The days of hiding behind piles of cozy layers are far behind us. Summer is here and the motivation to get killer bikini-worthy abs is at an all-time high. I am a huge yoga proponent and am continually amazed by how noticeably toned I become after only a few sessions. Yoga doesn’t only target superficial abdominals, but the deeper core muscles that are often neglected with traditional exercises.
1/2 CROW PLANK
-From Downward Dog, lift your right leg into the air.
-Bend the knee, and sweep it forward to your outer, upper right arm. Squeeze and hold as you round your back, firing the inner thighs, hip flexors and front abdominals.
Bonus: This is an excellent arm and shoulder sculpting pose too!
Beginners: Place the ball of your right foot on the floor, and/or the back knee down, but still engage the leg in and belly up. ??Hold for 5 breaths, then return to Dog Pose and switch sides.
-From Downward Dog, lift your right leg up behind you.
-Exhale, bend the knee and bring it into your chest as you round your back sky-high.
-From your core, spin onto your outer left foot, and step your right foot halfway up the mat in front of you.
-Lift your right arm to the sky and keep the hips lifting for a super side-waist sculpting pose.
Bonus: Play with lifting the bent leg’s foot off the floor, and then ground that one, and try to lift the straight leg for an extra-credit inner thigh workout!
Beginners: Keep both hands down or place your left knee down on the floor for added support, but maintain the lift of your hips and waist!??Hold for 5 breaths, then return to Downward Dog and repeat on the other side. After your last Flying Buttress, come into Dog Pose.
-From Downward Dog, lift your right leg while you exhale and draw the knee into the chest, rounding the back and holding the hips high.
-Using your core strength, step the right foot to the right thumb. Ground your back foot down, toes facing slightly forward.
-Exhale, and use your belly to pull yourself upright with your palms together at your chest. Inhale, curl inside your front knee and lengthen your chest.
-Exhale, pull up over your legs, twisting towards your back leg as your arms straighten and reach back into your side bend.
-??Repeat this wavelike motion 5-10 times for a full all-abdominal workout in one move.
Bonus: This pose transforms your legs, thighs and gluts along with your abs.
Beginners: Do this move with your back heel up and knee on the floor, and/or only wave as low or high as you need to keep your back comfortable. ?? After your Diving Warrior, return to Downward Dog, then repeat on your left side.
Want to learn more amazing ab-exercises? YogaWorks has a Fit Abs DVD, a fun way to tighten and tone your waistline from the comfort of your own home!