There is no doubt that yogis (of all kinds) are strong and empowered. But there are those of us who’d like to sculpt and tone a bit more all over. Well, you’re in luck. There are ways to add cardio, toning moves and some light weights (3-5 lbs) to achieve just that! First up, arms!
After warming up with a few Sun Salutations, come into downward facing dog. Lift your right leg high and step it forward (to the right hand). Grab your light weights, inhale and rise up to a high crescent lunge. Make sure your knee is directly over your ankle, and your back leg is engaged taking the bend out of the back knee. Slowly begin to lean forward bringing the arms behind you, palms facing up (belly drawing in and up!) now pulse the arms up for 5-10 counts. Inhale, rise back up to crescent lunge. This is one rep – repeat for a total of 5reps. Take a vinyasa back to down dog and repeat on the left side.
Once again, lift the right leg and come into high crescent lunge with your weights. Begin to bring your weight onto your right leg. Lift your left foot off the mat, bend your knee, and squeeze it up towards your chest. * Bonus – Make sure to press through the heel of the right foot for some added tushy toning.
Simultaneously, bend the elbows and draw the weights down and elbows back. Slowly send the left leg back and arms high to return to crescent lunge. This is one rep – repeat to complete a total of 10-12 reps. Take a vinyasa and repeat on the other side.
Once again, step the right foot to the right hand, grab your weights and come into warrior 2. Begin to sweep the left arm forward and up, turning on the left foot and coming onto the left toes for high crescent lunge. Exhale, sweep the left arm back and come into warrior 2. This is one rep – repeat to complete a total of 5 reps. After 5 reps and you are in warrior two, begin to make little circles with your arms to the right (10x’s) and then to the left (10x’s). Vinyasa and repeat on the left side.
Now, come into a wide leg stance, toes turned out and weights in hand. Bring the arms over head, palms facing forward so the ends of the weights touch. Begin to simultaneously bend knees (outward! Try to keep the knees over the ankles!) and elbows to about 90 degrees. Pause, twist wrists to face the body and then draw the bent arms towards each other so that the ends of the weights touch once more. Open the arms up, twist wrists back, and begin to simultaneously straighten arms and legs together, returning to start with hands overhead. This is one rep – repeat to complete a total of 5-10 reps.
Finsh with a cool down of seated folds, shoulderstand, supine twist, and savasana. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and rest those arms!
More toning yoga tutorials: Yoga for Lifting and Toning Your Butt
Also by Marisa: Raw Vegan Oatmeal Squares
Photo: Marisa DeFrancesco