Yoga is one of the few exercises you can do that works out your entire body all at once. Often when people start an exercise regime, they are looking to target a specific area: legs, arms, stomach or bum. Unfortunately, for the most part, fat reduction doesn’t happen in a specific area. Instead it is usually a slow process that sheds weight off everywhere, a little at a time. Sometimes people have certain places they lose fat from first, but you can’t choose it. Thankfully, this is where yoga can come in to play early in your fitness regime: yoga helps tone and lengthen your muscles, making your body seem leaner and tighter. Ensuring you have a full yoga workout is essential for creating the body you have always wanted.
As with any exercise, you need to start yoga with some kind of warm up. This allows oxygenated air to flow into your lungs and floods your muscles with oxygen. In yoga there are a few poses that are used often during the warm up: cat pose, tree pose, sun salutation and downward dog. Alternatively, if you’re new to yoga or just looking for another way to warm up, you should consider going for a brisk walk or run prior to your yoga. That will ensure your heart rate is high and your body is ready for a full yoga workout.
Plank – is a very versatile pose, because it really works out your arms, core, legs and bum. When you first start this exercise, you will be able to hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds. As you continue to practice it you will see both dramatic improvements in the time you can hold and your body’s appearance.
Three-legged downward dog – this is an upgrade of downward dog: raising the leg throws your balance off and forces your abs to tighten. While your arms are partially supporting your weight, your raised leg is getting longer and leaner.
Side plank – similar to plank, side plank works your entire body while pulling your waist in tighter. The angle of your body ensures that there is not too much weight on your arm, while still providing a great workout.
Intense east pose – with your back arched, you are stretching and lengthening your arms and shoulders. In this pose you will feel your abs tightening as you try to maintain your balance, especially when you exhale.
Bookending these four full body yoga poses with a great warm up and warm down (you can use the same poses as the warm up) will ensure that you have an enjoyable full yoga workout.