Yoga Moves That Help to Tone Your Muscles

woman performing cobra pose

Yoga poses are generally thought of as ways to help your stress level. You may also think about them as a way to drop unwanted weight. You may not think about how beneficial certain yoga moves or poses can be in helping you tone your muscles. Here are a few poses traditionally used for muscle tone and fitness. Though there are more, these are the easiest for many beginners.

Cobra Pose

The cobra pose is the ideal pose to help with toning back muscles and upper thigh muscles. This pose is fairly simple. Lay flat on the floor with your stomach facing down. Move your hands to either side of your body as if doing a push-up. Slowly push your body up while moving your chest outward and arching your back. Keep your thighs firmly planted on the ground. This is cobra pose. Hold the pose and move it only slightly to arch your back more. This will stretch your muscles even more.

Forward Bend

The forward bend is an easy enough yoga pose for most people. However, doing the pose completely and getting the most benefit from it takes time. This pose is done by standing straight with your feet flat on the floor. Take a deep breath and slowly exhale as you move down forward and bend at the waist. The pose is complete when 1) you can place your hands flat on the ground, either in front of or beside your feet and, 2) your face is flat against the front of your legs. Remember that most people will do this pose slowly and start with their fingers touching their ankles. Over time they will move to the flat on the floor position.

Forearm Stand

The forearm stand pose is one that many people have yet to learn about. This pose is done by starting with a headstand. That’s right, a headstand. This is a slightly modified headstand, though. The pose is performed with the forearms pressed flat to the floor and the body in a headstand position. You can start with a headstand, but you will want to move to the forearms bracing your body weight and holding you in the pose. This works your arms, forearms, shoulders, and back.

These are only a few of the more traditional muscle-toning poses. You can add several more to your muscle-toning routine as you move on. Remember, yoga that involves stretching and holding poses will help your muscle tone as opposed to traditions that utilize more intense or fast-moving poses.