When I am really looking to tighten & tone, I incorporate light to moderate dumbbells in my daily yoga practice. For this sequence I used 5 lb. weights. If you don’t have any on hand, you can always improvise with whatever you can rustle up around the house; cans of soup, frozen water bottles, etc. Move mindfully, linking your breath to each movement.
Yoga With Weights
3 Supersets, 12 Reps Each, Repeat 3x
The following exercises are supersets, meaning that they are to be completed in pairs of two.
Complete 12 reps for each superset.
After finishing all of the exercises, repeat the circuit 3 more times.
1. Crescent Lunge Shoulder Press
Begin standing in a tall crescent lunge. Bent your front knee, making sure that it is aligned directly over the ankle of your front foot. Step back with your other leg, keeping your stance in line with your hips. Point all ten toes forward towards the front, or short edge, of your mat, in order to make sure that your hips are square. It is okay that your back heel lifts off of the mat.
Lift both of your weights to shoulder height, with your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle, and palms facing facing forward. Inhale and press the weights overhead, bringing them to gently touch once your arms are completely extended. On your next exhale, slowly lower the weights back down to shoulder height, with “goal post” arms. That is one rep.
2. Warrior 2 Bicep Curls
Begin standing in Warrior 2 pose. Bend your knee directly over your front ankle, making sure that you can see your toes in front of you. Step your other leg back, squaring your hips with the long edge of the mat. Angle your back foot to 60 degrees.
Holding one dumbbell in each hand, extend your arms out straight, keeping them level with your shoulders. Inhale, flip your palms to face upward, and curl the weights in to touch your shoulders. Straighten your arms back out, in line with your shoulders. One rep down.
3. Warrior 3 Bicep Rows
Begin standing with one dumbbell in each hand. Focus on rooting and engaging through your left left. Engage your core and slowly lean forward as you lift your right leg behind you, in a Warrior III position.
Use your abdominal muscles to keep your back as flat as a board. Allow both dumbbells to hang down towards the ground, directly below your shoulders. Imagine squeezing a credit card between your shoulder blades as you engage the muscles in your back and pull your elbows back to a ninety degree angle. Slowly lower, to complete one rep.
Remember to move with intention to reap the most benefit from these exercises. Really focus on engaging each muscle, and visualize the results that you are looking to achieve.