How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Big Ease Exercise - dummies

How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Big Ease Exercise

By Sherri Baptiste, Megan Scott

Leave it to the Big Ease to iron out your kinks and help you relax. This yoga-with-weights exercise is called the Big Ease because it’s easy to do and it eases your body. The exercise relaxes your hips and stretches all the muscles in the side of your trunk and torso. It also lengthens your quadriceps muscles and releases tension in your hips, neck, and shoulders.

You’ll enjoy breathing more fully into your chest and lungs as you do this exercise; just don’t fall asleep!

You need one hand weight and both ankle weights for this exercise. After you grab the necessary weights, follow these steps:

  1. Sit in a cross-legged position with your feet pulled in and the ankle weights resting on your inner thighs.

    Resting the weights on your inner thighs helps loosen and warm your thighs and anchor your legs. Your ankles should be aligned with your heels, one heel placed right in front of the other and right in front of your pubic bone. Make sure your spine is erect.

    If you can’t sit cross-legged because you feel tight, sit on a pillow or folded-up mat. Doing so relaxes your inner-thigh area and allows your knees to rest more comfortably.

  2. Grab the hand weight with your left hand, and place your right hand on the floor for support.

    This is the starting position. Center your shoulders over your hips.

  3. Inhaling to a count of four, lift your left hand over the crown of your head as you feel the side of your body stretching; look toward your right side and gently look down.

    Stretch as far as you can with the side of your body without turning your shoulders or leaning forward.

    In this position, you can really feel the advantage of doing yoga with weights, because the weight permits you to stretch farther.

    Don’t rush during this exercise. Move the weight slowly without throwing it over your head. You don’t want the weight to stretch you too far.

  4. Exhaling to a count of four, return to the starting position.

    You can relax your head and look slightly downward to take the tension out of your neck and head, but remember not to lean forward. Draw your belly in and up to help support the weight of your trunk and shoulders.

Do this exercise six to eight times with each side of your body, pause to rest, and then do another six to eight repetitions with each side of your body.