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More flab than fab? These Yoga poses tone all your muscles at the same time
Swim suit season is half-gone, but there’s still enough of summer left for you to get in shape and hit the beach.
Before I tell you how, let me just say that I’m no one to judge your current body type. I’m incapable of judging because I’m one of the laziest people to have walked (sat) on the Earth. I know how tough it is these days. Sometimes, we’re too guilt ridden from our last binge and some weeks are just too crammed with work. I’m also just done with ads telling me how I need to look.
But here’s the thing, to be healthy, you need to have an active lifestyle and if you’re going to invest any time and effort, it might as well make you look your best. Agree?
So, no more impossible targets or fingers pointing you to a treadmill, dumbbells or the gym. Instead something more doable yet effective. Try these 4 simple, incredible yoga poses every day and tone your entire body, in time for your next Goa trip.A word of caution, always work within the range of your limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
Plank Pose to Chaturanga to Cobra pose
Try to stay in the Yoga Plank pose for a minute or as long as you comfortably can. Engage all your muscles and your core to hold your body weight. Engaged thighs and abdominals support your lower back, while your relaxed shoulders and open chest free your neck. When you find true alignment, you will feel a long line of energy from the top of your head through your hips to your heels. Stabilize your middle section and don’t sag from your arms and feet. You’ll feel strong, but also light and graceful.
Then transition to Chaturanga pose or the Four-limbed Staff pose. Finally, end this set with Cobra pose as you inhale deeply.
Reps: 5 times
Caution: If you have a neck problem or a knee problem, be careful while doing Plank pose and Cobra pose. you can lower your knees just touching your yoga mat for support.
Benefits: The Plank Pose tones all core muscles of the body – the abdomen, chest, and lower back. It strengthens the arms, wrists, and shoulders. Plank also strengthens the muscles surrounding the spine, which improves posture. Practicing Plank Pose for several minutes builds endurance and stamina, while toning the nervous system.
Downward Facing Dog to Warrior 2
First make sure you are comfortable in your Downward Facing Dog Pose. Press firmly through your hands to protect your wrists, slide the shoulder blades down along the back and spread them wide away from each other. Firm the upper arms in. Inhale, look forward and step into a lunge with your right leg. Think about using your whole body rather than just stepping your leg. You can do this by shifting your center of gravity – around your lower belly – forward. Stay in this lunge position, while breathing normally and keep your back straight and hands to the side. From here, raise both your hands to go to Warrior 2 pose. Stay here for as long as you can comfortably. Then repeat the sequence.
Reps: 5 times
Caution: Make sure in lunge position, your back knee is straight and fully stretched and the front knee makes a 90 degree angle with the floor. Your weight should be in the center and your knees should not extend beyond your toes. Focus by looking straight in the direction of your fingers in front of you.
Benefits: It is a great stretch for the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands and strengthens the arms and legs. It is very helpful in relieving the symptoms of menopause and helps prevent Osteoporosis. It calms the brain, relieves stress and mild depression
Sit with your legs straight in front of you. Press your hands on the floor a little behind your hips pointing towards your feet, and strengthen the arms. Inhale, exhale and bend your knees then Lift your feet off the floor, so that they make 45 degrees from the floor. As you do this, lengthen your tail bone and lift your pubis towards your navel. To balance, sit on the tripod of your two sitting bones and tailbone. Now, slowly try to straighten your knees, raising the tips of your toes slightly above the level of your eyes. If this isn’t possible remain with your knees bent, perhaps lifting the shins parallel to the floor.
Reps: 5 times
Caution: Do not practice this pose if you’re having a headache or have low blood pressure or diarrhea. While doing this pose make sure your back doesn’t round and continue to lengthen the front of your torso between the pubis and top sternum.
Benefits: Tones and strengthens your abdominal muscles, spine and hip flexors. It improves balance, digestion and stretches your hamstrings.
Reverse Boat Pose
Start from a reverse Savasana on your stomach. Then stretch your arms and legs upwards together. Stay in this posture for as long as you comfortably can. To release, come back to the first position and relax.
Reps: 5 times
Caution: Please do not practice this if you suffer from any chronic injury to the back, arms or shoulders or during pregnancy, menses. Please avoid this pose if you’ve had recent abdominal surgery.
Benefits: It stretches and tones the muscles of arms, legs and the abdomen and strengthens them. It tonifies the kidneys and stimulates the reproductive and digestive systems.
Simple, right? For all of you, who can’t remember these and want something even simpler, just do 50 Surya Namaskars in a day. If you can’t find enough time or get tired somewhere before 50, you can split your Sun salutations into two or three sets. This will tone all the muscles in your body and keep your internal organs healthy.
Do drop us a line about how this worked out for you. We would love to hear or see you instagramming away your progress! Tag us on our social profiles