Yoga for Mobility Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 5

Yoga with Weights

35 min - Practice


Build muscle and improve your range of motion with ankle and hand weights in this fun yoga fusion class. Move mindfully through dynamic standing and floor sequences exploring mobility and strength through the shoulders, legs, core, hips, and glutes, while also challenging your balance and coordination. You will feel grounded and stable.

Note: You can do this class without weights. You can also replace hand weights with water bottles or cans of soup or beans.

What You'll Need: Ankle Weights (2), Hand Weights (2), Mat

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hello, everyone. Thanks for being here with me today. I'm excited to offer you this really special class with yoga with weights. And if for some reason you don't have hand weights, you can also go to your kitchen and grab 2 cans of tomato sauce or beans, and that would work just fine. For today. I hope you'll enjoy class and wanna get yourself a couple hand weights, and we'll also need some ankle weights for class.

So if you've got your ankle weights handy, you wanna get those strapped around your ankle and nice and snug that they're not moving around all that much, but also not blocking your circulation. So a variety of ankle weights, some of them allow you to take off some of the weights in little pockets if the ones you have are too heavy. I recommend from 1 to £2 a half pounds as a great starter once and hand weights. 2 to £5 tend to be kind of a nice range to explore. So we're simply gonna have your weights in your hands, feet about hip distance apart, and we're just gonna start to roll the shoulders back, do a little kind of shrugging action eventually after we warm up our shoulders. And just know some might feel a little bit different when you have some weight in your hands when you're doing that movement.

Hey. Let's have the arms and shoulders go the other way, and your elbows might band a little bit out to the sides as you're circling. Enjoying how that feels. And then let's go ahead from here, and let your arms reach the side and up and just kinda feel like you're drawing almost a half circle as you go up and you come down and kinda completing that movement and see What's your range of motion? It's like with a little bit of weight in your hands coming down. And I have the palms facing out for me as I reach up. So the easier my shoulder and the palm facing down is the way it's come towards my legs reach up.

And, again, coming down. Let's do one more warm up circle of the arms up and then down. Alright. Now let's go a little wider with your feet and come into our famous straddle seat, which as you know, I do quite often in class as a great base to get the legs working as we'll work with upper body a little bit more. We have the palms open, elbows in against your rib cage, And as you hold the weights now a little bit more firmly, let's bring the heads of the weight to touch in front of you and then move them out to the side as you keep your elbows in at your rib cage. So you come in and you spread the shoulders in the back and we squeeze between the shoulder blades, get those, rhomboids engaged and then we spread wide and also feeling the muscles at the front of the chest and shoulder.

Kind of feeling all the different places you're engaging by doing this simple movement. K. Do a few more. We squeeze at the end. Waits touch. Little squeeze, weights touch, squeeze, And then let's do one more. And as we finish out here, we'll go ahead and bring our weights to face each other.

Palms face each other. We're gonna slide that right elbow in and push out to the right with your left hands and then pull that left arm. And kinda like you're doing a punch out to the right, you float that weight back to neutral, sink into your legs as you punch to the right, straight ahead, punch to the left. So as you do a pace that feels good for you, just feel that rotation from the waist without moving your knees or your hips. So your legs are working.

And as you float that weight out in front of you, you can feel maybe some of that work through the top of your shoulder area. Feel some core muscles engaged to feel how you're moving from the waist rather than moving from your hips. Give me a couple more. Reach across the room. Look out in that direction.

Things usually get more interesting with repetition. I try to go for these moves for maybe about a minute. Just kinda give you a frame of what we're kind of working with today. Okay. Let's keep your weights by your side, straighten your legs, give a little rest. Okay? You can have your arms down in front of you.

We'll go back into the legs when you're ready. And as you settle into the legs, bring your weights down, palms face each other. So we're gonna swing the left arm up and turn a little bit to look to the left, come down, right arm up, and look a little bit to the right. So we're gonna keep alternating. Some of you, maybe you've done this with me in other classes, but notice what's different when you've got that weight in your hands.

