I love yoga, it can be as easy as you want it, and a perfect way to get your children involved in a lifetime of fitness. My 10 year old twins and nearly 4 year old will cat-cow, downward dog, and tree with me for an hour. Are their poses perfect? No, but neither are mine. Does it bring us closer together? Absolutely. We all get something different out of yoga, I get some of my childhood flexibility and ease some military induced joint pain. The twins say it calms them down after a dramatic (really dramatic at 10???) day at school, and the baby just likes to do what ever the big kids do.
Here is a favorite yoga article from SkinnyMom.com that has loads of good information. (To get to the full article just click the link below.)
Yoga Sequence For Stronger Legs:
Whether sporting leggings with sneaks or skinny jeans with pumps, here’s a 14-pose yoga sequence to make your tight pants proud. This workout is all about the thighs, hips, and booty. Hop on your mat and work through this sequence on the right side, and then repeat on the left.
Wide Squat: (1) Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips. (2 Bend your knees and lower your hips toward the ground. (3) Bring your palms together at your heart center, and firmly press your elbows against the inside of your knees, helping to open the hips even further. (4) Shift weight into the heels, lengthening the crown of the head up toward the ceiling, holding for five deep breaths.
Extended Wide Squat: (1) Release your hands to the floor, walking them away from you as you press your belly toward the floor. (2) Relax your head, staying here for five breaths.
Bikini season is right around the corner, so let’s get to strengthening our abs and overall core. This will prevent back pain, improve your balance and posture, and make running and other sports feel easier. Plus, you’ll feel confident in and out of your clothes. Keep reading to learn these eight poses that target your core.
Warrior 3: Balancing on one leg really challenges your core! If you’re not using your abs to stabilize in this pose, you’ll likely tip over. Here’s how to find your inner warrior. (1) Stand with your feet together. (2) Inhale as you extend your arms out wide in T position or straight overhead for a more advanced variation. (3) Exhale as you bend forward at your hips, lifting your right leg straight behind you coming into Warrior 3. (4) Draw your navel toward your spine, and hold for five breaths. (5) Then come to stand, lower your right leg, and repeat with the left leg lifted for another five.
Camel: (1) A classic backbend that increases spinal flexibility, Camel also works your core muscles and opens tight shoulders. (2) Stand on the shins with the knees hips-width distance apart. (3) Lean back, and place your hands on your heels, arching back, and allowing the head to fall between the shoulder blades. (4) Continue to press the hips forward to engage the abs, thighs, and tush, enjoying this pose for five breaths.
Are you ready to tone your thighs and say goodbye to your inner-thigh fluff? Now you can work these muscles without even stepping foot in a gym! Try these 15 poses on the right side, and then repeat on the left side. You’ll feel your thighs getting slimmer with each move!
Side Fierce: (1) Stand at the front of your mat with both feet together. (2) Bend the knees to squat down into Fierce pose. (3) Rotate your torso, and cross your right elbow over the outside of your right thigh. (4) Actively press into your outer right arm to lift the torso. (5) Pull the right hip back to keep both knees in line and keep weight back into the heels. (6) Hold here for five deep breaths, gazing over the left shoulder.
Arching Three-Legged Dog: (1) From Side Fierce, rise back up into Fierce Pose. (2) Fold forward, and take a vinyasa back to Downward Facing Dog. (3) Step both feet together so your big toes are touching. (4) Keeping the left heel on the mat, raise your right leg in the air coming into Three-Legged Dog, and then bend the knee. (5) Actively squeeze your right heel in toward your hip, lifting the knee high. (6) Lift your head up, and turn to look over your left shoulder, arching the spine. (7) Hold here for five breaths, keeping the belly still and breathing into the chest.
To view the original articles, click here and here.
Yoga Sequence For a Tighter Backside:
Are you looking for a way to get a swoon-worthy behind? This sequence of moves is guaranteed to tone and give you a fuller backside! You’ll want to strut down the street and show off your new goods right away!
Downward Dog: (1) Begin on your hands and knees. (2) Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders, and your knees should be underneath your hips. (3) Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. (4) Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into an upside-down “V” shape called Downward Facing Dog. (5) Spread your fingers wide, and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. (6) Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. (7) Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. (8) Hold for five breaths. Traditionally, this pose is done during Sun Salutation A, so you can also come into it from Upward Facing Dog.
Three-Legged Downward Dog: (1) From Downward Facing Dog, step both feet together so your big toes are touching. (2) Shift your weight onto your hands and your left foot equally, and raise your right leg into the air. (3) Try to keep your shoulders parallel with the ground, and gaze at your left thigh or up toward your belly to help you stay balanced. (4) Stay here for five breaths, then lower your right leg down. (5) Perform Three-Legged Downward Dog on the other side.
