The journal of sexual medicine, , Apr. Plus, striking an impressive asana yoga lingo for pose looks ridiculously cool. The only problem? Sometimes it sounds like our yoga teacher is speaking in a different language, which makes it slightly difficult to follow along. To help everyone from yoga newbies to experienced practitioners, we went to Chrissy Carter , a YogaWorks -certified yoga instructor, to help put together a definitive guide to yoga poses.
Discount applies at checkout. Valid through July 11, How to do it: Stand with feet together. Ground down evenly through feet and lift up through the crown of your head.
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Lift your thighs. Lengthen up through all four sides of your waist, elongating spine. Breathe easy. It promotes balance and directs your attention to the present moment. How to do it: Start in mountain pose. Raise arms and reach up through fingers. Sit back and down as if sitting into a chair. Shift weight toward heels, and lengthen up through torso.
How to do it: Place hands on the back of a chair with palms shoulder-distance apart. Step feet back until they align under hips, creating a right angle with your body, spine parallel with the floor. Ground through feet and lift through thighs. Reach hips away from hands to lengthen the sides of your torso. Firm your outer arms in and lengthen through the crown of your head. The benefits: Downward facing dog is the bread and butter of yoga, but it can be challenging for beginners.
This modification shares the same benefits as the classic pose—stretching the hamstrings, opening the shoulders, and creating length in the spine—without all the weight on your upper body. Tuck toes and lift hips up and back to lengthen your spine. Press into your hands, firm your outer arms, and reach your upper thighs back toward the wall behind you. The benefits: This classic pose opens your shoulders, lengthens your spine, and stretches your hamstrings.
Since your head is below your heart, the mild inversion creates a calming effect. Turn left foot in slightly, and turn right foot out 90 degrees to the side. Line up front heel with the arch of your back foot. Bend front knee to degree angle, tracking the knee with the second toe to protect the knee joint. Stretch through your straight back leg and ground down into back foot. Reach arms out to shoulder height, shoulder blades down and palms wide, and gaze over the front fingers.
Tougher than it looks, it also strengthens your legs and ankles and increases stamina. How to do it: Stand with feet wide apart. Turn left toes in slightly and rotate right thigh open until right toes point directly to the side. Keeping both legs straight, ground through your feet and pull your thighs up. Spread arms wide at shoulder height, roll your front thigh open and hinge at the front hip. Lengthen your spine toward the front foot and release bottom palm to the front ankle, a yoga block placed outside the front ankle , or the seat of a chair. The benefits: While this pose can be challenging for inflexible people, it will help promote balance, stretch the hamstrings and inner thighs, and create a feeling of expansion in the body.
Bend one knee, using hand to bring foot into upper inner thigh. If this feels difficult, bring the foot to the shin below the knee, or use the wall for balance. Press into your standing foot, and lengthen up through the crown of your head. The benefits: This pose helps improve concentration and your ability to balance by strengthening the arches of the feet and the outer hips.
How to do it: Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms at sides. Keep feet parallel and hip-width apart, heels stacked under knees. Roll upper arms open to expand chest. Ground through outer upper arms, root down into heels, and reach knees forward to lift the hips off the floor.
Shimmy your shoulders under your chest and interlace your fingers. Hold onto the sides of your yoga mat to create more space if your shoulders are tight.
The benefits: This energizing backbend opens your chest and stretches your neck and spine. It can calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and help improve digestion. How to do it: Sitting on the floor, bend knees and open them wide like a book. Join the soles of your feet together while sitting upright. Place fingertips on the floor directly behind you and lengthen up through the entire spine.
You can also hold onto ankles and hinge forward at hips. Sit up on blankets if inner thighs are tight.
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How to do it: Lie faceup, separating legs and letting feet splay apart. Place arms along sides, palms facing up. Close eyes and relax. Every yoga class includes a savasana, which relaxes the whole body and gives you space to absorb the benefits of the practice. How to do it: Start in downward facing dog. Shift forward so your shoulders are stacked over wrists. Reach heels back as you lengthen the crown of your head forward. Ground down into hands, pull up through arms, and spread collarbones away from the sternum.
Lift the front of your body up to support the pose. The benefits: Considered one of the best moves for core strength, plank pose strengthens your abdominals and promotes stability. How to do it: From plank pose, shift forward slightly. Bend elbows to a degree angle with upper arms parallel to floor. Ground through palms and spread collarbones wide.
Lift shoulders away from the floor as you pull your front ribs into the spine. Lift upper thighs toward the ceiling as you reach your tailbone toward your heels. Gaze forward. It promotes core stability and strengthens your abdominals and triceps. How to do it: Lie facedown on the floor.
Bend elbows and place hands on the mat in line with lower ribs. Reach back through your legs, and pull yourself forward and up to straight arms. Lift thighs and knees away from the floor, spread chest wide, and lift breastbone up. This pose appears after chaturanga in a classic sun salutation. How to do it: Start in triangle pose. Bend front knee, tracking it with your second toe. Step back foot in and walk bottom hand approximately 12 inches in front of you. Line up thumb with pinky toe.
