Learn Yoga to Tone Up

Edited by HealthNut, Eng, VisiHow, Doug Collins

As well as be an improvement to balance and flexibility, yoga can also be considered a workout! Many yoga poses focus on strength building, and they are great for toning up troublesome areas with just your own body weight. Unlike some other forms of exercise, yoga poses that build muscle usually go hand-in-hand with poses and positions that improve your alignment, so you're always doing more than just toning. Not to mention the spiritual side of yoga and yoga practice, which can help to prepare you or relax you for your day.

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Try and hold each pose for about 5-10 breaths but be careful not to overexert yourself. You should be able to get out of each pose slowly and elegantly, rather than collapse out of them. Be patient, as it can take time to build up muscle and stamina; but you'll be surprised just how quickly you can improve.

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Click the titles for step-by-step instructions for how to do each pose!

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What equipment will you need to get started?

  • A yoga mat.
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  • Some stretchy yoga trousers or leggings.
  • A comfortable t-shirt or vest top to allow maximum movement or comfort.
  • A yoga block or bolster.
  • A yoga strap.
  • A thick towel or blanket.

6 Yoga Poses to Tone Your Body Fast

  1. 1
    Plank -- Phalakasana
    Although Plank, or Phalakasana, is considered an arm-balance pose, it's perfect for strengthening and toning your core as well. Plank is a foundation pose, which will come in use to you when you practice more complicated positions. This pose is great for people who tend to slouch or who work often at desks, as it strengthens and lengthens the spine and neck, improving posture when practiced regularly over time. From Plank, you can easily transition to Downward-Facing Dog, or Chaturanga; although be cautious if you have stomach or digestions problems or if you're pregnant.
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  2. 2
    Four-Limbed Staff Pose - Chaturanga Dandasana
    Commonly known as Chaturanga, this pose is probably the best and most intense for toning your arms and core. Often used as a transitioning position between Downward-Facing Dog and Cobra, or Upward-Facing Dog, Chaturanga allows for a Vinyasa and subtle strength building in the midst of your practice. The Four-Limbed Staff pose can be very challenging; so, do not be deterred or tempted to overexert yourself if you find it difficult. Instead, try the next pose...
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  3. 3
    Hovering Cat
    The Hovering Cat is a popular pose for those who are aiming to build strength in their arms and core or who are working towards a full Chaturanga Dandasana. It is important that form and weight distribution is even, that the shoulders are directly above wrists, and the hips are directly above the knees. Slight misalignment could twist your spine and cause back ache.
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  4. 4
    Upward-Facing Dog -- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
    As the inverse of everyone's favourite Downward-Facing Dog, Upward-Facing Dog stretches the spine the opposite way, lengthening through the neck. This pose is especially good for toning the arms, glutes, and thighs as well as for helping to aid alleviating back pain and improving balance. It can be a challenging pose at first; so, by all means use a towel or thick blanket to support your thighs if you need. This pose is not recommended if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or if you are pregnant, but it can be really effective if you have digestion issues.
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  5. 5
    Boat Pose -- Navasana
    Navasana perfectly targets the abdomen and thighs and can easily be incorporated into your practice just before your cooldown. You can also add more aerobic aspects to the move by bending and extending the arms and legs or by pulsing the pose. Be careful not to bend your spine or not to put too much pressure on your neck. Good form is vital for the Boat Pose. You may have to avoid this pose if you have abdominal problems such as constipation or menstrual cramps and also if you are pregnant or have low blood pressure.
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  6. 6
    Bridge Pose -- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
    The Bridge Pose, also known as Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, mostly targets the glutes while stretching and lengthening the spine. You can intensify your practice by squeezing a yoga block or bolster between your knees, as keeping your knees pressed together is key to working the muscle. Another way to deepen the pose is by coming onto your tiptoes, which engages more muscles. You can experiment with widening and narrowing the knees or by using pulsing motions and squeezes at the top of the pose to bring a more aerobic aspect to your practice.
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Do you have a favorite yoga pose we've left off the list? Let us know, and we'll add it. Send in your own photos, and we'll even feature you in one of our articles!

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Categories : Sports

Recent edits by: VisiHow, Eng, HealthNut

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