior to going to your first yoga class with weights.

P.S. It is perfectly OK to take the smallest weights possible. You will probably feel it the next day. :)

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