Yoga has some incredible benefits; from a calmer mind to greater stability and of course flexibility. But one that doesn’t always come to mind first is that yoga makes you stronger and more powerful. It can be an intense full body workout where your body weight becomes the resistance. Here are some of the stronger poses that will help you build and develop strength.
Plank (high and low)
Chaturanga or the movement of high-to-low plank is a very strong move and helps to build a lot of upper body and core strength. Starting in a high plank position (or the top of a push up with shoulders above your wrists) you lower halfway to the ground. Elbows should be in line with the shoulders, no higher. This shape requires a lot of strength and control. It can be good to build strength using the knees for added support when starting out.
Chair pose is all about the legs. With the feet together, knees are bent and you sit the hips down like you are about to sit into a chair. Arms reach up towards the ceiling. In this shape you’ll feel the thighs start to build heat, the glutes, the core, and even the arms and shoulders. It’s an all body burn and is great for not only building strength but also testing that determination.
Just like the other Warrior poses, Warrior 3 is a strong pose that works on stability, balance, and power. Standing on one foot, the opposite leg extended back, torso in line with the lifted leg, the body should mimic that of a T-shape. Arms can be reaching out in front or together at heart centre for more support. Whatever variation you’re in both legs will be working while that standing ankle is building strength and stability. And the whole core is keeping you lifted and stable.
Like a deep and wide squat, goddess pose is great for the inner thighs and the glutes. For an even deeper burn you can add pulses, lifting up half way on the inhale and sinking lower on the exhale. You can also raise the arms out wide or overhead to add in some strength for the upper body.
This one is for the core. Boat pose is where you sit in a V shape, seat grounded, legs extending forward and chest lifting. Hands can take the backs of the thighs for support or reaching forward for a more challenging variation. To build a little more heat, add in canoe pose. Exhale to lower everything an inch off the ground and inhale to lift back up to that V shape.