There is a common misconception among those who don’t regularly practice yoga: yoga is just an easy workout solely to promote relaxation and stretch, but not a good practice to lose weight. However, I do sweat in most of my yoga practices. I had the same misconception about yoga but I fell in love with Vinyasa flow.
With organized, well sequenced, and well-pace yoga classes you can increase your metabolism and shape your body muscles.
While some forms of yoga take less physical exertion, but there are so many other types like Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga that are more rigorous and they engage muscles you never knew existed. In fact, one of the benefits of yoga is that it is so diverse as a practice, and between all the different styles and poses, you can truly find a workout to suit your mood and goal. One way to strengthen certain body muscles through yoga is to curate a sequence that targets a certain body region, such as the legs, arms, or core. Area-focused yoga allows you to reap more specific strengthening benefits and correct muscle imbalances in your weaker areas.
One of the advantages of doing yoga over some other exercises is that yoga is inclusive of balanced, well-thought ergonomic poses that increases your mobility and strengthens your body. Also, yoga in general is easy to start compare to many other exercises that requires a lot of effort or need special equipments.
Incorporating yoga poses that target and strengthen the abs and core are very critical to your body health. Having a yoga routine practice of 10-15 mins a day not only helps improve our postures but it allows us to be able to move on to more challenging balancing poses like crow pose, warrior II, and etc. It can easily fit in to the busy professional lifestyle of today's world.
Another misconception is equalizing the workout strength with the pain level, but if something hurts during the flow, we should be mindful of the pain level and reset the pose. It’s normal to feel the abs tighten or contract, but pain should never be the measure of a successful practice.
Also, yoga props and modifications allow us to make the practice suitable for different body types and abilities and still keep the practice effective.
Modifications, such as dropping to your knees for planks or using bolsters and blocks to elevate and support certain parts of the body are healthy techniques we can be utilized to do a pose or sequence more safely.
It’s recommended to begin the practice with a few rounds of Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskar to warm up the body.
Do these 5 poses everyday and strengthen your body in just 10 mins:
1.Forearm Plank pose is one of the poses meant to develop core strength. Yoga poses for the abs tend to be very heating, which increase metabolism and strengthen the digestive organs. Hold plank for 3 sets of 30s. The picture of the pose is the cover photo of this blog.
2.Bridge Pose stretches the spine, strengthen the core, the thighs, and the hip flexors (front hip joints). Bridge Pose also calms the mind and is known to be therapeutic for individuals with high blood pressure. Hold bridge for 2 sets of 30 to 60 seconds. Click here to link to watch the pose in the dynamic form on my Instagram.
3.Boat Pose or Navasana really works on the abs. It remains one of the best ways to focus on your abdominal strength, which is the foundation of so many other yoga poses, especially arm balances and inversions. Besides the abdominal muscles, it works the deep hip flexors. These muscles get weak when you sit too much. Do this pose for 3 sets of 5 breaths. Click here to watch the shape of the pose.
4.Chair pose or Utkatasana not only targets your abs, but it may also improve the flexibility of your spine and help strengthen your shoulders, your glutes and your core muscles—great for those of us looking to build the core strength. Stay in the pose 3 sets for 5-7 breath. Click here to see the shape of the pose.
5.Warrior 3 pose is considered an intermediate yoga pose that creates stability throughout the entire body. It utilizes all of the muscles throughout the core, arms and legs. It improves posture while it strengthens the posterior chain(back side) of the body. Do this on right and left leg and keep each side 5-7 deep breath. Below image shows the shape of the pose with prayer hand position:
Writer: Elnaz Aslanian