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Keys to a Successful Yoga-with-Weights Workout

Part of the Yoga with Weights For Dummies Cheat Sheet

For a yoga-with-weights workout that's productive, safe, and fun, review this list of helpful tips and practice them each time you grab your weights and hit the yoga mat:

  • Breathe consciously throughout the exercises. You relax your body and bring much-needed oxygen to your muscles, which is important when exercising.

  • Eat a small protein-based snack or light meal no less than two hours before you exercise. You want to avoid feeling sluggish and uncomfortable during your workout, but a little energy food — such as protein powder blended with water — can be helpful. Be sure to time your light meal wisely so you feel sustained but not full.

  • Avoid overstretching. Going for that extra inch during a yoga-with-weights workout or any exercise program may compromise the integrity of your joints and ligaments.

  • Don't exercise too hard. Yoga-with-weights teaches you to be in a relaxed state as you exercise, and working too hard defeats this purpose.

  • Harness your wandering mind. Even if you're tired, focus on your body and breathing to get the most out of the exercises.

  • Focus on your form. Slouching puts your shoulders out of alignment, exposes you to injury, and keeps you from benefiting from the exercises fully.

  • Engage the core muscles of your trunk and your abdominal muscles. These muscles support your back, and engaging them builds strength and helps prevent the kind of injuries that occur while you're exercising.

  • Be patient with yourself and your practice. Muscle strength, better range of movement, and well-being come one exercise at a time — don't worry, you'll get there.

  • Exercise often enough. Patience is necessary, but you have to stick with it to see and feel the ongoing benefits of yoga with weights.

  • Know your limits. Rest when your body tells you to rest.

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