Five Powerful Yoga Moves For A Flatter Tummy
Even if you completely clean up your diet, slash your sugar and calorie intake, and subject yourself to intensive abdominal workouts like those dreaded sit-ups you probably still won’t get the flat tummy you lust after.
But don’t give up just yet. There’s a powerful way you can develop those perfect abs, and it needn’t involve ‘going for the burn’ or sweating it out. The answer is YOGA!
Experience the following five yoga moves and notice how your tummy becomes toned and your stress simply vanishes.
#1: Boat Pose (Naukasana)
Boat pose is one of the most intense yoga postures you can do, but it’s easy enough for the complete beginner. Your body should form a ‘V’ shape when you do it. Here’s how.
- Simply lie down on your yoga mat, with your feet side by side and your arms resting beside your body. Notice your breath.
- Inhale, and then as you exhale, start to lift your chest and your legs from the floor.
- Lengthen and extend through your arms and legs and ensure you are maintaining the shape.
- Hold the pose for five to ten breaths then slowly exhale and roll back down.
#2: Plank (Kumbhakasana)
The plank pose might look very simple, but it’s actually a very powerful workout if you’re doing it right. Expect to strengthen and tone your abs, improve your core strength, and tone your arms, shoulders, back, thighs and buttocks too. Here’s how to do it:
- Move down to lie on your yoga mat with your tummy on the floor.
- Bring your hands up and place your palms next to your face and tuck your toes under your feet.
- Push away from the floor with your hands and lift your bottom into the air. Ensure your body is in one straight line, from the crown of your head right down to your heels.
- Hold the posture for five to ten breaths before slowly returning to your starting position.
#3: Side Plank (Vasisthasana)
This is a powerful variation of the regular plank pose which effectively targets those love handles and streamlines your side body. You’ll also strengthen your arms, abs, legs and take your sense of balance to a whole new level. Here’s how:
- Get into the regular plank pose by lying belly-down on your mat, placing your hands next to your ears, tucking your toes under and pushing up from the floor to make one long line.
- As you inhale, move onto the outside of your right foot and turn your torso to the left. Place your left foot on top of your right.
- Now position your body sideways, making sure your right arm is directly underneath your shoulder to help with stability. Exhale.
- Taking a big deep breath, lift your left arm towards the sky and find your balance.
- Hold for five to ten breaths and then repeat on the other side.
#4: Downward Dog Variation
Don’t be fooled- this variation of Downward Facing Dog is much harder than it looks! Like the regular version, it’s incredibly calming and de-stressing, but also has that added abdominal kick that will get you long and lean in no time. Feel the burn!
- First move into Downward Facing Dog. Begin on your hands and knees on the mat and ensure that your wrists are directly beneath your shoulders and your knees are directly beneath your hips.
- Now spread your fingers wide and press through your hands, lifting your hips off the floor, into a reversed ‘V’ shape. Pull your thighs backwards and extend your legs (but don’t lock them).
- This might feel tough on your hamstrings and back if you haven’t done much yoga before- don’t worry, just bend those knees more until you feel comfortable.
- Now extend your left leg up behind you, still holding the posture.
- Move your weight slightly forward and bring that left leg forwards and towards your chest. Return to the starting position and repeat ten times on the left leg before repeating on the right.
#5: Crescent Lunge Twist (Anjaneyasana)
This epic twist helps develop your core whilst stretching and toning those hard-to-reach obliques and developing your sense of balance at the same time. Here’s how to do it:
- Start in Downward Facing Dog, getting on your hands and knees with the correct alignment and lifting and folding from the hips.
- Now step your right foot between your hands and bend 90 degrees at your knees. Straighten your back leg and square your hips to they are facing directly forwards. Keep the ball of your foot on the ground.
- Lift your torso up and sweep your arms overhead until your palms touch in the centre. Gaze upwards.
- Now bring your palms down to your chest in a prayer pose and with an exhale, twist your torso to the right. Rest your left elbow on the outside of your right thigh and press lightly, moving your chest to the right. If you can, look towards the sky.
- Hold for five to ten breaths and repeat on the other side.
Yoga targets those hard-to-reach muscles that other abdominal exercises just can’t get to. Practice often and you will get the tummy of your dreams, improve your overall health and feel completely chilled at the same time.