"15 Minutes of Yoga"

By Amanda Seguin

Yoga and weight lifting are emerging as complementary practices combining yoga postures with upper-body strength.  It’s easy to zone out during biceps curls, but add yoga to the mix and you have to concentrate more on the poses and breathing.  Three times a week grab a pair of three- to five-pound weights and move from one exercise to the next without stopping.  

1. Chair Squat: 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 sitting in a chair) while raising our arms overhead in the 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 and do 20.     

2. Eagle Chest Fly: 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.  Repeat 10-12 times, then switch legs and repeat.

3. Warrior 1 Row: 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.  Do 10-12 of those, then switch legs and repeat.

4. Warrior 3 Triceps Press: 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.  Repeat 10-12 times, switch legs and repeat.

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