For about two years all I did was ashtanga yoga. I was completely obsessed and would not engage in any activity that would "mess" with my flexibility. I would wake up early, not eat (except for coffee) and practice in an empty stomach like the tradition mandates. This practice completely changed my life. But, at some point I became conflicted. I knew that ashtanga yoga was keeping me flexible, strong, and cardiovascularly healthy (I did the machu pichu trail without a problem), but I wanted to do more.
Maybe it was something about the cold Chicago weather, but my body needed movement and heat. I felt like I needed to feel that runner's high again. Since a year earlier, while practicing with Nancy Gilgoff, she said that we shouldn't run till we were on the second series, as soon as I started to second series I started looking for a trainer. My teacher, the amazing Alexia Bauer, highly recommended her own trainer: Jeffrey Lung from Iron fitness.
We started my workouts with the goal of getting me running again without injuries and without impacting my flexibility. Despite my reluctance, Jeff had me start a complete weight training regimen. He also taught me to stretch after each workout so that I wouldn't lose any of my flexibility. I dedicated myself and started working out religiously - always followed by an exrta ten minute yoga practice at the end to undo any damage that could have been done.
Well it worked. I will confess that some days after workouts I am a bit tighter. But, I quickly regain my flexibility the day after. Even though I started with the goal of running, the weight training regimen made me so much stronger than I used to be. All of a sudden jump backs and jump throughs became a possibility, and I get some hang time in my handstands - right now I am up to ten seconds. My core is working and I feel so strong in my body.
Somedays I will even tell him the exact pose I want to be able to do and he will help work out muscle groups so that I am able to achieve the pose. All of a sudden these impossible poses became quite possible with Jeff. Weight training under his guidance has been truly a blessing to my practice. So without further ado, here is a sample workout created by Jeff Lung from Iron Lung Fitness ( This is where you can find him)
Interval Section (can also be used as a warm-up)
20 seconds of work with 10-20 seconds of rest in between intervals
Repeat 2-5x depending on fitness level
- Jumping Jacks
- High Knees
- Single Leg Burpees
- Squat Jumps
- Jump Lunge (jump transition from one lunge to the other)
2-4x each set with 8-12 reps of each exercise
- Bent over dumbbell row
- Single Leg Squats (or Single Leg Sit-to-Stands)
- Turkish Get-Ups
- Cable or Band Axe Chops
- Jane Fondas (aka Lateral Side Leg Raises)
- Romanian Deadlifts
- Dumbbell Bicep Curl into Shoulder Press
- Single Leg Calf Raises
- Dumbbell Anterior Deltoid Raise
- Dumbbell Lateral Deltoid Raise
- Donkey Kicks
- Side Planks
- Bicycle Crunches
- Hip Raises
- Roman Twists