When you think of yoga you may not associate it as a great toning exercise, that is until you try these poses. Holding your body and body weight in these poses will get your muscles burning and heart rate racing. Here are some simple poses to incorporate into your next yoga progression.
Once you’ve finished your warm up and sun salutation here are some great poses to try.
Three-Legged Downward Dog
Customize your usual downward dog. Inhale and lift one foot towards the sky, hold this position, exhale and bring your foot back to the floor, alternate legs. Downward dog is great for strengthening and stretching your arms and upper back whilst increasing flexibility in backs of legs and torso. Lifting one leg increases the resistance placed on your arms.
Warrior poses are your standard pose you fill find in a yoga class. They are standing poses that incorporate a lunge to tone legs and hips.
To get into Warrior 1 from Downward dog you inhale the raised leg forward through between your hands on the mat. Push through your front feet and raise or arms and hips into a lunge.
Warrior 1 involves holding a lunge where the back foot rotates away from the body 90 degrees. Our hands remain above our head, pointed to the sky. This position is held until you feel the burn.
Warrior 2 is similar however the arms are in line with the body and extended to front and back of the room.
You can get into half moon from numerous yoga poses however as we have just covered warrior we will incorporate this. From your Warrior 2 pose you place all your weight on your front leg, lift your back leg, shift your body forward and place your hands on the ground. Inhale and release the opposite hand to the planted foot to the roof. Make sure your back leg is parallel to the ground. This is a great leg strengthening exercise that improves balance and core strength.
Chair pose is best started in a standing position with your toes touching. Push through your legs to rest in a seated squat (with knees touching) and push your arms up towards the roof. Hold this position.
In a seated position make sure your back is straight and your legs straight out in front of you. Raise your feet off the ground and come onto your sitting bones. Push your arms out in front of you being careful not to round your shoulders. Boat is great for your abdominal muscles, however if this is too difficult you can bend your news.
In a seated position making sure your back is straight and your legs are straight out in front of you place your hands down behind you, lift you bottom off the ground and push through your hips. This is a great counter stretch to the boat pose.