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12 Yoga Exercises for Hips and Thighs
These 12 moves will help you tone, stretch, and strengthen your hips and thighs while bringing your mind to a peaceful state. I have attached a video that will walk you through this routine, but I suggest reading the steps first so that you can determine whether a pose needs a special adjustment for you. Remember that yoga is not meant to be uncomfortable, so make sure each move is bringing your close to a state of calm rather than a state of pain. 1. Chair pose: - Start by standing with your feet together. While inhaling, raise your hands over your head. - Bend your knees slightly and dip into a squat while exhalation. - Remain in this position for 30-60 seconds and come back to the standing position. 2. Dance of the legs: - Lie on your back with closed eyes and raise your left leg straight up as much as you can. Without any straining, your right leg should be still on the floor. - Tighten your abdomen as you exhale, fold your left leg at the knees and press it close to the chest. - Now raise your head to meet the knees of your left leg while remaining in that position for 5-10 seconds. - While putting your head back on the ground, inhale deeply, release the left leg, and repeat the same with right leg. 3. Deep squats: - Stand with both your feet about 12 inches apart and bring the arms in front of you with palms facing the ground. - Now squat down, while you bend down ensure your knees are forming a 90 degrees angle allowing you to dip down in the position. - Get back immediately to standing position while exhaling and repeat again. 4. AnandaBalasana (Happy child pose): - Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest - Lock your thumbs between your big toe on each foot and pull your legs closer to your chest. 5. Warrior pose I (Virabhadrasana I): - Stand straight with your feet apart. Shift your left foot to the side such that there is a three to four feet distance between both the legs. - Keeping your left foot straight; rotate it to your left side entirely where your right foot rotates slightly. - Now spin your torso to your left side making sure your legs are in the same position. - Bend the knee of your left leg; carry your torso forward to the left side where you raise both your hands above your head in a Namaste. 6. Warrior pose II (Virabhadrasana II): - Follow the same steps as warrior pose I. The only variation here is that instead of lifting your hands above your head to form a Namaste, raise it on both sides parallel to the ground. 7. Bridge Pose (SetuBandhasana): - Lie down with your back on the ground with stretched legs and bend your legs at the knees with your feet grounded. - Place your hands by your side with palms facing the ground. - Now lift up your hips off the ground towards the ceiling, letting your hands and feet to be on the ground. - Hold this position by lifting your hands over your head. 8. Three-legged Dog Pose: - Start with the downward dog pose. - Lift your right leg high up in the air supporting yourself on two hands and your left leg. - Hold for five breaths, put your leg down and repeat with the other leg too. 9. BaddhaKonasana (Cobbler’s pose): - Sit on the floor with your knees bent so that both the soles of your feet are facing each other. - Keep your spine elongated ensuring that your posture is straight. - Press the soles of your feet together and hold this pose for a minute. 10. Locust Pose: - Lie down with your belly on the ground and place hands by your side with palms facing the ceiling. - As you inhale, lift up your legs and your upper torso and support yourself on the abdomen. 11. Reverse Warrior or Crescent Moon Pose: - Start off by standing in Warrior II position. - Now gently arch your torso backwards and place your left hand over the back of your left leg. - Raise the right hand over your head and hold for five breaths while repeating with the other side. 12. Standing Hand to Toe: - Stand with your spine straight, feet together and hands on your waist. - Lift your right leg straight up with your left leg’s support. - Hold for a few breaths and repeat with the other leg.
3-Minute Morning Yoga
1. Start in bed, right after you wake. Baddha Konasana is one of my favorites. It helps to open the hips & stretch out all the muscles that we often forget. Bring the bottoms of your feet together & allow your knees to fall out to either side. Back straight, breath slow, you can gently press down on your knees with your palms, or wrap your fingers around your toes, and close your eyes. Stay here for 30 seconds to a minute. 2. Now, rest first on your knees, then sitting to the right side of your heels. Grab hold of your left shin and gently cross your left leg over the top of the right so that your knees are stacked. Your left foot will be by your right hip, and the right foot near the left hip. Rest here for a moment with a straight spine. 3. When you’re ready, switch sides. Sit over to the left side of your heels, and cross your right leg over the left. Untwist yourself and stretch your legs out in front of you. Inhale here, noticing the release of the muscles in your ankles, thighs, and hips. Reach your arms up overhead, straighten your back, and lean forward, reaching first for your knees, then your shins, and maybe even your toes. If it’s available to you, wrap your pointer finger around each big toe. Rest here for 30 seconds to a minute. 4. From here, I like to bring my right heel in near my pelvis and extend the left leg out to the side. I reach up, straighten my spine, and twist my torso over to the right before gently stretching over to reach my left toes. It’s a beautiful way to both stretch & twist the spine and muscles in the back. Stay here for as long as you’d like before switching over to the right side. 5. To end your practice, no matter how long, we bring our palms together & press the inside edges of both to our heart. Breathe in, and out. Savor this moment. Let it melt on your tongue. Then, move forward.
