Five yoga poses to tone your thigh muscles
Sedentary lifestyle, eating processed foods and advancing age are all reasons why we put on weight around the thighs.
Sedentary lifestyle, eating processed foods and advancing age are all reasons why we put on weight around the thighs
Yoga has many poses for stretching and toning the thighs and opening up the hips
If you have severe leg or hip pain, consult a yoga therapist to develop a yoga sequence that works for you
Sedentary lifestyle, eating processed foods and advancing age are all reasons why we put on weight around the thighs. Yoga has many poses for stretching and toning the thighs and opening up the hips. We have identified five - they increase in difficulty as you go down the list.
Please note that it is always advisable to practice yoga with a trained teacher. If you have severe leg or hip pain, consult a yoga therapist to develop a yoga sequence that works for you.
Malasana or squat pose
- Stand on the mat with your legs apart.
- Point your toes out at a 40-50 degree angle.
- Keeping your back as straight as possible, lower your pelvis to the floor in a deep squat.
- Make sure your heels are on the mat. If this is difficult, place a folded towel under your heels for support.
- Join your palms at the centre of your chest. Use your elbows to push your knees out more.
- Breathe comfortably in this asana.
- Hold for as long as you can, up to 1 minute.
Paschimottanasana or seated forward bend pose
- Sit on the mat with your legs extended in front of you.
- Make sure you’re sitting on your “sitting bones”. To adjust your position, place your hands behind your buttocks, lift the hips, drag your legs back a few centimetres and place the hips back on to the mat.
- Now, raise your arms overhead. Stretch them up towards the ceiling.
- Bend from the waist and try to hold your feet in your hands. If this is difficult, try to grab your big toes in-between the thumbs and first two fingers.
- Stay in this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- To come out of this pose, extend the arms forward and up.
- Lower the arms to your sides.
- Give your body a counter-stretch by placing your hands behind your buttock and lifting the hips off the mat. Try to straighten your arms and place your feet flat on the mat.
Natarajasana or lord of the dance pose
- Stand on the mat with your feet slightly apart.
- Bend your right knee back and hold the big toe with your right hand.
- Lift your left arm overhead.
- As you bend from the waist, take your right leg back.
- Try to come into a flat-back position, and bring the left arm parallel to the floor. If this is not possible, lower your arm and rest your left hand on the left leg.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Return to starting position and repeat on the other side.
Utakatasana or chair pose
- Stand on the mat. Keep your feet together or slightly apart - your choice.
- As you bend your knees, raise your arms overhead.
- Push your hip back slightly and try to open up your chest.
- Ensure your back stays straight.
- Gaze at the tip of your fingers.
- Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Rest for a few seconds and repeat twice.
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana or extended hand-to-big-toe pose
- Stand with your feet planted firmly on the mat.
- Lift your right leg and grab the outer edge of your foot with your right hand. Try to balance in this position.
- Now, lift your leg straight in front of you. Keep holding your foot in the right hand. Make sure your pelvis doesn’t come forward.
- When you can, move your leg to the right. Try not to bend your knees.
- Lift your left arm to shoulder height - this will help you balance.
- Hold this pose for as long as you can, or up to 1 minute.
- Switch legs and repeat.
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