Would encourage you to move slowly into the pose and come slowly out of the pose. So we're not in any rush. And, in my experience now working with the weights is going slower. I feel like I'm developing more strength going up. And down by going slow versus fast. So it's not super aerobic quality movement over quantity.

And try just a few more of them with that range of motion for you as like. We're trying to keep the knees right where they are. And let's go ahead and pause and straighten your legs for a moment. K. So we might keep your feet as they are or come in just tiny bit. We're gonna bend the knees more now, bring your weights together, and come into more of a squat position and be willing to adjust the feet to come down, and maybe we have the weights right above the floor or on the floor. When we come up to stand, we're gonna pull the weights up towards collar bones and elbows out to the side, straight legs.

We're gonna come down nice, long back. Pull the weights up towards your collar bones, elbows out to the side. Hopefully, that feels great in your shoulders. K. So your pacing might be a little bit different than mine, but we're gonna try to keep somewhat of a slow rhythmic pace. Of course, it might start to feel a little bit aerobic as you're going up and down.

And noticing again, sometimes some movements are easier in the shoulders and others with weights. If you had a variety, I know from doing this, this is one that can tend to do heavier weights. Sometimes I'll call out ones that feel like lighter weights are a smart idea. But, really, it all depends on you. K. What feels manageable to smoothly go in and out?

Let's do one more. Squat, come up, and let your arms come down. Right. Let's turn the toes in, and he'll toe your legs and feet towards each other. And as we're facing straight ahead, take your arms all the way up above your shoulders. And let's shift our weight to your right foot and lift your left knee and do a little external rotation.

Bring your foot down and then shift your weight. Bring your right knee up a little external rotation. Alright. So that's what the leg part is. Let's try again left leg up external rotation and bring your right hand down towards your left knee. Go back up.

Right leg up. We'll external rotation and come down to touch the inner right knee. Alright. So maybe you get the rhythm, what we're gonna do, left knee up, external rotation, touch the inner leg. Up we go. External rotation, touch the inner leg. Neutral, shift, left leg up, touch inner knee, Do a couple more external rotation on the right.

Touch the inner knee. How about one more to each side. Left leg kicks up. And then the right leg kicks up. Alright. Let's bring your arms down to your side. Okay.

Maybe a little shoulder roll. Stable in your legs again. Now let's have your, arms come out to the side, and we're gonna tip to the right. And as you bring your left leg up, take your right arm up. As we bring our left foot down, we'll take our left arm up. We swing the left leg out to the side.

We bring the right arm up. And when the left leg comes down, the left arm goes up. K. So kinda feel that little tip and reach into your diagonal line. Maybe that's about 3. We'll do a few more of those.

Noticing the balance. We'll come and go. Nothing personal. Keep working in to finding where your center is. And let's do one more because I'm sure you're having so much fun too, like I am.

Alright. Now let's go ahead and take that left arm down and see what it feels like when we're on our other side, so arms might be out. And as you kick out that Left, right leg, reach your right arm, left arm up, our diagonal, right leg down, right arm up. Right leg out to the side. Left arm reaches out diagonal. Come back with your right arm up.

Right leg kicks out, find that diagonal line, right foot down, right arm up, Couple more. Again, balance, again, might come and go. No big deal. Let's do your best. And let's see again what pace feels good for you. As soon as I feel like I'm starting to speed up, I get feedback that I'm going too fast, and it's hard to stabilize. So nice to slow down.

If you feel like you're losing balance, ground your standing foot. Alright. Now we're probably close to even. Circle the shoulders a little bit here. Alright. Now one other fun one, have your arms out in front of you with your weights. And if your weights are too heavy, go to one So we're gonna kick your left leg to the right as the arm swing to the left.

As you kick your leg up to the side, to the left, your arms go to the right. So you're trying to keep your foot floating above the ground as you alternate leg one way arms the other. Legs one way, arms the other. You kinda find maybe your range is smaller where you're kicking less twisting list. Where is that interesting challenge for you?

