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Adding weight bearing and strengthening exercises to your Yoga practice is especially beneficial for those of us who are more inclined to nourish our Yogi spirits.  While alternating between our yoga practice and weight bearing exercises on different days may be a beneficial workout routine, why not combine both those exercises in one hour of power packed yoga practice.

Start with a pair of five pound dumbbells, and add these four Strength training exercises to your yoga practice….


Stand with your feet together and hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides. Keeping your chest lifted, shoulders back, and core tight, sit your hips back and bend your knees (as if you were sitting back into a chair) while raising your arms overhead in line with your ears. Hold for a breath, then squeeze your glutes to stand and lower your arms to your sides. That’s one rep. Do 20.


Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of you at shoulder height, palms facing in. Cross your right leg over your left, loop your right foot behind your left ankle, and bend your left knee to squat as low as you can. Squeeze your shoulder blades and open your arms out to the sides, elbows slightly bent. Return to start. That’s one rep. Do 10 to 12, then switch legs and repeat.


Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides, put your left foot flat on the floor about three feet behind your right with your toes pointed out, and bend your right knee into a lunge (Warrior 1). With your back flat, lower your torso toward your front knee, keeping your arms straight. From this position, pull your shoulder blades together and bend your elbows to lift the weights to the sides of your chest. Slowly lower back to start. That’s one rep. Do 10 to 12, then switch legs and repeat.


Starting in Warrior 1, lower your torso toward the floor, arms extended straight down from your shoulders. Straighten your front leg and raise your back leg behind you as high as you can, keeping your core tight and back flat (Warrior 3). Squeeze your shoulder blades and lift the weights to chest height, then straighten your arms and raise them toward the ceiling. Slowly return to start. That’s one rep. Do 10 to 12. Switch legs, and repeat.


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