Yoga with Weights

Holler from the Hotlanta airport 🙂

bell

We’re heading back to Tucson! So excited to see the fam… and kiss Bella’s furry face 😀

Thank you guys again SO much for being patient with my unique blogging schedule while I went to Valdosta to pick-up the Pilot and enjoy a glorious weekend with him! I still tried to keep it a party up in herre and enlisted the help of some very good bloggy friends to write guest posts while I did that thang. It was so much fun to have them over here for a visit and I hope ya found some new reads for your Google reader 🙂

Tomorrow I’ll be back on my twice-a-day blogging shenanigans, but while I flap my arms in the sky back to Tucson (really, snooze on the Pilot’s shoulder), here is one final guest post from my friend Heather.

Enjoy and I’ll see ya in the morning!

xoxo

Gina

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Hello Fitnessista Readers,

My name is Heather from HangryPants.com. I am really excited to be able to post for Gina, but also a little intimidated. If Gina is lady Gaga of fitness bloggers, I am in the glee club before glee club was cool. I like to run and I love love love yoga, but I absolutely do not enjoy strength training. I know it’s good for my bones, but I’ve never really been able to find something I can do consistently in this area.  I’m always amazed by Gina’s ability to get it all in and make it look good too!

If you read my blog you might know that I am currently doing a 40 Days to Personal Revolution through my yoga studio. Each week of the program has a theme and incorporates meditation, diet and physical yoga practice. Part of the program requires that I do 4 studio practices and 2 home practices each week. That’s a lot of hot power yoga! So, when a new class popped up on the schedule called Xen Strength I was intrigued. It was was described as "combin[ing] a creative yoga flow with light weights to provide a transformational workout designed to sculpt, lengthen,and challenge every major muscle group."

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This seemed like the perfect thing to get me over my strength training hatred. I was motivated by the need to get more classes in during the week and my upcoming strapless wedding dress.  Yes, I was definitely interested … but there was just something that held me back.

FreeWeightsLollyKnit

In order to go to this class, to a class where yoga would be invaded by weights, I really needed to get over my notion that this yoga was not yoga. The 40 Days to Personal Revolution program helped me do that. For the first time I really see yoga in everything I did throughout my day instead of just that time that I was sweating on my mat in class. Every experience is a chance to practice yoga.  And like that, I realized I don’t need to ohm on my mat to be doing yoga.

With my yoga snobbery put aside I went to the class for the first time last night and it was awesome! I wish I could think of something I didn’t like about the class so I could have a more balanced opinion, but I can’t!  Maybe I will complain tomorrow when I wake up sore all over!

Here’s everything I loved and why I’ll go back:

  • The Teacher: I’ve had this teacher before and I felt safe combining yoga and weights with her. She is always very concerned with alignment and took the time to show us proper form.  Now maybe this is just my bad gym experiences because I’ve never paid the money to have a personal trainer, but I’ve never met a gym employee willing to show me proper alignment when I’m trying to lift weights at the gym. I always feel very taken care of at yoga, especially with a teacher who is such a stickler about safety. 
  • The Distractions: Because you are doing yoga poses you have many things to focus on besides the burning in your arms. For example, if you are doing bicep curls in eagle pose you can think about the burning in your legs instead. It sounds odd, but with so much going on, it’s hard to focus on how much any one thing hurts. 
  • The Breathing: One reason I dislike strength training is because I am never sure when to inhale and exhale and group fitness classes it is rarely explained to me. In this class, because the teacher is a yoga teacher, she is trained to remind us when to breathe in and out. In this way, the weight lifting  part just flowed with the breath. 
  • The All Over Workout: We did abs, arms, legs and some heart pumping exercises in this 60 minute class. I was beat, but in a good way. 
  • No Mirrors: I’ve read that mirrors are good for weight training because you get to see whether you are doing things right, but that never helps me. I just stare at my beautiful face. Kidding! But I did like not having the mirrors as a distraction because it allowed me to focus internally. 
  • Class Length: I love my yoga, but sometimes I don’t want to devote 2 hours of my day to getting to class, taking class, coming out of the fog that is hot yoga and getting home. Sixty minutes was perfect! 
  • Shavasana: Yes, you still get to end by laying down on your back! 

Have you ever tried yoga with weights?

If you have a class like this in your area and you trust the teacher, I would definitely give it a try!

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33 Comments

  1. Katie on March 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Yoga with weights sounds like a lot of fun! I’ve never tried it before but am obsessed with yoga, so would definitely give it a try! 🙂 I also like not having mirrors… I find them more distracting than anything. And when the creeper in the front row locks eyes with you during Warrior 2, it’s easy to lose focus while you try not to puke. 😉

  2. The Teenage Taste on March 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Hope you have a safe trip home Gina! 🙂

    Great post Heather! I’ve never been to a “real” yoga class, but once I do I’ll definitely try yoga with weights! 🙂

  3. Nicole @ Making Good Choices on March 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I’ve done yoga with weights at home from yogadownload.com and loved it. I’d love to go to a studio and try a class too. Thanks for the review!

  4. Faith @ lovelyascharged on March 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Oh my gosh, that sounds absolutely amazing! I’m not big on “zen” yoga – I really like it to be a good, physical challenge – this sounds right up my alley!

  5. Ellen @ Undercover Runner Eats on March 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Bob from the Biggest Loser has a Weight Loss Yoga DVD that combines yoga and weights. You should try it!

  6. Allison @ Food For Healing on March 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    your guest posts have been nice, but i sure have missed your regular posting and i look forward to it! Although i’m glad you just focused on spending some time with the Pilot, you deserved it.

  7. Pam on March 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    On cold days our instructor has us use weights to help warm our muscles. It is much more challenging than traditional yoga. Even 3lb. weights seem very heavy when held in a warrior position.

