How To Target Your Stomach With Yoga

Yoga is a great part of any wellness routine, as it has the ability to both reduce stress and exercise the body. If you are trying to use yoga to target your midsection, well, that can be done. There are a number of yoga positions (called asanas) which exercise the stomach muscles. Bear in mind that some of these are more advanced than other. Assess your own skill and comfort level before trying certain asanas. If you are not sure you are able to do one asana, start with one that seems easier and work your way up once you have belt some strength and flexibility. As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.

Pavan-Muktasan
To perform this stomach-exercising asana, first lie flat on your back. Use a yoga mat of towel to cushion the spine. Bend both knees up to your chest so that your thigh touches the stomach. Hug your knees in place and lock your fingers. Now lift your head up so your nose meets your knees. Take a deep breath and hold it for thirty seconds before releasing and slowly lowering back to start. This exercise can also be done one leg at a time.

Bhujangasan
For this stomach exercise, remain on the floor, but roll over on to your stomach. Position your hand under your shoulders. Now, using your back muscles, raise your upper torso off the ground to that your head is upright. Be careful not to push with your hands. You want the muscles in your back to be doing the work. Hold this posture for thirty seconds, then lower yourself back to start. Even though you are using your back muscles to lift your upper body, performing the asana will assist in reducing belly fat and flattening your tummy.

The Bow
This stomach exercise is pretty similar to the previous asana, but more involved. It starts from the same position lying on your stomach, but in this exercise you curl your legs upward in addition to lifting your upper torso. Bend your knees so that the soles of your feet come up toward your head. Grab your ankles and pull with your hands and push with your legs until only your stomach is on the floor. Your body should feel sort of like it is making a circle. Your knees should remain together throughout the exercise. Hold this position for thirty seconds before releasing and returning to starting position.

Paad-Pashchimottanasan
Now that you have read the name of this asana, try not to be intimidated– it is less complicated in practice than in pronunciation. It does, however, require a fair amount of flexibility, so you may want to start with something easier and build up to this one. Start by lying on your back with your legs straight and arms overhead. Your body should be straight from head to toe with all limbs extended. Point your palms up to the ceiling and put your hands together. Contract your stomach muscles to sit up, keeping your back straight and hands overhead. Bend forward and grab your toes with your hands, putting your head between your arms so it touches your knees. Hold the position for two minutes before releasing.

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