Yoga for a Strong Body and Strong Soul
When you practice Yoga for the very first time, you'll be surprised at how much strength it takes. Standing poses can turn your knees to jelly and you'll find you can't hold them for any great length of time. With practice, your leg muscles will grow stronger and you will find they are more likely to hold the pose. Upper and lower body strength training can help improve your Yoga routine. In order to do this, you need to be sure you are doing the strength training in the correct way.
It's been said that the best exercises for your legs are the classic Yoga squat and lunge. These sound difficult but they really aren't, but there are a few tips to remember. Your knees should never go beyond your toes when you are doing a lunge and your front leg should not bend beyond 90-degrees. It's also important to keep your body straight and not let it be twisted in knots. You want to put as little stress on the knees as possible and keep your back straight. More advanced Yoga practitioners may use simple light weights while doing these lunges and squats. If you unsure of what you should be using, it might be a good idea to hire a trainer for a special session. Doing lunges and squats are beneficial whether you are using weights or not.
If you find a pose is too hard for you to do at first, try modifying it. If a full squat is too hard for you right now, try doing a chair squat. Stand in front of the chair and put your arms straight out. Now, sit back toward the seat but before actually sitting, pause about an inch or two over the seat. Hold for a couple of seconds then stand up straight again. Be sure your weight is in your heels. Don't overtax yourself. Go at your own pace even if it means doing one a day until you can slowly build up your repetitions. Better strength in your legs will also help your balance. It's never too soon to build your balance skills.
Upper body strength is not about building up bulk muscle. It is about building strength through the arms and upper body. You don't have to accumulate masses of muscles to strengthen your upper body, that's not the intent. It does take a certain amount of strength to do some of the poses. One looks suspiciously like a push up! Don't worry ladies; you really don't have enough testosterone to make your muscles bulky. You can do upper weight body training with or without weights and still achieve a new level of satisfaction in your Yoga routine. Weight training is a great addition to a Yoga routine and the secret is, you don't really have to use weights to strengthen your upper body.
Concentrate on form and breathing and don't worry about doing every pose perfect the first time. Relax, enjoy, and breathe.
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