  8. Carly on March 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Hi Gina- I am new to your blog and loving it! I just noticed that our dogs have the same name AND look alike for the most part (my Bella is a maltese), so I just had to comment! Hope you’re having a great time on your trip with the hubby.

    P.S.
    I think we have similar taste in blog decor…lol I love the cartoon version of you 🙂

  9. Emma (Namaste Everyday) on March 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    that sounds so cool! i am the same way: I’m an avid runner and yoga enthusiast, but I know I need to incorporate more weights into my workout. I’m going to keep my eyes out for a class!

  10. Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete on March 22, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Yoga with weights sounds good to me — although sometimes yoga is plenty hard on its own, I don’t need to add more resistance!

    • Hangry Pants on March 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      Oh I totally agree! The only thing is that this actually counts as legit strength training, so I can feel extra virtuous!

  11. jen @ taste life on March 22, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I’ve never even heard of yoga with weights! How neat that you’re trying so many new things.

  12. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on March 22, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    This sounds like a really great (and different!) workout. I haven’t tried it yet but I think it’s something I’d like! I’m always up for a savansana. 😀 Thanks for the great info Heather!

  13. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on March 22, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I have taught yoga on and off for 11 years. I have never actually taught or been to a class with weights but….at home, on my own and in my personal practice I use weights with my yoga moves all the time! It’s a great way to get extra strength training in! And some of the moves are pilates-ish, too.

    Great post, Heather, and thanks for filling us in on yoga with weights…I should try to take a class like that and see how it differs from my makeshift-at home moves.

    Gina, safe travels back home and I have loved your guest post lineup. I read all of their blogs, some daily, some when I can catch them, and I am excited to read your 2x posts again, too 🙂

  14. Mary @ Bites and Bliss on March 22, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Yoga with weights is SO intense! You wouldn’t think a 3 lb weight could burn so much!

  15. Hannah on March 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I would love to try yoga with weights, but I’d also want to have regular yoga practices that aren’t focused on body but just mind/soul. All that good wellness stuff 😉

  16. Tracy @ Commit to Fit on March 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I have tried it, but that was quite some time ago. I love yoga and I teach it, this would be a great way to mix up my classes!

  17. Ashley @ Feeding Ashley on March 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Have a good flight back Gina!
    I’ve never had a yoga class with weights, but I definitely understand why it would seem intimidating.

  18. Meghan on March 23, 2011 at 6:43 am

    I have the same attitude about lifting weights – I try and I try but it never seems to stick! I could see how light weights would work well in a yoga class though and would love to incorporate a bit of a lifting routine into the yoga classes I teach – what a great idea 🙂

  19. Stephanie on March 23, 2011 at 7:05 am

    I’m not sure how I feel about yoga with weights. I guess I kinda feel…why mess with a good thing? I think I’m where you were before trying the class: a bit of a yoga snob. I’d probably like it if I tried it!

  20. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on March 23, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I’m always intimidated by the yoga routines using weights on yogadownload.com so I’ve never tried them! I’d love to try it out at a class though, just so that I can get some guidance to make sure I’m doing it right. It sounds like a great workout!

  21. Mo on March 23, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I hope you take a picture of Bella’s reaction when she first sees the Pilot! I bet she just goes nuts. Glad you two were able to relax a bit before heading home – and loved all the guest posts. Fun way to be introduced to new bloggers – thank you.

    Take care – Mo

  22. Nicole @ Fresh & Fit on March 23, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I have never tried yoga with weights. Ever heard of PiYo? It combines Pilates and Yoga. The classes I take has some “weight training” type moves (like bicep curls) but using the resistance of your own body. Its a really good change!

  23. Kristi on March 23, 2011 at 9:30 am

    CorePower Yoga does a yoga sculpt class that is yoga + weights + 95-degree room. It is not my favorite, but I do it because I’m not doing any other strength training right now. I would definitely be OK with the class if it were a reasonable temperature. I don’t mind hot yoga, but the idea of dropping a weight on my bare foot because my hand is drenched in sweat isn’t my idea of a good time.

  24. LisaG on March 23, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Yoga with weights sounds like a good thing. I do good to get yoga done without weights, but I’m game. I have some of the weighted gloves I might try.

    • LisaG on March 23, 2011 at 9:54 am

      PS I enjoyed the guest posts also.

  25. Erin @ A Girl & Her Mutt on March 23, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I would love to find one of these classes in my area! Sounds awesome! Great guest post. Safe travels!

  26. Lana Wilson on March 23, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I love yoga, but find it hard to fit in strength training. I’m going to keep my eyes open for a weighted yoga class…Great suggestion!!

  27. JavaChick on March 23, 2011 at 11:15 am

    I’ve never done a class with weights, but I have a DVD called Iron Yoga that incorporates light weights. It’s definitely a challenge but I always feel great for having done it.

  28. Sable@SquatLikeALady on March 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Safe travels Gina!!

    It sucks that you’ve never found a gym employee who is willing to help you. When I first started lifting I actually got a lot more help from the big guys in my gym — they love what they do so they also tend to love teaching/helping others. I would just find someone who was between sets and ask him to quickly observe my form and give me any tips he had — and of course I was super sure to be very grateful. And I never got turned down or made fun of or anything!

    Either way though it’s great that you found something that works for you!! 🙂

  29. rebecca lustig on March 23, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    i’m terrible with strength training and keeping up with yoga (my flexibility and balance is sooo off). this would be such a challenge for me!

    have a safe trip back and have a great day,
    Rebecca
    http://fromheretothereinpurple.blogspot.com
    http://twitter.com/rlustig

  30. Cameo on March 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I take Core Fusion Cardio at Exhale and it combines a lot of yoga moves with weights – I absolutely love it. You are so right, time flies by!

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