Strengthen your abs with this creative yoga sequence.
Have you ever experienced ab envy? It may happen when you see someone else with a toned six-pack and think, “Wow, I wish I had abs like that!” Most of us have experienced this at some point, and it might actually give you that extra push you need to stop wishing and start working toward toning your own core muscles.
Yoga can be utilized to strengthen your abs and tone up your core in no time. The below yoga sequence uses some familiar poses and some new moves you may not have tried before. Do the routine daily to firm up your core and have your midsection looking great no matter what you wear.
By Esther Ekhart
Child’s Pose with Extended Arms
Come into Child’s pose, either with the knees together or a little apart. Rest your forehead on the ground or on a block and stretch out your arms. Take a few deep, centering breaths.
Downward Facing Dog
Press your palms into the floor, tuck your toes and press your hips up and back into Downward Facing Dog. If your hamstrings are tight, keep your knees bent and focus on lengthening the spine from the crown of your head to your tailbone.
Three Legged Downward Dog
Lift the right leg slowly with the toes turned down. Try to lift from the inner thigh so that the hips stay level. Press evenly into both hands and press the top of the left thigh back.
Come high onto the ball of your left foot and curl the right knee into the chest, drawing the belly towards the spine and rounding the back as you do so. Try and stay here for three breaths.
Step the right foot towards the right thumb and come into a Crescent lunge. Stack the right knee over the right ankle, draw the hips points up and lengthen the sides of the waist as you reach your arms up into the sky. Lift the sternum, soften the shoulders and press the left thigh up and back.
Place both hands on the inside of the right foot and turn to the right, aiming your left ear to the ground and keeping the spine long. You can turn your right toes out a little if it helps create more space in the hips.
Either stay where you are in Three Legged Downward Dog or take the right foot all the way over towards the ground. Land gently on the ball of your right foot and come into Wild Thing, pressing your hips up and opening the front of the body. You can place your right hand on your heart or stretch it out long, rotating the little finger inwards to retain more stability in the shoulder socket.
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All images courtesy of Esther Ekhart.