Maybe a few more times swinging the leg to the side, torso to the side. Alright. Let's go ahead and stop on that side. And then we'll go for the second side. So, again, both weights out or one weight of 2 weights feel like too much. And as your hands go to the right, the leg kicks to the left. Arms to left leg to the right. And we might find that little swinging.

Arms one way leg the other. I find it extremely helpful to find something in front of you that's not moving that you can focus on. As you move your limbs in opposite direction, deepening your concentration, as well as your strength. Alright. How about we say we end that cycle now and bring your feet down. You might roll your shoulders a few times.

That's a tricky one. Alright. So, let's switch it up now and turn to face the short end of your mat. So as we head to a stance that might feel like your mountain pose, I wanna invite you from here to step back. Let's say with your right foot first, and let's go into our warrior one stance. And when you feel stable in your legs, let your arms reach out in front of you and then take those weights up into the air above your head.

It was sinking to the lunge of your front knees. You bring your arms to goal post position. Straighten your front leg as you bring your elbows for arms parallel, deep in your lunge with your weights out to the side, front leg straight, squeeze elbows in. I mean, forward open chest, lean back elbows touch. Open chest, lean back.

Let's do one more. Open chest, And then lean back. And let's have your arms out to the side to help us transition with your right foot forward and then deepen into chair legs as you bring your weights behind you and squeeze between your shoulder blades. We're gonna go between here and bringing the weights to your upper shoulder chest and do a bicep curl. Maybe we tip a little forward, look down, stretch your weights back, working triceps, and biceps.

Weights go back, triceps, and come into the biceps, stay in your chair legs, 2 more go back, biceps, send those weights back. And as we come to the bicep, let's come up to straight legs and let the weights drop down at your side. Alright. We'll go side 2 with your left leg back in that kind of short warrior one stance. When you're stable here, weights in front of you, arms go all the way up, lift out of that lower back, Back to your goal, post arms, straight in your front leg, and squeeze elbows in, and back to our open, hearted warrior, lean back, elbows touch, inhale, open chest, lean back, elbows touch, Open it wide. It'll both touch.

And one more time going wide. And bring your elbows in. Now let's go ahead and open your arms up to the side to help us balance as we step that back leg forward. And then take those weights behind you, squeeze between your shoulder blades, spend those ankles and knees, bicep curl, triceps, bicep curl, really nice, long back triceps, Feel those biceps, triceps, curl in, and those come up to straight legs with your arms down at your sides. Alright. Now we're gonna go a little further back the second step back.

Go back with your right leg with your back heel up as you face forward into now that balancing lunge. K. From here, I'm gonna invite you to swing your arms straight back like we did in chairs. You look down, kind of gauging your back, laying your arms. Go for airplane arms and see how much your arms might reach out in front of you. It might not go to touch, but maybe the heads of the way touch. Go back out to your side and then bring your arms back, squeeze between shoulder blades.

Your airplane arms, like you're heading into warrior 3, your back leg gets stronger. Arms out wide. Arms to your side. Give a squeeze between shoulder blades. One more time airplane arms.

Reach forward. And now let's separate the arms so it's easier to step your back leg forward and come right up to standing arms at your sides. Let's set that left leg back now quite far. So you're in that lunge position, kinda feel your foundation, your focus, is clear here as you look forward and then float your arms out, lean a little forward, and then let's squeeze between shoulder blades. Go back out airplane arms and see if we might reach forward here.

Let your back, like, really get strong. Arms up to the side. Arms parallel. We squeeze between shoulder blades. Got to the side. See if we might read our arms forward, weights, touch, out to the side, by your side of squeeze in between shoulder blades.

Last one go wide. Reach out in front of you, and then open the arms wide as we step your back leg forward, and we'll spring right up to stand. Might start rolling the shoulders a little bit as you come up. Alright. Hope you're feeling strong here. Now we're gonna come back to one more balance in this way where we'll face whatever direction is easy for you. I'm gonna face the long side of the mat for a bit, and I invite you to bring your weights to the top of your shoulders.

