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Yoga Poses for Flat Abs and a Tighter Waste and Stomach

Updated on March 17, 2010

I've combed through the internet and my yoga books to find the best Yoga poses specifically for flat abs and a tighter waist and stomach. 

This is but a list and a brief description of each.  Pictures and even videos can be found through a simple Google search.  I highly recommend viewing these to ensure you're doing the pose properly. 

Instead of just jumping in and starting the exercises, there are a few things to keep in mind when doing yoga:

Go Slow: Using slow, controlled motions will ensure that more of your muscles are at work, and not momentum.  The point is not to just do the exercise.  The point is to tune into your body and really feel the muscles and the movement. 

Focus on being balanced: One of the greatest benefits to doing yoga using the Wii Fit balance board is that you know precisely where your center of gravity is, and you're reminded constantly to correct any imbalances.  By doing so, by listening to your body and remaining as balanced as possible, you use more muscles.  Using more muscles BUILDS more muscle.  And more muscle burns more calories.

Breathe:  Your breath is essential in yoga and during exercise in general. Taking deep inhalations and exhalations will not only wake up the muscles but also help you stretch deeper when performing the yoga poses.  Whenever you feel like you've stretched as far as you can, take in a deep breath and feel your body sink into a deeper stretch.

Connect: Take a few moments to clear your mind and get in touch with your body before starting yoga moves. Take deep, cleansing breaths, and really tune in to your body. At the end of your work-out, use your cool down to close your eyes and connect within for a more peaceful, centered you.

Here's a great site with nice descriptions and pose animations:

http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/yogapractice/postures.asp

Butterfly Pose

  • Sit on the floor stretching straight up through your spine. Bring the heels of your feet together, with your knees bent and pointing out to the sides. Let your legs open towards the floor to a position where you are comfortable. Hold your feet in your hands and slowly stretch forward.
  • Lower your head toward your toes as far as you can.
  • Take in a deep breath, holding position, letting the breath stretch your body.
  • Return to the starting position. Repeat 3 times.

Mountain Pose (tada-asana)

  • Stand with both feet touching from the heel to the big toe, keeping the back straight and the arms pressed slightly against the sides with palms facing inward.
  • Slightly tighten or flex the muscles in the knees, thighs, stomach and buttocks maintaining a firm posture. Balance you weight evenly on both feet.
  • Inhale through the nostrils and lift the buttocks off the legs arching the back and thrusting the abdomen forward and tilt the head as far back as possible.

Standing Side Stretch Pose

1. Start with the Mountain Pose and establish a smooth flowing breath.

2. As you inhale, raise your left arm, keeping a straight line from your left foot to the fingertips. Place your right hand on your right hip.

3. As you exhale, bend your upper body to the right. Hold for several breaths. Inhale, and bring the body back to the original position. Repeat the pose on the other side.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Stand tall with your feet 3-feet apart. Turn your left foot out 90 degrees while keeping your right foot pointing forward. Extend your arms out to either side at shoulder height. Bend to your right at your waist, keeping your chest facing forward, and place your right hand on your shin as your left arm reaches up. Your eyes should look skyward (if this hurts your neck, look down). Hold for 15 seconds and return to the starting position. Switch feet and sides. Do 3 times on each side.

Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

1. Start with a Triangle Pose (Trikonasana), with your left hand resting on your hip.

2. Slightly bend your right knee then move a bit forward.

3. Move your right hand forward - a few inches from the toes of your right leg

4. Exhale, press your right hand and heel into the floor for balance. Lift your left leg parallel to the floor.

5. Raise your left hand above your body. It should be aligned with your right hand. Bear your weight on the right leg.

6. Look up at your fingers. Breathe.  Remain for a few seconds.

Cat Pose (Bidalasana)

1. Start on your hands and knees. Make your back horizontal and flat. Gaze at the floor. This is your "neutral" positioning. When your pelvis is in neutral, your spine will be at full extension, with both the front and back sides equally long.

2. Create a line of energy through each arm by pressing downward into your hands and lifting upward out of your shoulders. As you exhale, sag into your shoulders and do the incorrect action; as you inhale, lengthen the arms, lift out of the shoulders and do the correct action.

3. When you are ready to begin, breathe in deeply. As you exhale, gently pull the abdominal muscles backward toward the spine, tucking the tailbone (coccyx) down and under, and contract the buttocks. Press firmly downward with your hands in order to stay lifted out of the shoulders, and press the middle of your back toward the ceiling, rounding your spine upward. Curl your head inward. Gaze at the floor between your knees.

Torso Stretch

  • Lie on your belly, hands flat on the floor close to your chest.
  • Lift your upper body by pressing the tops of your feet and shins into the floor as you press your hands into the floor and straighten your arms.
  • Breathe. Hold for 40 seconds.