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Shift your weight into front foot and lift back foot off the ground. Reach back leg strongly toward the wall behind you, then raise up top arm. To challenge your balance, rotate your chest up toward the ceiling and gaze up at your top hand. The benefits: This balancing pose strengthens your legs and outer hips, stretches your hamstrings and inner thighs, and promotes concentration. Step one foot forward between your hands. Turn back foot out approximately 45 degrees and ground into back foot. Line up heel to heel, or slightly wider. Bend front knee over front ankle while you stretch through straight back leg.
On an inhale, lift torso and arms up to the ceiling. The benefits: This energizing pose strengthens your legs, arms, and back muscles. It also gives your chest, shoulders, neck, thighs, and ankles a nice stretch. How to do it: From warrior I, hinge forward at the hips and rest your abdomen on your front thigh, arms alongside ears. Step back foot in and shift your weight into your front foot. Lift back thigh up and reach through back heel.
Spin inner back thigh up to the ceiling. Press palms together and gaze forward at hands. To modify, take arms alongside hips, or place hands on the floor or on blocks under shoulders.
The benefits: This heating pose strengthens your legs, outer hips, and upper back. It also helps improve balance and posture. Step left foot back and place it flat on the floor at an approximately degree angle. Ground down into both feet and lift up through both thighs. Lift arms up to shoulder height. Turn arms in slightly and join the palms to touch behind upper back. To modify for tight shoulders, join fists to touch, grab opposite elbows, or place hands on the hips. Hinge forward at your hips and lengthen spine over front leg. Lift shoulders away from the floor and spread chest wide.
The benefits: The pose helps calm the mind and stretches your spine, shoulders, wrists, hips, and hamstrings. How to do it: Come to your forearms and interlace fingers, keeping elbows shoulder-width apart. Tuck toes, lift knees off the floor, and reach hips up and back. Allow head to hang off the floor. Ground down into forearms and lift shoulders away from the floor. The benefits: This pose helps build strength in your upper body in preparation for headstand and forearmstand. It can also help calm your mind and relieve stress. How to do it: Lie facedown, then lift chest, arms, and legs off the floor.
Bend knees and reach back to grab outer ankles. Lift toes toward the ceiling, spin inner thighs in the same direction, and lengthen tailbone toward the backs of your knees. Spread and lift chest. The benefits: This backbend stretches the whole front of the body, especially the chest and the fronts of your shoulders.
Even further, if you are really dying for a well shaped hip, try the yoga burn booty challenge. Regularly practicing the Ushtrasana is known to aid in posture improvement as well as strengthening of back muscles. This pose can relieve any menstrual discomfort or mild cases of back pain and fatigue. Additionally, it can also aid in blasting away belly fat. People with heart ailments or chronic neck pain should avoid this pose.
Similarly, people with high blood pressure, migraine, or insomnia issues should not perform the Camel Pose. We can easily say that in modern times, Natarajasana has become widely recognized as a yoga move. This asana is a balance pose and is extremely useful when it comes to improving the overall balance physically and even personality-wise of those who regularly practice this asana. In the case of this asana, hip flexors get stretched and stimulated, encouraging activity among the inner as well as outer thigh muscles.
Additionally, this pose also opens up your hips, releasing any energy blockages. Most people can do this asana, even if it may not be perfect on the first try. However, if someone has severe knee or back problems, it is best to refrain from this asana. This is the name of a fierce warrior who was also an incarnation of Shiva.
This pose is well-known for its ability to increase stamina and make the practitioner strong. Additionally, this pose is also known to work on toning the hips as well as thighs, by strengthening the muscles. While this variation of the Warrior pose is useful in toning the legs, it focuses specifically on the inner thighs.
The inner thigh muscles usually get ignored in the course of our daily routine, but this pose helps in stimulating those muscles for totally toned legs. Additionally, this pose is known to aid with relieving back pain, especially the type of back pain that accompanies the second trimester of pregnancy. If you have any chronic neck pain, diarrhea or high blood pressure problems, refrain from performing this pose. Upavishtha Konasana is considered as an excellent preparatory pose for other seated bends and twists that you may perform.
However, when it comes to getting your thighs and hips in shape, there is hardly a more effective asana. Apart from stretching these muscles out, the asana also works on toning the thighs.
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This asana is known to detox the kidney and help in regaining strength and flexibility. Additionally, those with sciatica and arthritis will be helped tremendously with regular practice. If you have a tear or muscle pull in the hamstring or groin region, avoid this asana. Additionally, pregnant women, people with herniated disks and severe spinal problems should refrain from this pose. The Boat Pose is undoubtedly one of the most popular poses when it comes to achieving a flatter belly and toned abdominal muscles. However, it also has a variety of applications when it comes to shaping up the hips and thighs.
It even helps your core muscles develop in a manner that makes your entire structure stronger. The main advantage of Naukasana is geared towards burning belly fat. However, it also aids in eliminating fat deposits from the thigh and hip area. Moreover, it strengthens the muscles of the thighs, glutes, back, shoulders and arms.
For people with a hernia, this asana has many benefits. In case you have diarrhoea or any abdominal discomfort, it is best to stay away from practising this pose. Additionally, menstruating or pregnant women must refrain from this asana. This seated asana is called Head to Knee as the head touches the knee while the pose is in full form.
While it may sound like Janu Sirsasana might be similar to Sirsana, the two yoga asana have nothing in common. Janu Sirsasana has a host of benefits to offer those looking to blast away fat from the hip and thigh region. Janu Sirsasana works increases mobility and flexibility in the thighs and hip joints.