Lose the Love Handles! Yoga Routine
This sequence won't burn away the fat, but once you do some cardio to trim down your tummy, these moves will leave you with awesome abs and a flat belly. 1. Down Dog Come onto the hands and knees with your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into the classic upside-down-V shape called Downward Facing Dog. Spread your fingers wide, and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Breathe deeply for five breaths. 2. Warrior 1 From Down Dog, inhale to step your right foot forward between your hands. Turn your left heel in, press into your feet, and lift your torso up. Raise your arms up, and press your palms together. Draw your shoulder blades down toward your hips, and gaze up toward your hands in Warrior 1. Stay here for five breaths. 3. Warrior 2 From Warrior 1, inhale to open your hips, arms, and chest to the left. Gaze past your right fingertips, keeping your front thigh parallel with the floor. Stay like this in Warrior 2 for five complete breaths. 4. Extended Side Angle From Warrior 2, exhale as you plant your right hand on the floor beside your right foot, and raise your left arm over your ear. Hold Extended Side Angle for five breaths. 5. Sage From Extended Side Angle, release your left palm to the mat in Down Dog position. Grab onto your right big toe with the first two fingers and thumb of your right hand. Inhale to come up onto the ball of the back foot, and roll open to the left, raising your right leg into the air and planting your left heel on the mat. Straighten the leg if you can or keep the knee bent, gazing at your right hand while holding Sage for five deep breaths. 6. Sage Tree From Sage, release your right toes, bend your right knee, and use your right hand to pull your right heel as high up on your inner thigh as possible, so it's in Tree position. Once you're stable, reach your right arm up above you, and if you can, gaze up at your palm. Stay here in Sage Tree for five deep breaths, trying to keep your core strong and the pose steady. 7. Balancing Star From Sage Tree, straighten the right leg into the air. Gaze at your lifted hand, and hold Balancing Star for five breaths. Keeping your core engaged will help you stay balanced. 8. One-Legged Four-Limbed Staff From Balancing Star, keep the right leg lifted, and as you exhale, release your right hand to the mat and bend your elbows behind you, slowly lowering into Four-Limbed Staff. Keep your abs engaged and your body in one straight line with the right leg lifted. If this is too difficult, rest the right knee on the floor. Hold here for five complete breaths. 9. Upward Facing Dog From One-Legged Four-Limbed Staff, release the right foot to the floor and inhale as you scoop the chest forward, coming into Upward Facing Dog. Continue to press equally into the tops of the feet and palms, breathing for five breaths. 10. Clasped Locust From Up Dog, release your belly to the floor. Bring the arms behind your lower back, and clasp your fingers together, pressing the heels of the palms together in a double fist. As you inhale, pull the hands away from you to lift the chest as high as you can, simultaneously raising the feet. Lengthen through the spine by drawing the head away from the toes, holding Clasped Locust for five breaths. 11. Press back into Child's Pose to release the lower back.
Yoga Secrets for Beginners
Hey you! You yoga beginner! I heard you making big statements about how 2015 was going to finally be the year you devote yourself to this practice. So let's get right to it shall we? Before we even think about touching our toes or focusing on breathing, let's make sure we really understand what yoga is: 1. Yoga is not a religion. It is a way of life, a type of exercise, a practice. Yoga is all about moving your body and understanding yourself. It is about bringing the world around and within you into focus. 2. Yoga is not a “push until you drop” practice. There are poses that can be mistaken as sleeping on the floor, the Child's pose is made for complete relaxation. This is not always a practice that will have you out of breath and begging for mercy! 3. This isn't a quick weight loss plan. You first build muscle and are working on your strength so that a few months after you begin you will find your body burning fat like it never has before. Get into yoga for more than just the weight loss benefits. Think of the mental health benefits too! 4. Get a good mat. I started yoga using a beach towel. No good. It completely changes your practice to have a mat that is thick and comfortable but most of all grips well. 5. No one is watching you. Seriously, I used to be so paranoid about how I looked in class, but once you really get involved in yoga you realize it is just you and your mat. Say hi to your neighbors when you get there, and then forget about them until the practice is over. 6. When you wake up “too sore” to go to yoga, go anyway. One of the best things you can do for your soreness is stretch it out. 7. Practice on an empty stomach. A light snack may be good before cardio, but not yoga. You are using the core so much, you want to come to class with an empty stomach and an open mind. 8. Take pictures. I know a lot of you will never post any, and that is totally fine. I have found that when I am down on my practice or get discouraged, I look at old pictures and compare with current ones. It will shock you how far you’ve come so quickly. 9. That moment when you are stretching, it is painful, and you want to give up and get out of the pose, give it one more full breath, breathing into where the pain is. It is a mind over matter game! 10. Have fun. This is your journey. It is never over!
