It is challenging to perform yoga poses with weights, as it is a discovery of muscle strength and yoga form. Begin with 3-pound weights and build to more weight as the body progresses. You may be surprised how a few pounds of weights, held in each hand while performing postures, brings a new awareness of body strength or weakness.
Using weights, focus on aligning and tuning the body through various yoga postures. Begin by holding a 3-pound weight in each hand, palm up to test for an accurate weight you can lift and curl to the chest, at the present. Widen the legs as far as possible on the mat, keeping the back straight and arms resting on each thigh. If 3-pound weights are too heavy to keep a straight back as you curl the weight towards the chest, then use a lighter weight. You may be surprised how a little weight can affect the posture.
With the weights in each hand and legs wide apart, lift one weight at a time as you curl it towards the chest. Widen the legs. As you curl one arm to the chest, bend the leg at the knee. Lift each arm up to the chest and rotate lunges from side to side. While practicing with weights, observe your body alignment. Are you keeping a straight back while bending one knee at a time? Are you maintaining your center of gravity in the core?
As you bend the knee and hold it a few breaths, come back to center before moving to the other side and hand. Start slowly with five lunges on each side. You can always lower the weight poundage at any time, if your posture is out of alignment.
Next, bring the legs together with weights held down by each side then go to the right side and curl and lift each arm to the chest. Repeat on each side five times, then rest with both arms down by the hips. Change the pose by lifting one arm at a time to shoulder height. Hold the pose a few seconds and slowly lower. Avoid using momentum to lower each arm, maintaining full control of the downward movement, not letting gravity to take over. After raising each arm out to the side and lowering them, bring you attention to raising both arms in front of the body at the same time, to shoulder height. Just do the best you can keeping the arms straight.
You will know what is the best weight to use based on your present level of strength. Using hand weights is a great way to awaken weak muscles. Adding and increasing the poundage of the hand weights is a slow process as you become stronger. Start slowly and allow the body to adjust. Be sure to maintain each yoga posture with a strong back, legs and core.
Yoga body sculpting is very rewarding, as it works with yoga lengthening and strengthening through concentration and persistence.