About This Book

Yoga with weights is a new exercise program. You won't find the exercises we describe in this book anywhere else. We have three goals in writing this book: to clearly explain the benefits of yoga with weights, safely instruct you in the practice, and motivate you to do the workouts.

Between us, we have 65 years of experience with yoga. Sherri, daughter of the American yoga pioneers Walt and MagaƱa Baptiste, has been associated with yoga since she took her first baby steps or assumed her first lotus position, whichever came first. Sherri followed in her parents' footsteps, founding "Baptiste Power of Yoga," a nationally recognized yoga method. Sherri has been teaching since her teens and hosting yoga classes, workshops, and retreats for 14 years. Megan, a doctor of integrative medicine, has 20 years of training and practice in mind-body self-regulation techniques. She studied in her college years with Walt Baptiste and has extensive training in Anusara yoga, a discipline that specializes in living with grace and mastering the alignment principals. Megan has been teaching yoga therapy classes for ten years.

We called upon our collective experience with yoga, our understanding of how to teach yoga, and our experience with physical culture practices to create the exercises you find in this book. Some of the exercises are modifications of traditional yoga poses (the asanas); others are exercises we developed ourselves to complement traditional yoga. All the exercises are rooted in the classic yoga principles that cultivate the quality of the mind as well as the body. We want every exercise to strengthen your body, build your physical stamina, and cultivate your overall health and well-being. We also make every effort to pay attention to your safety and not put you in a position where you could injure yourself. As long as you follow our instructions, pay attention to your breathing, and consciously remain aware of your body and its needs in the course of exercising, you can be confident about doing your yoga-with-weights workout without getting injured.

We divide the exercises into several different workouts. For example, we offer practical exercises to relieve stress, plus stamina-building, total-body, and energy workouts. We also provide instructions so you can create a yoga-with-weights workout tailored to your health needs and goals. All the exercises in this book are illustrated with photos so you know exactly how to move your body in the exercises.

Another great feature of this book is that you don't have to read it from start to finish; you can dip in wherever your curiosity gets the best of you. The table of contents and the index guide you in your quest to find the information and exercises you need. Or, you can do it the old-fashioned way, reading the book from cover to cover. It's up to you.

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