A simple way to do yoga for strength is to use the idea of moment arms. As an example, in a forward bend you could decrease the moment arm acting at the hip joints by using the arms to help support the weight of your upper body. If you then lift the hands (without reaching them) you remove the support of your arms and increase the work that your hip muscles have to do in order to maintain the position of your torso. Reach your arms forwards and you then shift the center of gravity (or center of mass) further forwards, away from your hips, and so you then increase the moment arm and thus the work your hips have to do, helping to exercise them and thus make them stronger.
You don't have to understand moment arms to use them to strengthen your body. If you let your arms hang down, and then reach them forwards, you can feel the difference. Simply supporting your body weight is another way of strengthening your body. As a simple example, you could strengthen your legs by bending your knees and reaching your hips back into a squat. Or you could strengthen your shoulders and mid section and hip flexors doing plank. To strengthen the arms also, bend your elbows and do chaturanga dandasana. To strength the side of your body, turn it to the side from plank pose for some variation of side plank. Even in a standing forward bend you could strengthen your arms simply by shifting your weight so that your arms support some of your body weight. Another option is to grab onto your feet and use your arms and legs against each other to strengthen your arms, legs and midsection. .
If you are in a pose like cat pose, you can easily lift an arm by first shifting your ribcage to one side. You can then easily lift the other arm. However, if you keep your ribcage in one place and then try to lift one arm, you'll find that your supporting arm suddenly feels stronger, as does the opposite leg and does your midsection.
All of these muscle activations occur to keep your torso in place. And so having an awareness of your body is very helpful when working on yoga for strength. If lifting some part of your foundation, are you intending to keep your body still or allow it to move. It depends on your intent.
Lifting a leg in cat pose, you could shift your hips to one side so that your other leg bears your body weight. You can then lift the target leg with ease. Keep your torso in place and then try to lift one leg and again you'll find that the supporting leg and it's opposite side arm plus your midsection activate automatically.
One way you could think of this is that your supporting arm, leg and midsection all become stable.
When doing yoga for strength (and when doing yoga for flexibility) it's important to give the muscles you are strengthening (or stretching) a stable foundation from which to work. Lifting a leg to the front while standing to strengthen your hip flexors, you could lift your chest and then use your abs to help stabilize your pelvis so that your hip flexors have a firm foundation from which to lift the leg and keep it lifted. Or you could stabilize the opposite hip. In this case you are still stabilizing the pelvis, but now the stability comes from the leg instead of the spine.
Another way to do yoga for strength is to use friction as in Frictional arm and Leg Strength.
Learn how to use Friction to improve leg and arm strength.
Simple exercises with easy to follow instructions
Making difficult poses like Chaturanga Dandasana easier to learn.
Learn Your Body with
Frictional Arm and Leg Strength
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Improve Strength, Flexiblity, Body Awareness. Muscle control is at the heart of all of these.
You can practice scapular control with the arm movements of the dance of shiva. Scapular stabilization and control can be important when trying to bind in yoga poses like Marichyasana A.
Lifting up into eka pada bakasana from marichyasana A with tips on lifting up and balancing while transitioning from the binding yoga pose to the arm balance.
How to grab your hand behind your back. Tips for binding in Marichyasana A.
Grabbing a wrist behind your back. Tips for Binding in Marichyasana C.
Modified Marichyasana B is done with the other leg not in lotus. This pose can still be challenging to bind it, so some tips on how to bind with awareness.
Steps for working towards bound side angle so that you can bind a little more easily.
Steps for Binding in Seated Half Bound Lotus Pose as well as modifications if you can't bind, and actions you can do when you do bind.
Tips for working towards binding in Bound Twisting Side Angle Pose.
Balancing in side plank can be made easier to learn if you learn the necessary actions step-by-step with this sensational yoga poses yoga tutorial.
The standing forward bend yoga pose can be used to stretch or strengthen the hamstrings and glutes. It can also be used to stretch and strengthen the calves and as a balance exercise.
Yoga forward bends includes forwards bends for the hips and spine. Forward bends for the hips include both bent and straight straight positions.
Your iphone needs power in order to sense your touch. Proprioception needs muscle activity in order to sense your body.
Some simple exercises so that you can work towards the pistol squat gradually.
Arm supported yoga poses can be used to strengthen the arms and shoulders. Includes plank, chaturanga dandasana, downward dog, dolphin pose, side plank, wheel, reverse plank, table top pose.
This sequence of seated yoga poses includes lotus and virasana variations, janu sirsasana and marichyasana variations as well as more basic seated poses like bound angle, pigeon and seated forward bend.
These hip flexor stretches open up the fronts of the hips and can be used as a preparation for front to back splits. Bent knee hip stretches can be used to focus on rectus fermoris.
Strengthen your hands, your arms, glutes and hamstrings with these standing forward bend variations.
The small actions in this standing psoas stretch can be used to stretch both the upper and lower fibers of the psoas muscle.
Variations of the standing psoas stretch that use the same basic actions.