So from here, we're gonna tip a little bit to the right and bring your left foot up into your tree legs, k, wherever that foot lands without using your hands. And then we're gonna step that left foot out to the side as you bring the weights up above your head. You're gonna bring that left foot to your inner right leg, weights at the top of your shoulders. Kick out to the side, reach overhead, then come to your tree variation. Reach out to the side with your left foot, weights up tree variation.

One more time, reach out to the side, go up, and let's go for our tree variation and let that left arm come down and rest on top of that left thigh as your right arm goes up towards the ceiling. Balance may come and go. So please join me again if your left foot is somewhere else besides your inner right leg. Let's keep coming back to that place. Okay. Let's raise that left arm up and take your left foot down and then bring the weights to the top of the shoulders.

K. Find your focal point as you bring your right foot to your inner left leg. And then we'll try out this side. Right foot reaches out. Lift your weights. Back to that tree variation.

And tap out to the side, arms overhead, touch the inner leg, reach out as you lift those weights up, tree variation. Kick out to the sides. And let's hold our tree now, kinda dial in your pose as you drop the back of that right hand to the leg. Take your left arm up towards the ceiling. So you're getting longer on your left side, stronger in that left ankle, and maybe a little bit more stretch at left side body.

K. Balance will definitely come and go. Join me if your foot fell off to the sides, and they'll take that arm, right arm back up and both feet on the ground and arms at your side. K. Let's take a wider step now with your feet. So as you head to your triangle base, Let's turn your right foot out to the side. Keep your right hand on your thigh, and we're gonna turn that left palm out as we take the left arm up towards the ceiling, we can slide that right hand with that weight down towards your knee or upper shin.

And then let's tip ourselves back out. Notice again, a little more side body engagement as you have that weight in your left hand, right hand, and we tip mindfully down to the right and exit a little different with the weights in your hands. I hope you're noticing. Little tip to your right. Come back up. Now we're gonna keep that left arm just up in the air above your shoulder or chest and just explore what it's like when that right hand goes down and we pull it back up towards the knee.

With that weight in hand tip a little bit to the side, come back up. And one more time, tipping down and then come up. Let's lower that left arm. Turn your right foot in, bring your feet a little closer. So it'll be easier to turn to your other side.

So left foot turns out. Left hand stays on the leg. Right hand might turn out. As you lift up, the arm is more or less above your head as that left hand slides down. And then we exit slowly.

Turn your palm out. Reach that right arm up as we slide the weight down the left. Come up. One more time with that lifting the right weight right above the shoulder more or less and stay here. And now just let that left hand go down a couple inches and then back up towards the knee going down and up.

One more time going down. And coming up, feel the side, body muscles engaging, arms down, turn the toes in, and he'll tell your legs and feet towards each other. Okay. Shoulder rolls. Okay. Last one in this wide stance are gonna go the long step for your warrior 2. So let's maybe turn your right foot out bend your knee straighten your leg and adjust so you feel stable.

I'm gonna take your arms out to your sides and just holding them here again, we'll start to develop that top of that shoulder muscle. We're having a little more fun now. So we're gonna stay with the legs like this. And bring your, left hand weight over to the right. And then we're gonna have the left hand face your chest as you pull back like you're pulling on a bow.

Let's see if your neck allows you to turn to look to the left. Reach your arm in front of you. You follow it to the right. Pull the elbow back, look over your left shoulder, reach out in front of you, follow it to the right, pull the elbow back, look over your shoulder. One more time, when you look to the right, lift your hand as high as your shoulder, pull back, look to the left, open arms, front leg straight, and adjust your feet.

Maybe we're still keeping the arms out. As we find your left side bending the knee where you're stable. Take this right hand over Ben that right elbow, open the chest. It feels okay. Look over the shoulder. Which in front of you, go to the left, pull that bow back, look over right shoulder, the right weight over to the left, cross your chest, open chest, one more time, reach in front of you, pull the elbow back, Look over the shoulder.

