Ira Trivedi, wellness expert and founder of Yog Love, suggests simple postures and techniques that will help you improve flexibility and gain muscle strength.
If you want to strengthen your core muscles, there’s no need to go to the gym.
There’s a preconceived notion that yoga is only for the mind and involves only meditation.
Yoga is a very powerful tool that provides effective ways to improve your abs and back strength.
There are asanas for every part of the body and they affect the other parts too.
Regular practice can help immensely in belly fat reduction, improving your metabolism, and strengthening your core.
As we all know that the core is the power source and provides the much-needed energy and growth.
If you work on your abdominal muscles it assists in day-to-day movements, builds your posture, improves spinal health, and stabilises your lower back.
Kapalabhati is a breathing technique that has a profound effect on the whole body. In Sanskrit, kapalabhati means shining skull.
The muscular action generated by this kriya is the equivalent of doing crunches or sit-ups at the gym.
When you are practicing this kriya, the rapid inhalation and exhalation creates a pumping action that further leads to a more toned abdomen.
Kapalabhati kriya helps in improving the metabolism rate, improving the digestive tract functioning, and thus helps in reducing weight effectively.
Begin your yoga routine with this breathing technique.
This kriya is also great for cleansing the lungs. It pushes all the stale air out allowing you to oxygenate your body quickly and efficiently.
More importantly, this kriya massages the internal organs and has a detoxifying effect on the body.
If you do kapalabhati regularly, then it brings tons of benefits apart from toning the abs. It improves blood circulation, increases oxygenation, and strengthens the lungs.
How to do it
- Sit up straight in a comfortable, relaxed posture
- Resting both hands on the knees, bring together the thumb and forefinger in Gyan mudra
- Close the eyes and take a few deep breaths
- Inhale deeply (only when you begin) and contracting the abdominal muscles, exhale through both nostrils, forcing the air out
- Inhalation should take place passively by automatic relaxation of the abdominal muscles. It should be spontaneous recoil, involving no active effort
- After completing 20 rapid breaths stop and resume normal breathing pace. This is one complete round
The most important aspect of the cobra pose or bhujangasana is to lift off the surface using your core, thus strengthening it.
This asana burns abdominal fat and improves your digestion.
It also helps tone the abdomen muscles, improves blood circulation, strengthens the entire back and shoulders, and improves the flexibility of your spine.
Bhujangasana does wonders for the back muscles.
Due to increasing complexities in our modern lifestyles, we often suffer from stiff muscles. So, if you do this asana, it will not only help your abdominal muscles but also your back muscles and spine area.
While practicing this asana, as your chest lifts upwards, it gradually enhances your blood flow as well as affects your heart. Thus, it plays a great role in relieving stress and fatigue.
Overall, the cobra pose is a great way to achieve your fitness goals and yields a holistic improvement.
If you practice regularly, your abs will get stronger, and you’ll feel energetic and full of confidence.
How to do it
- Lie flat on the stomach with hands on either side of the chest next to the shoulders.
- Inhale and lifting the chest, bring the chin up towards the sky.
- Stay here and breathe, inhaling and exhaling deeply to open the chest.
- Exhale, and lower the chest back to the ground.
Matsyasana, also called the fish pose, is a perfect posture to improve flexibility and gain muscle strength.
It helps in building strong abs, and thighs, improves blood circulation, and keeps the spine flexible.
Moreover, the leg-raised variation of matsyasana helps burn abdominal fat by making you lift the leg upward with a perfect arched back.
It is highly beneficial for posture improvement by preventing the body from hunching forward and relieving stress through appropriate breathing and better respiration.
Practicing matsyasana regularly will make you feel calm and peaceful. It is also beneficial in detoxifying the body, relieving constipation, and improving digestion.
How to do it
- Lying on the back, bring the arms underneath the body.
- Inhale, raise the chest up and place the crown of the head on the ground.
- Using the arms and elbows for balance stay here and breathe.
To gain a strong core and perfectly toned abdominal muscles, you must work the muscles that make up the core from every possible angle.
These 3 simple yoga asanas, when put together, allow your body to naturally target the core muscles.
The most important thing is to practice regularly and emphasise the process.
It’s also important not to rush through the yoga practices.
You must keep working on your breathing and allow your body and mind to relax as much as possible while practicing these asanas.
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