When we think of yoga, we often think about deep breathing, stretching and that lovely part at the end where you close your eyes and and meditate (ahh blissful).
We often don’t consider it to be a form of exercise that promotes weight loss and/or toning. Seems however that that preconception is completely incorrect. Yoga, especially the more dynamic forms, can be an excellent way to lose baby weight and build tone.
If you can’t get to a yoga class, there are plenty of easy postures you can try at home.
The ones we’ve chosen specifically target your bottom and thighs, creating that light burning sensation that we all know means our muscles are working hard. The best bit? You don’t need any extra equipment and you can work through this sequence in less than 15 minutes.
4 Easy YOGA moves to do at home
1. Elevated Wide Squat
From a standing position, step your right foot out to the right, turn your toes out, sink your hips, and bend your knees until they are directly over your ankles (similar to a ballet plie). Then come up high onto the balls of your feet, lift your arms, and stay here for five deep breaths. Repeat 3-5 times and feel the burn.
Lying on your back, bend your knees and place your feet on the ground hip-width apart with your arms on either side of you. Pressing into your feet, lengthen through your tailbone and lift your hips. Interlace your hands together underneath you, and, if it feels good, wiggle your shoulders closer together one at a time. Stay here for five deep breaths. For an extra challenge, lift your right leg toward the ceiling, stay for five deep breaths and then repeat for five breaths with your left leg lifted. Repeat 3-5 times.
3. Chair pose
Stand with your feet together, big toes touching. Inhale your arms up into the sky and reach upwards, palms facing towards each other. Exhale and bend your knees, sinking your bottom down towards the ground. Inhale to squeeze your thighs together (imagine a squeezing a squishy plastic ball between your knees) and lengthen the tailbone down, exhale to scoop the belly in. Hold for 5 deep breaths then release. Repeat 3 -5 times.
Lie on your stomach with your toes pointed on the ground. Simultaneously lift both your arms and legs off the ground. Your palms should be facing in, head up, and legs straight. Squeeze your butt muscles by lifting the legs (without bending them) as far up as possible. Hold for 20-30 seconds before relaxing. Repeat 3-5 times.