Yoga for Strength
Configuring the Body to Be Stronger with Less Effort
Published: 2017 12 08
Updated: 2019 08 021
Yoga for Strength isn't about just doing poses to mindlessly get stronger. It is about directing your awareness and your effort so that you can apply strength effectively with less effort.
If you put your effort in the right place, you don't have to use so much of it.
Strength Index, TOC
For stronger yoga poses the first step is to create stability somewhere within your body.
- You might choose to stabilize your feet, heels and/ankles to give your leg muscles a stable foundation.
- You might choose to stabilize your ribcage and your shoulder blades to give your shoulder and arm muscles a stable foundation.
The better you are at creating stability, the easier it is to get stronger with less effort.
If you are having problems developing strength it may be due to a lack of stability somewhere within your body. Notice where you lack stability, so that you can work at creating it.
Then you can get stronger with less effort.
You can read more about creating stability in Exercises to Improve Stability
The poses below can all be used to strengthen your abs.
For additional ways to work on the abs, check out Agni Sara and Nauli Kriya. These could be thought of as ab isolation exercises.
Also check out Core stability exercises for tips on activating the core in poses like plank and side plank.
For the above Hip flexor strengthening exercises, you strengthen the hip flexors by either actively flexing the hip (bending the hip forwards) or by resisting it being bent forwards.
Note, where you aren't standing, the torso can be used as the foundation for these exercises. When standing, you have the choice of using your standing leg (or legs) as the foundation, or your torso.
The above leg strengthening exercises can be used to strengthen the back of the legs, the front, or the inner or the outer parts of the legs.
Additional leg strengthening exercises include Body weight squat, deep squats, Hamstring strengthening exercises, learning the pistol squat, squats.
You can also see videos of leg exercises here leg and knee strength exercises videos.
The above shoulder strengthening exercises generally use a straight arm position to support the weight of the body.
Additional shoulder strengthening exercises that don't necessarily involve body weight include: Rotator cuff exercises, standing shoulder strengthening exercises
You can read more about the shoulders and how to strengthen them in shoulder yoga.
For a focus on bent arm strengthening exercises check out Arm strengthening exercises
The above knee strengthening exercises include a mix of standing straight knee and bent knee exercises. The key point for all of them is to activate your knees (and feel the activation).
The above hip exercises may look like your usual yoga poses, but you can turn them into Hip strengthening exercises by deliberately moving and feeling the hips. Once you can feel yor hips while moving them, you can then work at activating your hip muscles without causing movement.
For strengthening the back, read back strengthening yoga poses.
For tips on kettlebell strengthening and applying body awareness and yoga principles to kettlebells and weights you can read kettlebell exercises and turkish get up.