Yoga for Life: Yoga body sculpting

Posted 7/11/23

Yoga is a mental and physical practice to enhance health and wellness. Adding light hand weights while doing postures...

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Yoga for Life: Yoga body sculpting


Yoga is a mental and physical practice to enhance health and wellness. Adding light hand weights while doing postures, builds muscles and burns off stress.

Body sculpting or training with light weights increases energy, reduces anxiety, makes the heart grow stronger and reduces blood pressure. Yoga body sculpting strengthens arms, legs and core muscles balancing in various standing and reclining postures.

Strengthening the core using light weights, can be applied in everyday activities. For example, if you need to lift heavy bags from the car, body sculpting emphasizes bending at the knees into a squat before lifting. When lifting, it is important to use the arms and maintain a straight spine, as you bend forward from the waist. When you bend the knees into a squat, you are using the abdomen, arms, and legs to distribute weight.

Once you have mastered deep knee bends, pick up 2- or 3-pound hand weights from the floor keeping the spine long and straight. When you demonstrate that you have mastered this practice, move to the center of the yoga mat holding the weights in each hand alongside each thigh. Next, open the legs wide with toes pointed outward and forward bend from the waist with a long straight back.

There are other body sculpting poses to learn before moving to heavier weights. However, listen to your body to let you know the degree of difficulty you can handle before changing.

After repeating deep lunges on each side with the light weights, return to a standing posture in the middle of the mat, arms down by the thighs, as you continue to deeply inhale and exhale. When you practice squats, move slowly, and avoid swinging up the weights with “momentum” when they begin feel to heavy after several repetitions. Continue to evaluate the strength of arms, legs, and core before advancing to heavier hand weights. Be sure to deeply inhale/exhale in all Yoga poses.

As you move through each posture with deep concentration, at the end of your daily practice focus on how you feel and what your body is saying to you. Richard Hittleman, long time teacher and author of “28 Day Exercise Plan,” says to think about how your personal practice “transcends the ordinary mind to achieve self-realization and discover self-awareness in awakening the mind/body when you execute each yoga posture.”

Join the Yoga class at Shield Wellness Center, 4597 Casablanca Circle, US 27 North, just past the left-hand turn-off to Sun and Lakes Blvd. Shield is on the right side of US 27. Join the yoga classes with Instructor Nancy Dale every Tuesday and Friday 1:00 to 2:30 and Thursdays, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Mats are furnished and classes are FREE!

yoga, body, sculpting