And let's have the arms out, arms down, and then turn the feet in. He'll toe your legs and feet towards each other. He should cut out. Right. So now if we turn and face the short end of your mat again, feet may be hip distance apart. Let's turn your palms open towards the space in front of you. And as you look forward, circle your arms all the way up into the air and lift the weights towards the ceiling to get more lift out of your lower back.

Take the weights down in front of your thighs and bend your knees. And let those weights help you come with bent knees into your forward fold to release some tension, maybe in that back body. Move them to the side for a moment as you transfer down to your knees. And as we come down to the knees, You can stay here with straight arms or come down to your elbows and forearms. K. Wanna invite you bring your knees a little closer together and rest your ankles on the floor as we swing the left leg up into the air with that ankle weight on. Hopefully, that feels great. Swing that left leg over to the right, look over your right shoulder.

The leg is straight back and then bring your left knee to your left elbow, look over left shoulder. Kick your leg straight back. Take the leg to the right, look over right shoulder, leg straight back, left knee to left arm, straight back. Left leg. One more time to the right straight back. And then left knee to left shoulder.

Straight back and then bring your left knee by your right knee. K. So we'll go for slide 2. To re spread your hands, kickbacks for your right leg. Strong arms as you swing your right leg to the left, look left. Like, straight back, look down, right knee to shoulder, kick your leg straight back, right leg to the left, straight back, right knee to right arm, one more cycle straight back, over to the left, look left, leg straight back, and the knee towards the elbow.

Straight back, and then bring your knees side by side. So let's swing your feet over to your left side so you can be on your outer right hip and bring your weights with you. We just need one for this part where we're gonna tip over onto our right side on your forearm. If your floor is really hard, you might just fold your sticky mat in another time. So when we're on our side here, I want to advise you to grab one weight or 2, whatever feels like a good weight for you, give a little lift of this lower right rib cage stabilize the shoulder blade here as you take your left arm with the weight up. I'm gonna take this weight down right underneath your right rib cage and look down and feel that rotation through your center.

And then swing that weight back up in the air above your shoulder. The turn to look down is that weight ends up under your rib cage. Reach back up and look forward or up if that feels good. One more time that same way, turn from the waist, come up. And then that last time after turning to look down, I'm gonna keep your left arm in the air look forward and see if we might swing the hip up and strengthen that lower shoulder.

Maybe bonus, we stretch the top leg straight. And kind of enjoy, again, the extra weight challenge with the ankle weight and hand weights. Maybe clarity of the stretch with the weights. Let's gather back in and slide your feet forward. Stay in your neutral position here. Like, we're gonna do our a boat variation where I like to gather both weights in my hands, tip over, let's say, to my left side, And then I'm gonna lift them up into the air above my head and then bring them down toward my right hip.

So I'm turning it again from my waist. Go up overhead, weights to the left, up overhead and over to the right. Gonna draw that big rainbow or circle around you Alright. Let's set set the weights in front of you. Slides your feet to the new side. So I'm on my left side now.

Left forearm on the ground. One weight in my hand after I give a little lift to my left rib cage. So with your right arm up, let's go ahead and see what it feels like on this slide. When you take that weight and float it right under your left rib cage, When you go up, take that weight under the rib cage, sometimes you don't even know that we're really stiff in this area of our body and that waist area mid back. I'm certainly feeling that.

It feels great to release some of that with some movement. Let's keep your right arm straight up in the air and see if there's room to do a little lift of your hip and bring more strength into that lower shoulder Maybe we kick out through that top leg and really kick out, engage that leg holds with the weight in the air above you, or, again, bring that leg down if that's the challenge you wanna work with today. One more moment. And then let's bring it down. Alright. So let's go ahead and come on to your back.

And as you come down onto your back, get settled here with your space. And as we start to get into this new part. Let's go ahead from here and bring your left knee towards your chest and take your right leg up in the air. So if you've taken my class before, I love circling the joints and the bones. So notice what's different for a moment.

