5 Yoga Moves for a (Much!) Fitter You

Article posted in: South Beach Simple
yoga moves

If you’ve never tried yoga, you’ve really been missing out. A full-body workout that can also help you de-stress, yoga is a serious weight loss win-win. What’s more, most yoga moves engage and strengthen your core, which can help improve your posture, reduce back pain… and give you some killer abs!

Low impact in nature, yoga is a great option for anyone who needs (or wants!) to avoid jarring high impact exercises.

Here are five of our favorite yoga moves:

1. Boat Pose
boat pose

Sit with both knees bent, feet flat in front of you, fingertips to either side of your hips. Lengthen your spine, engage your core and roll your shoulders back. Lean back slightly, then lift your feet off the floor, bringing shins parallel to the floor with bent knees. Extend your arms straight out in front of you, palms facing up. Hold for five to 10 breaths.

2. Sleeping Crow Pose
sleeping crow pose

Lie flat on your back, bend your knees and bring them into your chest, hip distance apart. Flex your feet at the ankles. Extend your arms overhead, engage your core to lift your shoulders off the mat and extend arms up toward the sky, wrists flexed and palms facing the ceiling. Move your knees toward your armpits. Now you’re in crow pose, on your back! Hold for five to 10 breaths.

3. Gate Pose

gate pose
Kneel on the floor, then stretch your right leg out to the right with your foot flat. Keep your left knee stacked directly below your left hip, and align your right heel with the left knee. Keep your torso facing straight ahead and engage your core. Side bend to bring your right hand to right thigh or calf, and your left hand toward the ceiling. Gaze up at your left hand. Stay for 10 breaths, then repeat on the left side.

4. Plank Pose
plank pose

Come to hands and knees, aligning wrists under shoulders. Press into your hands, engage your core, then straighten one leg out behind you at a time, toes tucked bringing your torso and legs into a straight line. Imagine pushing back on a wall with your heels. Keep your neck long and your gaze down. Keep hips neutral; not hiked up or sagging down. Stay for 10 breaths.

5. Side Plank
side plank

From your plank pose, ground into your right hand and rotate your hips and heels to the right, coming to the outside edge of your right foot. Engage your core to lift your hips up and bring your left hand to your left hip, opening your chest and torso to the left. Stack your left foot on top of right or, for a little more support, bring the left foot slightly behind your right foot for a kick-stand. Keep the hips high. Hold for 10 breaths, then repeat on the left side.