HerSUPPZ Faith Ellis, Health & Wellness, Her Brand Ambassadors, Her Wellness, Stretching, Yoga, Yoga Inspired Leave a Comment

While it is still way underrated, yoga has a long list of physical and mental health benefits. It is a wonder people do not practice more often. But my hopes are to change this and inspire more people to perform this routine. Although I am a cardio-nerd and weightlifter at heart, I am too a yogi and proud of it. Yoga adds to my current routine and makes me stronger, more flexible, and all-around more balanced. Especially since many weightlifters skip their stretch, yoga is highly beneficial to even the most fitness buffed. Whether cardio, kickboxing, or weightlifting, here are the best yoga poses for flexibility and strength training.

Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)


This not-so-tiny-dancer pose stretches the hips and legs and creates balance among the groin, shoulders, chest and abdomen. It will require balance, flexibility, strength, and focus.

Here’s how to do it:

  • From standing position, balance your weight onto your right foot and grab your left foot, bending at the knee to pull the left heel towards your buttock.
  • Kick your foot into your hand as you raise the knee higher and focus to keep your right leg straight and strong.
  • You can stretch your right arm in front of you or to the side for balance.
  • Or you can lift the right arm towards the sky for an added challenge.

Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)


Ultimately, the wide-legged forward bend requires a lot of flexibility in the hips and hamstrings, but you will get there! This yoga pose will stretch and strengthen your lower back, hamstrings, spine and your calves, as well as the arms depending on your variation.

Here’s how to do it:

  • In standing position, step your legs wide, a little wider than a yoga mat.
  • Keep your feet parallel and place your hands on your hips.
  • Draw up through your thighs, inhale and lift your chest, then exhale, keep your legs and back straight as you hinge forward, lowering your chest and head towards the ground.
  • Drop your arms to the ground or, for an added challenge, interlace your first two fingers and thumb with your big toes and pull yourself deeper into the stretch.

Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana)


A variation of plank, the side plank pose takes things to another level. Aside from core strength and balance, this pose also works your arms, wrists, and legs and improves concentration.

Here’s how to do it:

  • From a plank pose, shift onto the outside edge of your left foot, stacking your right foot directly on top.
  • Keep your left arm in line with your shoulder and swing your right arm to the sky.
  • Keep your chest up, core strong, legs straight and hips lifted.
  • For an added challenge, look up at your right hand and breathe into the stretch.

Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)


This pigeon pose will benefit weightlifters and stretch out the hips and groin area while increasing hip mobility. It is a great pose to do prior to deadlifts or squats.

Here’s how to do it:

  • From plank position or downward dog, draw your right knee in towards your chest and drop the knee to your right wrist.
  • Keeping the right knee in line with the hip, extend your left leg back and lay it to the mat with the top of the left foot on the mat.
  • Try to align your right knee with your ankle and flex the right foot.
  • Walk your arms to your forearms, or for and added challenge, lay all the way out with your arms stretched in front of you and your forehead and chest laying on the mat.

Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrkasana)


While extremely challenging, this pose has a long list of benefits. It can help improve digestion, grip strength, and develop a stronger core. It is a full upper body strength move.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Begin in downward facing dog  with your head near a wall.
  • Pull your shoulder blades together and push them down your back to prepare.
  • Turn your upper arms outwards and pull your lower arms in as you spread your fingers apart.
  • Bend one knee and pull the foot in, placing it near your hands. Take a few practice hops by pushing the leg that is still out up into the air, towards the wall.
  • Exhale each time you hop and try to go higher each hop.
  • Once your strong enough, take the bent leg and shoot it back to meet the other leg as you hop. You might crash into the wall a few times but you will get there!

Garland Pose (Malasana)


Although this pose may look fairly simple, the garland pose stretches the thighs, groin, and hips while strengthening the abdominals.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Squat with your feet close and your heels on the ground.
  • Separate your thighs as you exhale and lean your torso snuggly between them.
  • Press your elbows between your inner knees and push against them as you press your palms together.
  • For an added challenge, reach your arms around your thighs and grasp your ankles as you breathe into the stretch.

Crow Pose (Bakasana)


Meanwhile a great stretch for the upper back but strength training for the arms and wrists, crow pose also works the abdominal muscles and improves balance and coordination.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Begin in standing with your feet about as wide as a yoga mat.
  • Bend your knees and come into a squat while separating your knees a little wider than your torso and keeping your feet close.
  • Bring your palms to the mat, shoulder width, and spread your fingers.
  • Press your shins to the back of your upper arms and draw your knees as close as you can to your underarms.
  • Lift onto the balls of your feet and lean forward, rounding your back and drawing in your abs.
  • As you continue to lean forward, lift your feet from the mat and straighten your arms.
  • Breathe.
  • If this is too much for your, try lifting one foot and alternating holding for a minute on each foot. Eventually you will get to both feet off the ground.

Do you think that yoga is underrated? For more yoga-inspired poses and workouts, connect with me on Instagram.


Faith is a southern girl, born and raised in North Carolina. She enjoys spending time with her husband and fur-baby.

Faith is living a healthy lifestyle and her ultimate passion is to inspire others to do the same.

She decided to change the way she was living 4 years ago, but she wasn’t expecting to actually fall in love with it!

Now she enjoys experimenting with different kinds of fitness and challenging her body to new heights whether it be pilates, plyometric training, or weight training, and she aims to inspire others to realize the strength within themselves as well.

Faith’s favorite product for pre-workout is the Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy line. Her favorite flavor so far has been the peach lemonade, but next on her list is Mocha Cappuccino, yum! The use of natural caffeine sources is a real win for this product and it mixes easily, so there is no grainy texture. 

For protein sources, she enjoys Oh Yeah! One Bars for a quick and filling snack on-the-go, of which she has many favorite flavors!  Or Gaspari Precision Protein to mix up a shake. Faith’s favorite recipe uses 1 scoop of the Cinnamon Cereal Crunch flavor, mixed with 1/2 a banana, 1/4 a cup of vanilla Greek yogurt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk, and 1 cup of ice.

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