Best Yoga Poses For Toning
QUALITY Energizing EFFECT Alertness, focus, heat, invigoration, strength PROPS Block and blanket GAZE Forward and Up
1 Start in a seated position with your legs crossed or sitting on your shins. Starting with Bellows Breath Pose, place your hands on your belly and take 3 deep belly breaths, moving the navel away from the spine on the inhale and drawing it in on the exhale. After breath 3, begin pumping the navel in and out, breathing through your nose. This is called Bellows Breath because it mimics a bellows stoking a fire. Repeat 20 times and hold the last breath out. Drop your chin to your chest and slowly inhale and exhale.
2 Come onto your hands and knees and make your way to Downward-Facing Dog (A). Stay here for breaths, pressing your hands into the ground and lengthening your spine as you stretch the backs of your legs.
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3 As you inhale, reach your right leg into the sky (B). As you exhale, bend your right knee and draw to your left elbow, and hold for 1 breath. Inhale while you reach your right leg back up into the sky, and exhale while you bring your right leg to the outside of your right elbow (C), and hold for
1 breath. Inhale while you reach your right leg up to the sky again, and this time draw your right knee toward your nose and hold for 1 breath, then release your foot down between your hands into a lunge.
4 On your next inhale, reach your right arm to the sky into a Lunge Twist (D). Breathe in to open you chest and exhale to twist from your core. Stay here for 2 breaths, then tuck your left knee behind your right ankle and sit down in a Seated Spinal Twist (E). Stay here for 2 breaths, twisting deeper with each exhale.
5 Next, place both hands behind you and both feet in front of you. Lift your hips up to the sky and exhale through your mouth. Return your hips to the ground and hug your knees into your chest before coming into Boat Yoga Pose (F), straightening out your legs and reaching them up to the sky. Stay here for 3 breaths, reaching your arms forward, before crossing your ankles and returning to Downward-Facing Dog.
6 As you inhale, move forward into a Plank Yoga Pose (G), and hold for 3 breaths.
7 See if you can stay lifted in your navel as you bend your arms and lower yourself all the way dowi to the ground. Point your toes and inhale to lift your head, shoulders, and chest off the ground into Baby Cobra (H).
8 Press deeply into your hands and lift yourself back into Downward-Facing Dog as you exhale. Repeat the sequence on the left side. End with Downward-Facing Dog before releasing your knees to the ground and your hips to your heels for Child’s Yoga Pose