Yoga is often thought of as a relaxation/stretching exercise but it can also be very helpful in gaining muscle strength. The following yoga poses have benefits such as building muscular strength, fat loss, improved metabolism and bone density. Yoga can be just as effective as lifting weights when it comes building a stronger more toned physique. Perform the following poses and hold for at least 5 long slow breaths. Repeat each exercise 5 times.
Strengthens and stretches your legs, ankles and feet. Stretches your hips, groins and shoulders. Opens your chest and lungs. Builds stamina and concentration. Energizes tired limbs. Stimulates your abdominal organs. Helps relieve backaches, especially through your 2nd trimester. Develops balance and stability. Improves circulation and respiration. Therapeutic for flat fleet, sciatica, osteoporosis, carpal tunnel and infertility.
Stand with the feet at least 4 to 4.5 feet apart, the front toes point forward with the back foot on a slight angle, the feet aligned heel to heel distance. Stack the front knee right above the front ankle, with the front thigh parallel to the floor. Stretch the arms away from the body and look over and past the hand in front of you. Do not lean the torso forward.
Strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine. Stretches shoulders and chest. Stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm, and heart and reduces flat feet.
Bend your knees and try to make your thighs as close to parallel to the floor as possible. Make your big toes touch with your heels about 3 inches apart. Raise your arms, palms facing towards each other and try to have your arms next to your ears. Squeeze your should blades together as though your hugging your spine. Put most of your weight in your heels.
Develops concentration and balance. Tones and stretches the leg and hip muscles. Stretches the hip flexors. Strengthens the arch in the standing foot. Develops range of motion in the shoulders. Expands the chest and front body. Strengthens the back body in a back bend.
Keep your torso upright and reach back to grasp the inside of your ankle. Push your foot hard into your hand to keep the leg muscles active. Allow a natural curve in your lower back. Keep your standing leg straight and the muscles active.
Strengthens and stretches the quads, hip flexor and arms.
Starting in a lunge position raise your arms overhead with your palms facing. Allow your lower back to have a natural curve. Squeeze your shoulder blades together to hug your spine and look up towards your thumbs.
Crescent Lunge Twist
Lengthens and stretches the spine. Creates flexibility in the rib cage. Stimulates the internal abdominal organs and kidneys.
From crescent lunge with prayer hands slowly twist the spine to one side. Press your elbow on the outside of your knee. Stack your shoulders and look up if towards the ceiling. Inhale and lengthen the spine, exhale and twist deeper.