There are many benefits to Yoga including, but not limited to, improved health (both mental and physical), increased strength and flexibility and protection from injury. Yoga postures can also be used for improving muscle tone.
There are different asanas (poses) that can help you on the way to building a leaner, stronger and more toned physique. Remember, yoga can be practiced by anyone. But, depending on your level of fitness and age, a doctor’s consultation might be needed before beginning especially if you have specific health concerns.
We are all at different levels in our wellness journey, and we must be mindful of this. Listen to your body and do only as much as you can comfortably handle.
Here Are A Few Asanas
Adhomukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog can be used to improve the muscle tone of the legs and arms.
- Begin in a standing position:
- Inhale, raising arms from front.
- Exhale, extending forward reaching towards your toes placing palms on either sides of your feet. (if you have to bend your knees, that’s fine)
- You can walk your hands forward until they’re around 3 to 4 feet (1,2 meters) away from your toes.
- Push your palms into the mat, and lift your hips skyward while pressing your heels as close to the ground as you can.
- Focus your eyes on your legs and press your chest towards your thighs, arms across ears. Try holding this pose for 5-10 breaths.
Dvipadapitham or Bridge Pose works to tone thighs and abdominal muscles.
- Begin by lying on your back with legs straight, arms straight, palms down, eyes closed
- Bend your knees, placing your feet close to your buttocks, you can clasp your palms around your ankles or keep them flat on the mat
- Inhale while slowly raising your hips and lower back off the mat. Simultaneously, push your thighs up while pushing your feet into the mat.
- Hold for a couple of breaths, then lower your hips again. You can repeat
Caturanga-dandasana or Plank is a yoga posture that will target most of your body, including your arms, shoulders, back, abdominal muscles and thighs.
- Begin by lying face down with your arms and legs straight.
- Bend your elbows and place your palms by the side of your chest keeping your feet about a foot apart
- Inhale and as you exhale raise your whole body off the floor balancing on your hands and toes, lifting your chest while keeping your elbows at 90 degrees; squeeze them against your sides.
- Align lower and upper body and engage your abs to support this posture. Lower yourself to the ground. Try to repeat three times or stay in posture for a few breaths.
These postures might sound complicated, but with commitment and regular practice, you’ll improve. If it sounds too intimidating to tackle these poses on your own, an individual or group class yoga might be an option. When you sign up for a yoga class or session, you’ll have the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher to help you practice the poses and improve your posture.
In the beginning, it’s natural to feel self-conscious about attempting these asanas, but don’t let that prevent you from starting your wellness journey.
Get in touch with Janet Haughton Quarshie of Atha Jiva today, and we’ll help you on the way to becoming a better, healthier you. Let us design the ideal yoga package for you.