Yoga Poses to Hold for 60 Seconds to Build Strength
5 May 2020 16:30PM
Despite the usual perception that yoga is for flexibility, there are many yoga postures and styles of the yoga practice that are created to build strength. Traditionally, yoga asana was performed in order to strengthen the body to sit for hours in meditation – asana wasn’t even the goal!
Below are five postures which will build strength in the body. Try to hold each for 60 seconds at least, to really get into the strength of the muscle. This will also give you a gauge of how much your improving over time! Set a timer for a minute and get into position, and try this for a few days in a row… It’ll get easier I promise!
1. High Plank – Kumbhakasana
Come up into a plank position – pushing all four corners of the hands into the Earth. Try and push the ground away with your hands, creating a rounding of the upper spine. Shine your collarbones forward to open the chest. Wrap your biceps to the front of the room to turn on the shoulder girdle. Push your heels back as if they’re pressed against the wall behind you and lower your buttocks. Try to think of there being a pulling away of the tailbone away from the top of the head – this will lengthen the spine.
To modify, please drop the knees but keep the extension in the spine if you can!
2. Dolphin Pose – Ardha Pincha Mayurasana
Come into downward facing dog and drop your forearms to the floor. Walk your feet in so your shoulders are above your elbows and push the ground away, so you are using your shoulders and core, preventing any dipping of the shoulders.
To modify, you can stay in downward facing dog, however, try and start and end the 60 seconds in dolphin pose!
3. Chair Pose – Utkatasana
Sitting down like you are to sit in a chair, turn on those quads and sink a little deeper. Try and bring your knees over your ankles so they are in one straight line (stacked joints are happy joints). Tilt your hips towards your face to prevent dipping into your lower back, resulting in your core being turned on. Extend your arms up to the sky, and think about dropping your shoulders away from your ears.
To modify, just don’t sink down as low.
4. Boat Pose – Navasana
With your buttocks balancing on the floor, bring your upper body and legs up, arms extended in front of you. Try to bring your belly button towards your spine in order to turn on your core. The more straight your legs are, the harder this pose will be. You can lean further back to make it harder!
To modify, bend into the knees or bring your hands to the Earth for stability.
5. Side Plank – Vasisthasana
Start in high plank and align yourself with the high plank cues above. Really focus on turning on your shoulder girdle and ensuring you have strong foundations. Bring your body off to one side and push solidly into the grounding hand, reaching the opposite hand to the sky. Try and bring the hips away from the ground, and if you’re feeling ambitious, bring your top leg to the sky.
To modify, bring your bottom knee to the ground, keeping your upper body strong.
Did you like these tips? We’d love to see your poses on Instagram! Tag us @virginactiveUK