Women's Health

You’ll Love This Weighted Yoga Flow Even If You’re Not A ‘Yoga Person’

You’ve heard it time and time again: Yoga is great and all, it’s just not much of a workout (*commence yogi cringe*). If you’re dedicated to a consistent practice, you already know that yoga is actually an amazing way to get your entire body moving, challenging your physical and mental stamina, agility, and strength (despite the lack of kettlebell swings and burpees).

That said, the naysayers do have a bit of a point—yoga isn’t exactly the rigorous, high-intensity workout that many fitness fiends crave.

But, we’ve got some great news for anyone who wants to take their yoga up a notch: CorePower Yoga offers a workout called “Sculpt” which adds weights to your classic vinyasa flow, offering that extra dose of strength training many are after.

And for anyone who can’t make it to one of their studios, the CorePower team has put together a simple, yet effective, six-move yoga sequence with weights that you can try on your own. We guarantee this challenging flow will leave you feeling both blissed out and sore for days. (For more strengthening yoga workouts, try WH’s With Yoga DVD!)

Grab a set of three- to eight-pound weights, and do each move 10 to 15 times. Then complete the entire six-part sequence twice.

How to: Begin in horse pose, with legs spread out wider than shoulder-width, toes pointing outward, and feet planted firmly on the ground. Grasping a weight in each hand, place your hands on your hips. Inhale and root down through all four corners of your feet. Exhale and lift your left heel off the mat, lower it, and then repeat with your right heel. Engage your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes as you ascend. Lift your heels 10 to 15 times on each side.

How to: Start from a forward fold position, knees slightly bent. For additional height and balance, hold one side of a dumbbell in both hands and press it into the ground. Then extend one leg up into the air as you inhale. Exhale and and bring your lifted knee behind your bent standing knee. Inhale and extend the leg back up. Repeat this 10 to 15 times on each side.

How to: Holding weights in both hands, begin by getting into a warrior II pose. With hips and shoulders facing forward, bend your knee 90 degrees. Square your shoulders and stack them over your hips. Reach your arms in opposite directions, at shoulder height. Maintain a micro-bend in your elbows to engage your biceps and triceps. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds on both sides.

How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then fold your body forward over your legs. Next lift up halfway so your back is flat, arms extending toward the ground. Be sure to maintain length in your spine and a micro bend in your knees to activate your entire back body. Spread your collar bones wide as your lift your chest away from your thighs. As you inhale, bring your arms up until your hands are right below your chest. Be sure to keep your arms in tight, just grazing the sides of your body. Then bring your arms back down. Repeat this 15 times.

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