Poses to Tone Arms and Upper Back:
You wave goodbye to your friend and it feels like your arm is jiggling even after you’ve stopped waving. Don’t fret. It’s easy to tighten and tone up your arms — just hop on your yoga mat and do these eight poses that will strengthen and sculpt your arms in no time. Move through this sequence on one side and then repeat again on the other.
Arching Three-Legged Dog: (1) This arm-strengthening variation of Three-Legged Dog involves bending the knee of your top leg, increasing the flexibility in your hip flexors, spine, and hamstrings. (2) Begin in Downward Dog. Step both feet together so your big toes are touching. (3) Keeping the left heel on the mat, raise your right leg in the air coming into Three-Legged Dog, and then bend the knee. (4) Actively squeeze your right heel in toward your hip, lifting the knee high. Lift your head up, and turn to look over your left shoulder, arching the spine. (5) Think about drawing your head and foot toward each other (if your spine is extremely flexible, your foot and head will touch). (6) Hold here for five breaths, keeping the belly still and breathing into the chest.
Extended Tabletop: (1) Strong and poised like a ballerina, Extended Tabletop will open the front of your body, increase flexibility and strength in your shoulders, and tone your tush. (2) From Arching Three-Legged Dog, slowly lower your right foot to the floor behind you as you simultaneously raise your right arm in the air. (3) You’re essentially rotating your body 180 degrees so your belly is pointing up toward the ceiling. (4) Readjust your feet if you need to so they are parallel and slightly wider than hip-width apart. (5) Press firmly into your feet to lift your hips high, engaging your glutes and hamstrings, and extend your right arm over your face. (6) Hold here for five complete breaths, gazing at your extended hand or up toward the ceiling.
Been overdoing it a little this time of year? If your body could use some fine-tuning, you can do more than sip on detoxing green juice. Hop on your yoga mat, and do these eight poses designed to detox the body. You have your circulatory, digestive, and lymphatic systems to thank for getting rid of toxins and waste, and these poses stimulate those systems. Pick out the poses your body needs or practice them all, and you’re on your way to feeling like a new you.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend: Not only a great pose for opening tight hamstrings, allowing your head to fall below your heart in Wide-Legged Forward Bend also reverses the pull of gravity, encouraging circulation of blood throughout the body as well as fluid to your filtering lymph nodes. The folding motion also squeezes the belly, which moves things along for digestion. (1) Stand with your feet four or so feet apart, heels turned out slightly wider than the toes. (2) Standing tall, interlace your hands behind you, pressing the heels of your palms together in a double fist. (3) Take a deep breath in, and slowly fold forward at the waist, lowering your hands as far as you can. (4) Keep the spine long and straight as you breathe for five deep breaths. (5) Engage your legs, and slowly rise up to stand.
Open Side Fierce: If you want to strengthen your lower legs, Open Side Fierce will have your quads and glutes burning. This deep twist also aids in digestion. You’ll feel the gentle pressure on your kidneys, liver, and spleen, which stimulates the removal of waste. (1) Stand with both feet together, bend your knees, and squat down, coming into Fierce Pose. (2) Cross your right elbow over your left thigh, planting your right palm on the floor beside your left foot. (3) If you can’t reach all the way, just allow your fingers to hover in the air, as close to the floor as possible. (4) Extend your left arm straight up toward the ceiling, stacking your shoulders, and gaze at your lifted palm. (5) Make sure both knees are parallel. Hold for five deep breaths. (6) Press into your feet, inhale to rise back up to Fierce, and exhale to repeat this pose on the right side, holding for another five breaths. (7) Then rise back up to Fierce Pose, and straighten the legs.
While there’s no miracle move to diminish back bulge, it’s still important to strengthen and tone the muscles in that area of the body. As you begin to lose weight from all the cardio you’re doing, you’ll reveal slim, chiseled muscles waiting underneath. Here are nine yoga poses that will target all the areas of your back.
Warrior 3: What it works: Back and shoulders. Stand at the front of your mat with both feet together. (1) Shift weight into your left leg and kick your right leg behind you, balancing with your torso parallel to the floor. (2) Extend your arms straight in front of you. (3) Draw your navel toward your spine and hold Warrior 3 for five breaths.
Half Moon: What it works: Back and sides of the torso. (1) Begin in Downward Facing Dog. (2) Step your right foot forward between your hands, and rise up into Warrior 1. (3) Then open your hips, arms, and chest into Warrior 2 Pose. (4) Place your left hand on your left hip and stretch your right arm straight out, creating length through the right side of your body. (5) Shift weight into your right foot, and lift your left foot up. (6) Plant your right palm flat on the ground under your shoulder. (7) Bend your right knee or use a block if your hamstring is tight. (8) Try to distribute your weight evenly between your right hand and foot. (9) Look down at the ground and bring your left arm straight up. (10) When you’re ready, look up toward your left hand. Hold for five breaths, then try Half Moon on the left side.