Power Up Your Practice: 8 Weight-Training Moves for Yogis

Pro sports yoga coach Gwen Lawrence shares 8 weight-training exercises to increase a yogi's strength, helping you achieve challenging poses like Handstand and Crow.
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Pro sports yoga coach Gwen Lawrence shares 8 weight-training exercises to increase a yogi's strength, helping you achieve challenging poses like Handstand and Crow.

Gwen Lawrence, the yoga coach for the New York Giants who has also worked for the New York Rangers, the New York Knicks, and New York Yankee players including Alex Rodriguez, as well as New York City Football Club and many other athletes and celebrities, demonstrates 8 weight-training moves to strengthen your yoga practice.

As someone who practices yoga and lifts weights (I even created a hybrid workout that combines the two in my book Body Sculpting with Yoga: The Revolutionary Way to Sculpt and Shape Your Body), I believe that weight training can enhance the benefits of yoga. Weight training will increase a yogi's strength, helping you achieve challenging poses like Handstand and Crow. You will build muscle and burn more fat, even at rest; increase bone density; and see more definition. The following 8 exercises will make you stronger and even improve your balance. I would suggest using 5–7 pound free weights for most of the following exercises, building up to 7–10 pound weights as you advance, and lighter 2-pound weights for shoulder work. Set a timer and do as many reps as possible in 5 minutes so you can listen to your favorite music without worrying about counting reps.

See alsoVinyasa + Weight Lifting: Tips from New York Giants’ Coach Gwen Lawrence

You will need: Two 5–7 pound free weights, two 2-pound free weights, one kettlebell, a yoga mat, and six yoga blocks (or a bench).