How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Horse Exercise - dummies

How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Horse Exercise

By Sherri Baptiste, Megan Scott

The Horse is based on a traditional yoga pose called the cobra. It’s harder than it looks; but, so is riding a horse! This yoga-with-weights exercise works your buttocks and the muscles of your abdomen, as well as muscles you may not even know about yet. It also massages your intestines and reproductive organs.

Strap on your ankle weights for the Horse and follow these steps:

  1. Lie on your belly with your elbows bent and on the ground under your shoulders and your hands grasping your arms right above the elbows.

    Look downward, and grasp your arms like Mr. Clean (baby boomers, at least, will know who he is).

  2. Round your shoulders, lift your belly, round your back, and lower your forehead onto the top of your arms.

    This is the starting position. Push into the floor with your elbows.

    You should draw your belly and tailbone down as you squeeze your perineum and buttocks. The perineum is the area between the anus and vagina in women and the anus and testicles in men. As you pull your belly in, feel the pose squeezing and massaging the organs behind your belly. Squeeze and engage these interior muscles throughout this exercise.

  3. Inhaling to a count of four, lift your right leg 6 inches off the floor.

    In this position, you support some of your weight with your pubic bone. Make sure you keep your right leg straight as you lift.

    If you have trouble lifting your leg, tuck your belly in farther.

  4. Exhaling to a count of four, lower your right leg to the starting position.

Take slow, full breaths throughout the exercise. You can’t breathe deeply in the position you’re in, but you can breathe consciously and mindfully.

You can do this exercise without the ankle weights and without lifting your leg. You still benefit your back and chest, and the exercise helps you develop a deeper and more rhythmic breathing pattern.

Do this exercise six to eight times with each leg, take a rest, and then do six to eight more repetitions with each leg.