EAGLE POSE (GARUDASANA)
Benefits: Strengthens the arms, legs, knees and ankles.To enter eagle pose, you must first enter the chair pose, which we mastered last month (A). From here, with both legs bent and your arms in the air, shift your weight onto your right foot and lift your left foot off the ground. Bring your left thigh over your right thigh and hook your left foot around your right calf.Once you feel comfortable that you can hold this position,move your arms so they’re straight out in front of you, then place your right arm over your left arm. Bend your arms at the elbows and bring them up to shoulder height (B). Keep your spine straight as you hold this pose for 30 seconds to one minute, depending on what your balance allows! Focusing On your breath should help you to hold the pose for longer.Finish in mountain pose.
The Best Yoga Poses to Tone Your Body Photo Gallery
CRESCENT LUNGE POSE WITH TWIST (ANJANEYASANA)
Benefits: Tones the muscles in the thighs, hips and glutes.Begin in downward dog pose (A, see last month’s instructions)before bringing your left leg high towards the sky, then stepping forwards between your hands. Your right leg is straight out behind you. Bring your hands off the floor and place them on your hips. Adjust your stance if necessary to feel balanced.Bring your hands to prayer position in front of your chest, then gently twist, so your right elbow meets the outside of your left knee. Your left elbow will be pointed up towards the ceiling.Focus your gaze upwards as you twist your body deeper into this pose, and hold for one minute (B). Next, return to the centre and repeat on the other leg. Return to mountain pose to finish.
SEATED FORWARD BEND (PASCHIMOTTANASANA)
Benefits: Helps to stretch your body out, especially the spine,shoulders, lower back and hamstrings.From boat pose, flow seamlessly into seated forward bend (A).Bring your legs to lie flat on the floor in front of you with your upper body upright. Stretch through your heels and bend your knees ever so slightly, then reach your arms up overhead to lengthen the spine as you bend forward at the hips. Bring your torso forwards to lie as flat as possible on your legs and bring your hands forward to hold onto your ankles – or as close as you can get to them (B). Hold your body in this position for one minute, folding ever so slightly deeper with each breath if possible. After one minute, release to a neutral position,rest for a moment, then repeat.
UPWARD PLANK POSE (PURVOTTANASANA)
Benefits: The muscles in your wrists, arms, legs, glutes and upper back will all get a workout from holding this pose, while your shoulder and chest muscles stretch.From seated forward bend, bring your torso back to an upright sitting position, with your legs straight out in front of you. Bring Your hands to rest on the floor just behind your hips, pointing your fingers in the same direction as your legs. Draw your shoulder blades back as you lift your chest up. Raise your hips and chest off the floor. Keep your back and legs straight. Allow Your head to drop backwards gently (see illustration, above).Hold this pose for 30 seconds, ensuring you keep your body imposition. After 30 seconds, release to a neutral position, rest fora moment, then repeat. End in a seated position on your mat.
HERON POSE (KROUNCHASANA)
Benefits: Stretches glutes and hamstrings, lengthens quads.Sit with a straight back and legs extended straight out in front of you on the floor. Bring your right leg back so your right shin rests on the floor with the heel of your right foot resting by yourhip (A). Your thighs should be parallel to each other. Bend your left knee so your left foot is just in front of you. Grip either side of this foot with each hand and slowly extend the leg straight out and up as far as you can as you engage your core and leanback slightly with your spine long and chest open (B). Hold for up to a minute. Lift your chest higher with each deep breath in.Release back to the start, rest; repeat on the other leg.
GARLAND POSE (MALASANA)
Benefits: Tones the ankle and abdominal muscles, plus gives the back and the torso a good stretch.To get into this pose, simply enter the squat position with your feet as close together as is comfortably possible. Your heels should remain on the floor. With your thighs positioned slightly wider than your torso, lean your upper body forwards gently and press your elbows into the inner parts of your knees as you bring your hands together in prayer position, as pictured above.Hold yourself here for one minute, breathing deeply in and out,before releasing up into tadasana. Rest for a moment; repeat. Repeat the whole sequence so you do it twice through.
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