As you circle your left leg with a ankle weight on. I know for me, if I'm keeping my hips neutral, I've I'm drawing a a really small circle to keep my pelvis from moving. K. So I'm challenging all kinds of muscles in my hips as well as my abdominal area. Hey. Now if we bring this knee towards your chest and then grab a weight in your hand, And with that weight in the air, straighten your left leg and let's curl up and bring the the weights to your shin and then drop your left leg down as you take that weight the floor behind your head. Gonna swing the leg up, have the weight meet your shin, slowly lengthen and roll down.

So two more, curl up, and slowly release. Last one. Curl up and slowly release. Okay. Leave that weight there. Arms back at your side. Left foot on the floor.

A secure right leg in the air and maybe your hands at your hips so you can feel where we're trying to stabilize as we try to move that right leg with that little extra weight around your ankle. Again, it's relatively challenging, when we're keeping the pelvis neutral. And we're certainly working different abdominal muscles, muscles of that right hip. So notice what you're feeling to stabilize your movement in the torso. Right knee comes in towards your chest.

Let's reach back for that weight. As you stretch your right leg up now, swing the weight to touch your shin, and then take the leg down and the weight behind your head. And then it's a big exhale curl up and lower in length and down. Curl up and lower down. 2 more, a curl up, and lower down.

Last one and lower. And let's go ahead and leave that weight on the floor behind you. Oh, actually, sorry. Well, let's grab that weight in your hand, slide it down to your side, and I find it somewhat grounding to keep the weights in your hands as you leave them at your sides. And, hopefully, we feel, again, that we've tapped into some new places in our body tapped into some new strengths and new space using the weights. And that was a moment just to get a little grounded, feel the support underneath you. If it feels better for you with straight legs for a moment head down to straight legs, And, hopefully, you enjoy that feeling of bringing a little bit more tone to the muscles as we go through our practice and maybe kinda break through some areas where we've plateaued, and appreciate where the weights can take us.

Tip the weights out of your hands. If you're ready, you can bring the legs towards you. And then we might rock and roll yourself back and forth to come up to sit. And as we kind of just align yourselves, maybe working with your ankle weights for a moment, and come to that sitting position aligning yourself and those how you feel in your body. Grateful for all that you were able to do today in your practice.

And I wanna thank you for being on this experiment with me and trying out a new class. Thanks for being here until next time. Namaste.


Elizabeth M
I love this class! I bought hand and ankle weights for this class, and they make a big difference 💪🏼 Thank you for another awesome season, Melina!
Melina Meza
Thanks Elizabeth! Great to hear you're falling in love with weights, I can't wait to hear how you feel in a few months from now. I've been working with the weights since January and now can't imagine doing my yoga routine without them. Here's to more strength in the new year!
Lina S
5 people like this.
I've enjoyed the variety of exercises, especially the balance exercises on one leg.
Kate M
5 people like this.
Woww! Im going to have to work into this gradually. Great strengthening practice! This has made me realize that I really need to work on strength. Love it! I'm coming back!!
Melina Meza
Wonderful news! I found that within a few months using the weights consistently, I started to feel stronger in many poses. I hope the same happens for you.
Jenny S
4 people like this.
Oh my did I need this practice!  I’ve been laying low for the past week or so and finally today I felt ready to practice this class I’ve been so looking forward to 😌. It’s amazing how the weights provide the extra grounding and feedback in the poses!  I’m sure I will be feeling this tomorrow but I’m going to keep my weights out in plain sight to remind me to incorporate them into my practice more often.  Thanks for your expert tips and guidance 💪🥰🙏🏻
4 people like this.
This is a deceptively good workout. I’m coming back to it
Catherine N
What was great about the class was the pace and creativity. Thanks!
Melina Meza
Thanks for exploring Yoga with Weights everyone! I hope these become regular props in your practice and help you feel stronger each month. I'm a big fan of doing this type of practice 3-5 times a week, perhaps you'll enjoy how that feels too.
Kate M
2 people like this.
True confession: I actually split this up into 3 practice sections!! I'm going to keep working at it to maybe do the full 30 minutes in one go. One day!!
1-10 of 19

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Yoga Anytime Logo

Just Show Up

Over 2,900 yoga and meditation practices to bring you Home.

15-Day Free Trial