Friday, September 5, 2014

Yoga Poses to Tone Your Body NOW

 #1 How Yoga Works
Yoga is great for getting a lot of tone for what feels like very little effort. The secret of yoga's success is that it feels calming. But underneath all of that deep breathing is some pretty serious muscle building.
These yoga poses work to tone all of your muscles at the same time. That means more workout bang for you buck.Try the poses individually at first. Then link them together for a more fluid practice. Do them every day and you'll be yoga tight in no time at all

 #2 How Long to Hold
Yoga is all about holding poses. The longer you hold, the harder your muscles work. But it can take a while to build up stamina. The best way to count time in yoga is to breathe. While you hold your poses, inhale for three seconds, then exhale for three seconds. To start, try to hold your poses for just one measured breath.
When that's easy as pie, you can start working up to two breathing cycles and so on until you're holding for the designated amount of time. Remember not to push too hard to fast. Yoga is about building strength slowly.

 #3 Downward Facing Dog
Start by laying flat on your stomach. Next, move your hands to either side of your breast bones lie you're going to do a push up. Tuck your toes so that you're on the balls of your feet. Now push up with your arms to lift yourself off of the floor. Once you're up, lift your rear and straighten your legs until you're in an upside down "v" shape.

Now it's time to stretch. Take turns pushing each heel toward the floor as you exhale. It may take a while before you can get both feet flat. As you inhale, lengthen your back. Push your hips back and your chest toward the floor while keeping your palms flat. Hold this way for one minute.

#4 Plank Pose
Get down on your hands and the balls of your feet like you would at the top of a push up. Hold your back straight. Tuck your tail bone in and press your shoulders down. 
Hold this pose while you breathe. Periodically, check your body positioning. Make sure that your hands are underneath your shoulders. Are your heels close together? Keep your neck relaxed and level with your spine. Hold this pose for one minute.

 #5 Chaturanga
Move into Chaturanga from Plank Pose. As you exhale, bend your arms at the elbow to lower yourself.Hold in this position and continue breathing. As you inhale and exhale, check your position. Are your arms close to your body? Push your shoulder blades down and out to strengthen your support. Tighten your abs by pulling your stomach in toward your navel.
Keep your neck soft. Keep your head down and gaze softly at a spot on the floor directly in front of you. Work up to holding this pose for 30 seconds.

 #6 Upward Facing Dog
Start this pose in Chaturanga. Exhale and untuck your toes so that the tops of your feet are flat on the floor. Inhale and straighten your arms to lift you up. Arch your back and push your chest forward. Push on the ground with the tops of your feet to lift your legs off of the ground.
As you slowly breathe in and out, check your position. Keep your abs pulled in. Don't clinch your buttocks. Keep your neck soft. Look ahead of you and slightly upward. Hold this pose for up to 30 seconds.

 #7 Warrior One
Stand up straight with your right foot pointed straight in front of you. Move your left leg behind you. Point your left foot to the left at a 45 to 90 degree angle to your front foot. Bend your right knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Raise your arms and put your palms together. Stretch your arms up and back. Arch your back.
Hold the pose for up to 30 seconds. Then, switch sides and repeat the pose.

 #8 Warrior Two
Start this position from Warrior One's foot and leg positions. Point your front foot forward, slide your back foot out to an angle and bend your thigh parallel to the floor. Now, turn your torso to the side. Spread your arms out and hold them parallel to the floor. Turn your palms so that they face the floor. Turn your head forward.
Hold this position for up to 30 seconds. Then switch sides.

 #9 Triangle Pose
Now straighten your bent leg as you inhale. Exhale and bend at the waist until your fingertips touch the floor by the outside edge of your foot. Stretch your other arm up and reach toward the ceiling with your fingertips. As you hold, check to make sure that your two arms make a straight line that is perpendicular to the floor. Hold for up to 30 seconds.
Now straighten your upper body to stand up straight. Switch your feet's position and repeat the pose on the other side.

 #10 Tree Pose

Stand straight with your feet together. Bend your left knee to lift your leg. Now place the sole of your left foot on your right leg -- above or below the knee, wherever you're comfortable. Press your left foot into your right leg to keep it in place. Spread the toes on your right leg to give you better balance.
Once you can balance in this position, lift your arms above your head and press your palms together. Hold the position for up to 30 seconds. Then switch sides. Eventually you won't need to lift your leg to put it into position.

 #11 Shoulder Stand
Lie down on your back with your arms by your sides. Exhale and lift your legs and back toward the ceiling. Place your palms on your back for support. Work to stretch your legs toward the ceiling. Point your toes and straighten your legs. As you breathe in and out, roll your shoulder blades in toward each other. They will help support you.
Hold the pose for up to 30 seconds.

#12 Boat Pose
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your soles flat on the floor. Grab the backs of your thighs just under your knees. Lean your torso back and lift your knees off of the floor. Straighten your legs from the knee as best as you can. Keep your feet pressed together. Use your muscles to hold your position, not your grip on your thighs.
Once you can hold this position, release your hands. Stretch them out in front of you and hold them parallel to your legs. Hold the pose for up to 30 seconds.


#13 Reverse Boat Pose
Lie on your stomach with your chin on the floor and your arms stretched out in front of you. Exhale and lift your arms and legs while pressing your stomach into the floor. When you inhale, work to get your arms and legs higher. Repeat the cycle of holding and breathing for 30 seconds. Then release the pose by lowering your limbs.
Don't worry if you can't get your arms and legs very high on the first time -- in this or any other pose. Push gently against your limits each time you try the position. Eventually you'll get stronger.

#14 Bridge
Lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet close to your buttocks, hip-width apart. Lift our buttocks off of the floor. Clasp your arms underneath your buttocks with your arms straight. Move your shoulders in closer together. Press your shoulders into the floor. 
Now raise everything between your knees and shoulders. Continually push your hips, thighs and chest upward. Rest your weight on your shoulders and feet. 
Hold the position for 30 seconds while breathing slowly and evenly. Once you're done, slowly lower one vertebra at a time. Release your arms.

#15 Corpse Pose
Lie flat on your back and close your eyes. Exhale while you consciously relax each of your muscles. Continue to breathe in and out slowly. Do a tension check in your forehead, face, neck, shoulders and all the way down to your toes. Relax where you need to.
This relaxation poses allows your muscles to build on the memory of your practice. It helps to center your mind and keep you strong for your next session! Hold for at least 2 minutes or as long as you would like.


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