There has been no secret that yoga is a powerful tool to boost your physical and mental health. Yoga has been a proven remedy for stress, anxiety, and improving sleep quality for ages. But did you know that those slow back and forth movements can pack a serious punch on the whole body in terms of toning and strengthening? Let’s discuss how yoga can make you lean and strong.
Can yoga tone your body?
When it comes to getting lean and toned, losing weight is the key. When you begin to practice yoga poses for weight loss simultaneously it improves your flexibility, tones muscles, and strengthens them. Yoga for women is especially beneficial as it will give them that lean yet strong body.
Yoga poses lengthen and strengthen your muscles group at the same time. You have to hold and repeat certain yoga poses which lengthen your muscle fibers and connective tissues. The added resistance that occurs via holding a pose creates tension that gives you a lean look and strengthens your body.
10 best yoga poses for women to get lean and strong
Consider these 10 women yoga poses as your guide to getting that lean yet strong body:
1. Four limb staff pose
It is also known as Chaturanga Dandasana and is one of the best fat burn yoga poses. This killer yoga pose tones your abs, shoulder, and arms muscles.
- To practice this yoga pose, starts with a plank pose with your wrist underneath your shoulder. Take a deep breath and scoot over your shoulder so that your shoulder comes a little forward than your fingers.
- As you exhale squeeze your biceps and elbows in your body and lower your shoulder till your shoulder comes at the height of your elbows and your body comes in a straight line.
- Engage your abs muscle and squeeze your butt to stay in the line. Try to stay in the pose according to your comfort and then release.
2. Bridge pose
- This is an excellent yoga pose for weight loss and also very easy to perform. It strengthens and slims down your back, muscles, and glutes and improves the functioning of the thyroid gland.
- Lie down on your yoga mat and keep your arms on either side of the body.
- Bend your knees, keeping them hip-width apart and parallel to each other. Bring your feet closer to the hips until you can touch them with your fingertips.
- As you inhale, start lifting your hips and do not stop until you lift your back off the floor.
- Interlace your finger underneath your back for a deeper backbend and widen your chest.
- Stay in the pose for 3 to 4 breaths and then release on exhalation.
3. Chair pose
- It is also known as Utkatasana and the ultimate yoga pose to slim down your entire lower body, especially your quad muscles.
- Stand tall in a mountain pose keeping a slight distance between your feet. Take a big inhale and stretch your arm in front of you with your palm facing down.
- As you exhale slowly lower down evenly like a squat like you are sitting on an imaginary chair. Shift your weight on your heels and keep your gaze forward and relax your shoulder. Hold the pose for at least 5 to 8 breaths and slowly unravel.
4. Downward-facing dog
- Downward dog pose is a great yoga pose to tone and strengthen your arms muscles. It also slims down your calves, hamstring, and shoulder muscles and is a great yoga pose to increase height.
- To practice this, start with a plank pose. Now lift your hips towards the ceiling while keeping your heels pressed onto the floor, until your body makes an inverted “V”.
- Draw your chest towards your thighs to create a flat back look and press your ear away from your shoulder. Spread your fingers wide on the yoga mat to avoid any strain on your wrist. Hold the pose as long as you are comfortable and then gently unwind.
5. Bow pose
- It helps in losing belly fat by massaging internal organs and improving digestion. It tones and strengthens your chest, thigh, and back muscles. It also improves your blood circulation, hence a great yoga pose for health.
- Lie down on your belly and keep your arms alongside. Bend your knees and bring your arms backward and grab your ankles.
- Inhale and bring your legs towards the back and simultaneously lift your chest off the mat.
- Keep your gaze straight and stay in the pose while breathing. Gently release from the pose.Boat pose
6. Boat pose
- It is an excellent pose to tone your core muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps, back, and neck muscles.
- Sit straight with your knees bend and feet firmly on the mat. Grab you’re your legs underneath your thighs and lean a little bit backward.
- Lift your legs off the mat and keep them straight as much as you can and release your arms and stretch out in front of you. Hold this pose for three to five breaths and release.
7. Shoulder stand
- Shoulder stand strengthens the upper body, legs, boosts metabolism, and regulates thyroid levels. It nourishes the brain and boosts many cognitive functions; hence it is a brain booster yoga pose.
- Lie down on the yoga mat, keeping your knees bent and arms resting along the sides.
- Now lift your legs, hips, and back onto the mat and keep lifting until you come high on the shoulder.
- Straighten your legs and move your hand along your back to support it. Keep breathing and then gently unfold after 30 seconds.
8. Warrior pose
- It tones your back, legs, and arms muscles along with improving your balance.
- Stand tall in a mountain pose and then widen your legs 3 to 4 feet apart. Turn your right foot forward and left foot out to the side.
- Bend over your right feet till you make a 90-degree angle with your right knees. Keep your left foot firmly pressed on the mat and raise your arms over the head with your palms in a Namaste mudra.
- Stay in the pose for a good 30 seconds and then switch to another leg
9. Reverse boat pose
- It strengthens your lower back, shoulder, and thighs muscles. It relieves you from gastric troubles and flatulence.
- Lie down on your belly with your face down and arms stretched in front of you.
- As you inhale, raise your arms and legs simultaneously, keeping your lower belly firmly pressed against the mat.
- Stay in the pose and breathe. Gently wind up from the pose
10. Tree pose
- It strengthens as well as tones your thighs, shins, calves, and ankles, and stretches your inner thighs, chest, and shoulder muscles.
- Stand tall in a mountain pose and wrap your fingers around your left knee and bring it close to the chest. Grab your left ankle and rest the heel of the left leg on the right inner thigh or above the knees.
- Bring your hands in Namaste near your heart. Stay in the pose for 30 to 50 seconds and switch to another leg.