OK, so yoga has never really been a favorite of mine. I know, weird right? I’ve just sort of always found it too slow and a bit boring, though I can’t argue with the way it makes me feel after, nice and loose, and relaxed. If you weight lift like me, you probably find that your muscles get very tight over time, yoga can be a great addition to your regular routine (in addition to a regular workout day or as part of your rest day). I know that yoga can be quite the workout, vinyasa style will have you moving quickly from one move to the next, can work on stability and strength, however, you’re already doing that (with a lot more weight!) If you are weight-lifting, so yoga in this case would be used mostly for it’s muscle stretching and flexibility improving abilities, that is the focus of this workout.
All you need for this routine is a yoga mat!
1) Begin in a standing position, slowly bend at the waist, keeping back as straight as possible, move into Standing Forward Bend (Holding arms at elbows), and allow gravity to work the stretch in your lower back. Hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.
2) Place right arm on the ground from this position, and twist the left arm to the ceiling, this is Back Lengthener w/ Twist, the right leg can be slightly bent. Hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds. Then switch and do the same move on the other side.
3) Move down into a squat position, twisting your right arm and head upwards (Squat with Twist), reach forward and feel the stretch in your back with your left arm. Hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds. Then switch and do the same move on the other side.
4) From here, move onto all fours and do Cat Stretch and Cow Stretch for one deep breath in and out each for five repetitons
5) Switch from Cow to Plank by moving your legs back (keep on hands). Hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.
6) Switch to Downward Dog and hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.
7) Kick your right leg backwards into Downward Dog Split and hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.
8) Bring right Knee to Forehead and hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.
9) Further bring right leg forward into Low/Runner’s Lunge. Hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.
10) Still on right leg, bring arms up into High Lunge. Hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.
11) Stretch arms outwards and (slightly switching back foot position so it faces outwards) get into Warrior 2. Hold for 5 deep breaths or about 20-30 seconds.
12) Reaching backwards and placing right arm up and back and left arm onto extended back leg, get into Peaceful Warrior, and hold for 5 deep breaths.
13) Extend left arm in front of you and right arm on the ground now, hold Extended Side Angle for 5 deep breaths in and out.
14) Testing your limits of balance now, push forward into Warrior 3, and hold for 5 deep breaths. Hold a chair in front of you at first if that helps, and work up to holding the move on your own.
15) Still on that right leg, get into this is Twisted Half Moon by twisting body and extending right arm to the air while placing the left arm on the ground. Breath deeply and hold for 5 breaths.
16) Place both hands on the ground, and move legs back slightly, and get back into Downward Dog
Repeat #7-15 on left leg now.
17) From Downward Dog, move into Low Lunge again with right leg forward, and then press backwards so that left leg is bent and right leg is as straight as possible and press head as close to knee as possible (Low Lunge Sit Back on Heel Forward Bend). Hold for 5 deep breaths or 20-30 seconds.
18) Straighten left leg so that you are again standing, and push head down into Single-Leg Forward Bend. Hold for 5 deep breaths or 20-30 seconds.
19) Push into Triangle Pose with right leg still forward and right hand on the ground, with your face to the sky and left arm extended. Hold for 5 deep breaths or 20-30 seconds.
Pull legs together and from Downward Dog, repeat 17-19 on the left leg.
20) Hold downward dog for another 5 deep breaths, then walk legs to hands and hold Standing Forward Bend. Hold, feeling the stretch in your back and breathing deeply for about 30 seconds.
I hope you enjoy, I find that this routine hits all MY sore spots that I get from really pushing through all those squats and deadlifts! Incorporate this routine weekly to help resolve that muscle tension that can cause injury and actually prevent hypertrophy!
Though I’ve put this routine together, I’ve used poses that can all be found in Tara Stiles’ book ‘SlimCalmSexy Yoga’ Women’s Health Publishing, 2010.