Pelvic Tilts

1. Lie on your back with the knees bent and the soles of the feet on the floor. This is your neutral position, with the natural curve of the lumbar spine causing the low back to be slightly elevated from the floor.

2. On an exhale, gently rock your hips towards your face. Your butt will not actually leave the floor, but you will feel your low back press into the floor. You are essentially taking the curve out of the low back.  Think of the pelvis as a bowl of water. When you do the pelvic tilt, the water would be spilling towards your belly.

3. After a few seconds, inhale and return to your neutral position. 

4. Repeat this movement 5 to 10 times.

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

  • Stand with feet planted, arms at sides and body in alignment.
  • Inhale and bend the right leg, pulling the heel up until it rests on the inside of the left thigh, close to the groin area, with the toes pointing downward. Exhale and gather your balance.
  • As you inhale, stretch your arms sideways straight out, palms facing down.  As you exhale, bring your palms together in prayer position.
  • Raise your arms overhead, keeping your palms in prayer position.
  • Press the right knee back without moving the hips. Hold for 30 seconds, breathing comfortably through the belly, then switch sides.
  • Repeat 2-3 times

Bridge Pose

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Rest your arms at your side.
  • Using your abdominal, lift your hips as far as you can off the floor. Your head, shoulders, and arms should remain on the floor. Keep your thighs parallel. Hold.
  • Repeat 5 times.

Boat Pose (Maha Shakti Kriya or Naukasana)

  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Have your arms straight out to the sides with your palms facing in. Keep your legs together and straight out as well with your toes pointing forward.
  • Bring your legs and torso up SLOWLY such that you are balancing on your sacrum.  Keep your eyes focused on your toes.  Form a V shape with your legs and torso.

Locust Pose (Salabhasana)

  • Lie on your stomach with your chin on the floor and your arms extended in front of you.
  • Inhale and lift your arms, chest, head, legs, and feet off the floor.
  • Hold for 3 seconds then slowly lower to the floor.
  • Repeat 5 times.

Yoga Crunches

  • Lie on your back and rest your hands over your head on the floor behind you
  • Bring your knees to your chest.
  • Raise your legs with feet flexed toward the ceiling.
  • Slowly guide your legs downward.
  • Stop when you feel your back arching and hold it.
  • Bring your legs to your chest again.
  • Repeat. Build up to 10 in a row.

Yoga Single Leg Lifts

1. Lie on your back with your palms underneath your buttocks, to support your lower back.

2. Inhale, slowly raise the right leg as high as possible. Lower it as you exhale.

3. Repeat with the left leg. Perform three times.

Yoga Double Leg Lifts

1. Lie on your back with your palms underneath your buttocks, to support your lower back.

2. Inhale, slowly raise both legs smoothly as high as possible. Lower slowly as you exhale.  Keep knees straight, and motion controlled and smooth.

3. Perform three times.

The Stomach Lift, Abdominal Lift (Uddyiana Bandha)

The stomach lift really consists of two separate exercises:

First exercise. While standing with your feet about a foot apart and your knees slightly bent, lean forwards a little from the waist and place your hands just above your knees. Inhale deeply by pushing your abdomen forwards, and then exhale by pushing your stomach in. Don't take another breath; instead, push in your stomach even more, so that it becomes hollow, and hold your breath for about ten seconds.

Second exercise: Do the same as above but, instead of holding your Stomach in after exhaling, rapidly push your stomach in and out ten times without taking another breath. Stand up straight and resume normal breathing.

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    • profile image

      Esmeralda 

      3 years ago

      The universal way of cotimnicamuon through love, passion, and will is such a beautiful thing! It is so wonderful to see a powerful being such as yourself to be out in the world living my dream. I am soon, also, to be doing a project of this sort my heart flutters as I manifest these magical moments, and I keep studying until these days approach. Thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for your true beauty of spreading the love and wellness. Thank you for your vibrations brother~Eternal Bliss, Love, and Light**

    • profile image

      Skip 

      3 years ago

      Just do me a favor and keep writing such trncheant analyses, OK?

    • Health and Hypno profile imageAUTHOR

      Rob Daugherty 

      8 years ago from Pittsfield, MA

      Appreciate the kind words. It's likely that most of what I'll write will fall into either category, health or hypnosis. Both terms are quite broad, though, as health includes mental, physical, and even spiritual; and hypnosis allows me to share many of the interesting things I've learned or experiences I've come across as a hypnotherapist at Berkshire Hypnosis.

      In other words, I'll have the freedom to blab about whatever comes to mind.

    • thesailor profile image

      thesailor 

      8 years ago from Seven Seas

      This is a good hub for yoga lovers. Thanks, Health and Hypno. Does it mean that you only concentrate on health and hypnotism (aka Hypno)?

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