Firm your belly with these yoga poses.
Just about all yoga moves, from standing postures to inversions, require you to engage your abdominal muscles. However, some poses make them work harder than others. If you’re after toned abs this 2019, incorporate these key poses – most of which are beginner-friendly – into your yoga routine. A strong and stable core takes pressure off your back, reducing back pain. Plus, your spine will be more aligned and your posture will improve.
(Also read: 7 Tips For Women Doing Yoga For The First Time)
Stand at the top of your mat. Inhale, stretch your arms overhead. Exhale, bend your knees and touch the mat with your fingertips. Keep your hips at this height. Inhale, lift your arms overhead. Exhale, pull your belly in. Look down and make sure that your knees are not over your toes. Stay for five breaths.
Scale it up: Move into Revolved Chair Pose. Place your hands in prayer. Inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale, twist and hook your left elbow over your right thigh. Hold for five breaths. Inhale, untwist back to Chair Pose. Repeat on the other side.
Start in a table top position, with your shoulders above your wrists and your hips above your knees. Tuck your toes in. Inhale, extend your right arm forward, keeping it at shoulder height, and extend your left leg back, toes pointing down. Exhale, bend your right elbow and left knee and draw them in towards each other. Round your back like in cat pose and pull your belly in. Repeat five to 10 times. Switch sides.
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Start in a table top position. Step your feet back, bringing your heels above your toes. Push the ground away with your hands while toning your belly and keeping your body straight. Stay for five breaths.
Scale it up: Move into Forearm Plank by lowering your right forearm onto the mat, followed by your left forearm. Keep your shoulders above your elbows. Hold for five breaths before coming back up to High Plank.
(Also read: 6 Plank Variations That Will Give You 6 Pack Abs)
Start in High Plank. On an exhale, lean forward and lower your chest towards the mat while keeping your body parallel to the ground. Broaden your collarbone, hug your elbows in and tone your belly. Hold for at least one breath before pushing back up to High Plank.
Scale it down: Place knees down onto the mat.
Sit down on your mat. Place your hands next to your hips. Bend your knees and lift your shins till they are parallel to the mat. Inhale, press down on your finger pads to lengthen your spine. Exhale, pull your belly in as you straighten your legs and reach your hands forward. Stay for five breaths.
Scale it down: Keep your knees bent and your shins parallel to the mat.
Scale it up: Move into Low Boat Pose by lowering your middle back (keep your head and shoulders off the mat) and legs (your feet should be six inches from the ground). Hold for at least one breath before coming back up to Boat Pose.
(Also read: 7 Best Yoga Poses to Do During Your Period)
Lie down on your mat. Bring your right arm under your left. Cross your right leg over your left and hook the right foot behind the left shin. Inhale, place your left big toe onto the mat and lift your arms away from your face. Exhale, crunch in, bringing your right elbow to the right knee. Repeat five to 10 times. Switch sides.
L-Shaped Handstand Against Wall
Sit on your mat with your feet flat up against the wall. Place your hands next to your hips. Take note of where you place your hands. Flip over into a table top position and place your hands in the same position on the mat. Lift your hips and come into a short Downward Facing Dog with your heels against the wall. Push down on your hands and walk your feet up onto the wall till your legs are parallel to the ground. Pull in your belly. Stay for five breaths.
Scale it up: Lift your right leg up towards the ceiling and hold for five breaths. Switch sides.
Zarelda Marie Goh is a certified alignment-based hatha yoga teacher based in Perth, Australia.
(Also read: Do These 4 Yoga Poses to Feel Happier Instantly)