Yoga Postures For Abs

In response to the many people looking to strengthen their abs, we have this to say: Remember, each time you take a complete breath, you're toning the muscles of the abdomen.

In addition, there's an incredible amount of ab work within the Yoga program – doing all those asanas through require grace and control in the center of the body so you get a sense of lightness. A large part of Yoga practice – particularly the primary series –

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is detoxifying and ridding the body of waste material. A common place that tends to get stored is in the guts.

Asanas for Abs

Once it is clear that Yoga practices center on energetics and unification – rather than getting something exactly right muscularly – some instructors tend to suggest specific asanas for abdominal development. We recommend working the abdominal region in many different directions, such as Surya Namaskar.

This series contracts the abs in forward bends, such as Uttanasana and lengthens them in backbends, such as Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. We also suggest doing Hanumanasana and Mayurasana, because they both build and require strong, supple abdominal muscles. Likewise, Navasana and Nauli (abdominal churning), help build strong, powerful abs.

Since weak abdominals and damaged lower backs are common in this day and age, we encourage students to perform ab exercises daily to help stay injury-free. Core strength is crucial to every pose – and absolutely mandatory for doing advanced 'gravity surfing' postures and series. For instance, moving through a series of Handstand variations or doing arm balances such as Eka Pada Bakasana, Tittibhasana, and Astavakrasana. Plus, building core strength and awareness in the abdominals can translate to feeling centered and strong in daily life.

We recommend at least 15 minutes of abdominal strengtheners in every Yoga session. At first, students tend to really hate doing abdominal work, since it's a painful area that many find hard to access. However, after a while, they feel it is really good to wake up and cleanse the insides.

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