With a lot of people becoming more conscious of their health, new exercise trends and diet fads are fast arising. One exercise that never goes out of style though is yoga. In fact, this has been practiced for more than 5,000 years. It’s a total mind and body workout that combines meditation and deep breathing with stretching and strengthening poses.
If you have been aiming for a tone and strong body, then you should give yoga a go. There is no need to enroll in an expensive gym membership or buy exercise machines to get the body type you want. You just need a little space in your house and your yoga mat and you are good to go.
Follow these poses below to have a strong and toned body.
Seated Meditation Pose
If you’re a beginner in yoga, seated meditation poses are perfect for you as these positions are easily adapted to any level of flexibility or strength. As a matter of fact, most yoga classes start with sitting poses. These poses are meant for beginners as it offers more control over the body, low risk of falling, better spine and joint opening through mild stretching. They are also great if you want to relieve lower back pain, massage your internal organs and tone the belly.
One of the most popular seated meditation poses is the hero pose. This pose lengthens the spine, stretches the quadriceps and promotes inner calm.
Downward Facing Dog
This position improves concentration, memory, eyesight and hearing and stimulates the brain and nervous system. It opens the chest, stretches the back and builds strength in the upper body.
- Start from table position, tuck your toes under, press into the hands and lift your hips up towards the ceiling.
- Your fingers should be spread wide apart with the palms shoulder width apart and fingers facing forward.
- Press your hips up and back reaching the chest towards the thighs.
- Press your heels into the floor and you should feel a stretch in the back of your legs.
- Head and neck are hanged freely from the shoulders.
- Hold for 4-8 breaths and release.
This yoga pose is an arm-balancing position which strengthens the spine, works the arms and tones your abdominal muscles. It’s a simple exercise where you don’t need any equipment at all – just a flat, clean surface.
- Start on all fours and inhale deeply. Lift your head and tailbone to elongate your spine as you breathe in.
- Tuck your toes slowly and step back with your feet. Bring your head and body into one straight line.
- Keep your thighs lifted and your body should form a balanced and straight line.
- Hold this pose for at least 60 seconds and then try to do 3 or 4 rounds.
Half Moon Pose
This pose, which is also called “Ardhachandrasana”, helps open your hips and develop strong legs. Use the half moon pose if you want to lengthen and strengthen your body.
- From a standing position, bring your right foot all the way back.
- Bring your right hand to your right hip and lift up your right foot. Straighten your right leg out behind you.
- Rotate your right hip back; it should be parallel to the right side of the wall.
- Extend your right hand up with palm facing the right side of the room.
- Lift your shoulders out of your ears and stay in this position for 5 slow breaths.
- Slowly come out of it the same way that you started. Repeat the steps for the other side.
Baby Cobra Pose
Also known as bhujangasana, this back bend pose is excellent in reducing back pain as well as increasing the spine’s flexibility. It also stretches the muscles in the arms, the front of the torso and shoulders.
- Start in a lying position, with feet flat on the floor and hands palms down to either side.
- Using both hands, press into the floor.
- Pull shoulders slightly back and away from your ears.
- Draw your belly button toward your spine. This will engage your abs in order to protect your lower back.
- Using your back and abdominal muscles, bend your back backward into a low cobra pose.
- Hold this pose for 4-5 slow, deep breaths.
These yoga poses are easy and simple to follow, you don’t have to bring yourself to a hatha yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. Do these poses every day and in no time, you will have a strong and toned body.