Yoga Sequence For Strength

 

Learn a short yoga sequence for strength that you can practice at home with minimal equipment. This group of yoga poses for strength is particularly relevant at the moment as many of us find ourselves housebound and restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Practicing yoga for strength is a versatile way to tone your whole body without having to leave home.

Apart from the use of a wall this short sequence relies on no other specialist yoga props. It includes a variety of asanas from different pose groups that target areas such as your arms, chest, abdominals and quads. In addition to strengthening your muscles, this type of home yoga practice can also help to improve bone density and correct poor postural habits.

Practicing regular strengthening exercises can help to keep your muscles conditioned. Lockdown measures during the coronavirus crisis have led to many people moving a lot less. This can rapidly lead to de-conditioning of muscles. The poses in this sequence can be helpful if you are looking to overcome the negative impact of a sedentary indoor lifestyle. They are put together in an abbreviated sequence taken from the more extensive “Yoga For Strength – Weekly Intermediate Class 163”. To do the full video class, click here.

This brief group of poses can be practiced in about ten minutes. It is short enough to do on a daily basis and can also be added in to another sequence that you might wish to practice. If desired, you can repeat the poses multiple times to make it more demanding as you start to build your capacity. When practiced regularly, you will start to feel stronger and more stable. Strengthening your core, shoulders, quads and chest is an important form of body “maintenance” that will help you to correct poor posture and prevent injury.

 

 

sirsasana preparation

Sirsasana Preparation (Step 1)

Basic Points

  • Place your wrists and elbows on the mat, shoulder width apart
  • Position your shoulders directly over your elbows
  • Lift your hips whilst straightening your legs, without dropping your shoulders

Key Actions

  • Roll your inner wrists down towards the mat
  • Lift your shoulders up
  • Keep your heels raised so that your hips lift as high as possible
  • In addition to your arms, ensure you use your leg strength as much as possible to lift your body weight

 

 

yoga sequence for strength

Sirsasana Preparation (Step 2)

Basic Points

  • Transition through this phase on your way to Step 3
  • Press your wrists down so that your elbows lift off the floor
  • Ensure both of your elbows lift off the floor at the same time
  • Continue to straighten your arms
  • Lift your pelvis up and back

Key Actions

  • Ensure you use your leg strength to lift your body weight up and back
  • This is a flowing and continuous movement that links Step 1 with Step 3

 

 

yoga poses for strength

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Step 3)

Basic Points

  • Press your hands down
  • Lift up through your shoulders
  • Lift your side ribs
  • Lift your pelvis

Key Actions

  • Whilst lifting your hips, press your thighs up and back
  • Press your shins up and back
  • Descend your heel towards the floor

 

 

yoga for strength

Handstand Preparation

Basic Points

  • Position your hands a legs-length distance away from the wall
  • Raise your pelvis up
  • Whilst keeping your feet to the floor, move your chest as close as possible to the wall
  • Lift your hips as high as possible towards the ceiling
  • Maintaining this lift, step both feet up the wall to hip height

Key Actions

  • Press your hands down into the floor
  • Lift you whole body up
  • Check that the back of your pelvis is lifting
  • Thighs press upwards
  • Heels press into the wall

 

yoga for strength

Chaturanga Dandasana

Basic Points

  • Start from downward facing dog pose
  • Bring your shoulders forwards directly over your wrists
  • Lower your body by bending your elbows directly back, keeping your elbows close to your sides
  • Keep your body in a straight line as you lower your chest towards the floor

Key Actions

  • Ensure that legs, abdominal muscles and chest are all working together to keep the body straight
  • Ensure that you tuck your tailbone down to keep your lumbar spine in a neutral position
  • Note: if you find it hard to sustain this position, you can still benefit from the actions listed even if you are not lifting off the floor

 

yoga for strength

Virabhadrasana II

Basic Points

  • Start with your feet a wide distance apart
  • Extend your arms out to the side at shoulder height
  • Bend your right leg so that the top of the thigh is parallel to the floor
  • Keep the right shin bone vertical
  • Maintain pressure through your back heel into the floor

Key Actions

  • Release the thigh bone of the bent leg towards the floor whilst turning the knee outwards
  • Keep your back heel to the floor
  • Keep your spine perpendicular to the floor
  • Extend the back arm to the finger tips whilst looking forwards over the front arm

 

yoga for strength

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana

Basic Points

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat to the floor
  • extend your arms back over your head, palms facing up
  • Bring your knees into your chest
  • Straighten your legs towards 90 degrees

Key Actions

  • If you have a stiffer body you might not reach 90 degrees; prioritise keeping your legs straight and allow the legs to remain at a lower height
  • Press your back waist firmly to the floor
  • Open the backs of your knees
  • Lift your inner heels and big toe bases up
  • Extend out through your arms right through to the finger tips

 

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