5 Unbelievable Stretches for Tight Hips
Every time you sit down, you're actively shortening the muscles in your hips, which ultimately makes them feel stiff. Luckily, some simple-but-incredibly-satisfying stretches can relieve the tension and promote flexibility. Here they are: 1. Figure Four: Lie on your back with your arms along your sides, your knees bent, and the soles of your feet on the floor near your butt. Place your right ankle over your left leg, just below the knee. With both hands, grasp your left thigh. Lift your head and shoulders off the ground, and bend your elbows to gently pull your left knee in toward your chest. (You should feel it in your right hip.) Repeat on the opposite side. 2. Standing Bow: Balance on your left foot and bend your right knee as you bring your right foot toward your butt. With your right hand, grab the inside of the right foot. Keeping your hips square to the ground, hinge forward slightly as you reach up and forward with your left hand, and lift the right foot up behind you until you feel the stretch in your right hip. Repeat on the opposite side. 3. Upward-Facing Dog: Lie facedown on a mat with the tops of your feet on the ground and your toes pointed behind you. With bent elbows, place both palms on the ground near your hips. Relax your shoulders as you extend your elbows, and open your chest toward the front of your mat. Take your gaze upward and press into the palms to lift your hips up off the ground. To increase the stretch, increase the arch in your back and press the hips forward. 4. Floor Bow: Lie facedown on a mat and bend both knees to bring your heels toward your butt. With your left hand, reach behind you to grab the outside of your left foot. With your right hand, reach behind you and grab the outside of your right foot. Arch your back as you simultaneously use your hands to lift your knees and chest up off the floor. 5. Supta Virasana With High Hips: Sit on your knees with the tops of your feet pressed against the floor, your toes pointing behind you, and your butt on your heels. Gently lean back and place your elbows on the floor about knees-width apart. Place your left palm on your left heel and your right palm on your right heel. Keeping your neck in line with your spine and your shoulders away from your ears, press your hips up toward the ceiling.
Power Yoga Poses for Weight Loss
Here are 5 awesome moves to pump up your metabolism and reach your weight loss goals! 1. Wind-Releasing Pose Lie down on the floor on your back. Lift your right leg in upward direction at an angle of 90 degree. Fold your right leg from your knee and place it on your stomach. Press your leg firmly against your stomach. Hold it with your hands and press it. Release. Repeat the same with left leg too. One can even practice this pose with both the legs at the same time. 2. Cobra Pose Lie down on the floor on your belly, palms placed on the floor besides your chest. Lift your upper body up, chest off the floor. Bend backwards as much as you can. Look upwards. Remain steady for some time and release. 3. Bow Pose A great yoga activity for toning and losing extra fat from your arms and legs. For this, lie down on the floor on your stomach. Bend your legs from your knees and lift up your legs from behind. Arch your back and try to hold your legs with your hands. Remain steady for some time and then release. Relax. 4. Side Stretch Pose This asana increases your heart rate, burns calories and helps in reducing fat from your sides. For this, stand on the floor in straight pose, hands besides the body, palms down. Lift your hands in the upward direction and stretch them upwards. Bend towards your right side, thus stretching the right hand towards the right side from over your head. Repeat the same on the left side too. Relax. 5. Warrior Pose This increases your lungs capacity as well. For this, stand on the floor in a straight position. Spread your legs far apart. Turn your right leg in the right direction and consequently turn your left leg in the same direction. Raise your hands in the upward direction and stretch them. Join your palms together in prayer position. Look upwards. Relax.