Love to lift weights but hate to stretch? These 10 yoga poses are the perfect complement to strength training next time you're in the weight room
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A Start on hands and knees, wrists below shoulders and knees below hips. Inhale to soften belly toward floor, gently arching back.
B Exhale, pressing into palms rounding spine and drawing chin toward chest. Complete this sequence of movements for a total of 3-5 cycles of breath (about 30 seconds).
Supported Half-Kneeling Twist
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A From a kneeling position, step right foot forward toward front of mat. Shift hips forward and down, deepening bend in right leg drawing thigh parallel to floor. Position block inside right foot and place left hand atop block, drawing right hand to right hip. Inhale to lengthen spine, drawing crown of head slightly forward.
B Exhale to rotate torso to the right, twisting from upper back and drawing right shoulder down. Hold this position for 3-5 breaths (about 30 seconds) before switching sides and repeating.
Upward Salute to Chair Pose Variation
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A Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms relaxed at sides. Inhale, sweeping both arms overhead, drawing arms alongside ears with wrists above shoulders, palms facing one another with shoulders relaxed down away from ears.
B Exhale, hinging hips and bending knees, lowering into a modified squat position. Allow torso to lean forward just slightly while simultaneously extending arms back, reaching fingertips toward back edge of the mat with palms facing inward toward one another. Complete this sequences of movements for a total of 3-5 cycles of breath (about 30 seconds).
Wide-Legged Forward Fold with Rotation
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A Stand facing long edge of mat with feet parallel about 3 to 4 feet apart. Exhale, hinging hips. Allow torso to fold forward and crown of head to draw toward floor.
B Place left hand on floor and extend right arm towards the ceiling, rotating chest and turning gaze upwards. With core engaged, inhale maintaining length in the spine while rolling shoulders down and back. Hold for 3-5 cycles of breath (about 30 seconds).
Extended Triangle Pose
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A Stand at top of mat with feet together, placing block at tallest setting outside right foot. Step left foot back 3-4 feet, turning left toes toward left side of mat at a nearly 90-degree angle with chest facing left side of the room. With legs extended, outstretch arms wide in opposition, reaching toward front and back edges of the mat. Inhale, reaching right fingertips forward toward front of room leaning torso forward.
B Exhale, releasing right hand to rest atop block, drawing left fingertips toward ceiling and keeping arm in line with shoulder. Hold for 3-5 cycles of breath (about 30 seconds) before switching sides and repeating.
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A Stand with feet together, arms extended alongside the body. Inhale sweeping both arms up toward ceiling, palms facing one another. Keeping left arm extended, bend right arm, drawing elbow in to touch right hip with palm facing up. Shift weight to left foot and bend right knee, drawing right heel toward right glute with knees close together. Pointing right thumb toward back of mat, reach right hand back to capture inside of right foot.
B Inhale, extending spine and reaching toward ceiling with left finger tips. Exhale, pressing right foot into hand and right hand into foot, drawing right heel toward ceiling and right thigh parallel to floor. Continue lifting right leg as much as accessible while squaring hips and shoulders and lifting chest. Hold for 3-5 cycles of breath (about 30 seconds) before switching sides and repeating. (If this is too hard, use a strap as pictured.)
Supported Pyramid Pose
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A Stand at top of mat with feet together, a block placed outside each foot at the tallest setting. With hands on hips, step left foot back 3-4 feet, turning left toes out slightly to approximately a 45- to 60-degree angle, aligning heel of front right foot with heel of back left foot.
B Keeping legs extended, inhale to lift chest slightly then exhale to fold forward, hinging at the hips to release hands atop blocks, squaring chest in line with right thigh while maintaining length in spine. Hold for 3-5 cycles of breath (about 30 seconds) before switching sides and repeating.
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A Start in a seated position on mat with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Place hands directly behind body, fingers pointed toward backside.
B Inhale, pressing into palms to lift glutes off floor, extending hips toward ceiling. Gently draw shoulder blades toward one another lifting through chest. Hold this position for 3-5 cycles of breath (about 30 seconds).
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A Lie on stomach with legs together, chin on mat and arms extended alongside body, palms facing one another.
B Maintaining length in the spine, inhale to lift chest and thighs off floor, actively stretching through the fingertips and toes while keeping neck in a neutral position by gazing a few inches out beyond front edge of mat on floor. Hold this position for 3-5 cycles of breath (about 30 seconds).
Supine Figure-Four Pose
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A Lie on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor. Lift right foot, crossing right ankle just above left knee, opening right knee toward right side of room while drawing toes toward shin to stabilize knee.
B Lift left foot off floor keeping left knee bent, threading right arm through space created between legs and reaching left arm around left leg to interlace hands behind left thigh. Keep head, neck and shoulders on floor while guiding left knee toward chest and right knee open to deepen the stretch. Hold this position for 3-5 cycles of breath (about 30 seconds) before switching sides and repeating.