Yoga is an incredible way of staying fit while calming your mind, body, and soul… Something that's much needed in the fast-paced society we live in!
Practicing yoga can help you build strength throughout the body and increase your flexibility and stamina. Many people rave about improvements to back pain and their general sense of well-being after even just a few sessions.
There are over 100 different yoga schools, almost all of which blend breathing exercises and meditation with gentle stretches and practices designed to strengthen and flex basically every muscle group.
Even Special Ops warriors swear by the benefits of yoga, with one agent even attributing his saved marriage to the practice! Plus feeling more capable of undertaking his missions with a clear mind and strong body... Pretty essential if you ask us.
By adding resistance bands to your workout, you'll enable every muscle group to work a little harder - just like weight training. But resistance bands are better than weights as they maintain constant tension throughout the entire movement, and it's not possible to cheat by using momentum!
Yoga is one of the best exercises for resistance training thanks to the controlled movements required by the sport, but you could add resistance bands (like these ones from Victorem) to any workout when it's time to feel the burn.
Below, we're going to look at some straightforward ways to add resistance bands to some of our favorite yoga poses, so you can enjoy the yogi's sense of control and wellbeing while also dramatically improving your physical strength.
Downward Dog & Three-Legged Dog
Downward Dog is kind of the 'poster child' of yoga and is actually a resting pose (although it might not feel like it as a beginner yogi!). Placing a resistance band around your ankles before getting into position will stretch and strengthen your hamstrings for a bit more intensity.
- Place a medium-sized resistance band around your ankles before coming into Downward Dog.
- Bring your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart and hold for 3 breaths.
- Gently stretch one leg out, up, and back (Three-Legged Dog). Hold for 3 breaths, then switch legs.
Chair post is excellent for building core muscles and strengthening your spine and back. It's basically a controlled squat, so it will also work wonders on tightening your butt! To add some resistance, place a long resistant band beneath your feel and hold the ends in your hand as you come into the position.
There are three Warrior poses in yoga, all of which can be intensified by incorporating a resistance band.
- Wrap a hip circle band around your wrists before coming into Warrior 1.
- Pulse your arms out while bringing them above your head, pulling against the band for as long as you hold the pose.
- Place a long resistance band underneath your back foot in Warrior 2 and hold the end in your hand.
- Pull against the band until your back elbow is at a right angle and hold for 3 breaths.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Place a long resistance band under your right foot and hold the other end in both hands.
- Come into the pose by lifting the left foot and raising your arms in front of your head in a flat-back position, pulling against the band. Hold.
- Repeat on the other side.
The Half-Moon pose is fantastic for activating the external hip rotators, creating openness, and improving balance. Adding a resistance band to this pose makes it more challenging to balance on one foot (like Warrior III) and requires more core engagement.
- Place a long resistance band under your left foot, holding the other end in your right hand.
- Come into Half-Moon pose, pulling the resistance band across your body while you balance on your left foot and raise the opposite arm to the sky.
- Hold the position and then repeat on the other side.
Tabletop with Donkey Kicks
Tabletop position allows you to stretch out your back while providing a rest. Add some intensity with Donkey Kicks and a resistance band.
- Wrap a resistance band around your feet before entering a tabletop position.
- Maintain tabletop as you slowly lift and strengthen one leg.
- Hold and repeat on the other side.
Bridge pose is another excellent position for strengthening your core, reducing back pain, and improving flexibility. To add a little extra to the pose, wrap a band between your knees and pulse them out gently while your hips are raised.