Yoga is the enhancement of a balanced healthy regimen of postures to build and maintain a healthy body at any age and physical conditions to contend with unexpected injury. At least once a month, we practice body sculpting using 3-to-5-pound weights when initiating specific Yoga postures. The weights are used to increase the flow of oxygenated blood to the organs and remove toxins stored in the body.
Adding light weights to a practice, builds muscle mass, bone density, improves balance and stimulates the body to build strength. Adding light weights assists in awakening deep core muscles that support the spine and nervous system. Yoga is a practice to break a sedentary life style through a strategy of movements that flex and twist the core by a repetition of leg raises that strengthens the core muscles, the back to increase overall strength. If you notice people who walk slumped, stand bent and can hardly move, you may wonder how this happens. Yoga strength training is lived each day through all physical, mental activity.
Let’s approach body sculpting from a practical view. When you are stranding with legs shoulder width apart begin each time with a physical inventory. Stand by a mirror for the best perspective so you don’t imagine that you are standing tall and straight. Be honest and objective. Think of Yoga as a way to honestly analyze the visualization of your thoughts lodged in the body and habits. Most important when standing in “Tadasana,” visual what that word means: “Mountain Pose.” Think of a mountain’s strength and be a mountain. Five thousand years ago, humans were thinking individuals initiating new know edge to improve food resources from a hunting and gathering culture. It was about survival. Man learned by thinking, applying new knowledge through everyday living. Today, trusting and living by computerized thoughts can be a challenging obstacle to individual original thinking to solve practice living circumstances as the mind may become sedentary, rather than enliven with creative applied thinking to enhance life growth on many levels. Sitting does not enhance the body to regenerate new cells and cleanse toxins from the bloodstream. Purposeful thoughtful movement is a key factor to stimulate induvial, healthy physical, mental, spiritual health.
Yoga body sculpting incorporates twists, bends and lifting light weights as a challenge to build energy and enhances the flow of blood to build muscles tissue. In Tanasan, we focus on lengthening the spine, as a beginning to practice. The term “lengthening” means using your own inner strength to stand taller by tightening the abdominals and pulling up the spine. If you sink into Tadassan, you’re putting more disproportionate weight on the legs, feet, knees, hips lower back which are essential for unhindered blood flow. Start with a light weight in each hand down by the sides, take a deep inhale through the nose and slowly exhale. With awareness, slowly raise one arm straight forward in line with the shoulder, hold it there, then raise the other arm forward and hold both arms straight for several minutes. Use deep breathing to add strength to hold the arms up.
After a few breaths, bring the arms down to the sides and step forward with the right foot into a long lunge. Keep the knee over the ankle as you lunge and raise the left arm forward, then the right, keeping them long and parallel. Hold the pose for several minutes and repeat with a left leg lunge. Do each leg at least 5 times and gradually increase the sets with time. If you feel knee strain, do the lunges without weights and integrate them slowly into the practice. Be sure when lunging, to pull in the abdominals and hold them. Engage your lower core and back for stability.
Next, from a standing position, with arms at the side, pull the shoulder blades down the back. Hold a light weight in each hand. Raise the right arm raise out to the side. Switch arms and repeat on the other side. If you find you are arching your back, use a lighter weight. Stick with lighter weights to adjust the body to this new series. Avoid strain on the lower back by moving slowly with intention. Always remember to deeply breath and slowly exhale through the nose to cleanse the body of toxins. Remember, modify to fit your present physical level and don’t give up! Keep practicing!