Every Day Yoga
Toned Legs, Butt, and Thighs
By Tara Stiles
No doubt your legs have already gotten stronger, sleeker, and more flexible thanks to your practice. Spend some time with these seven poses to get more benefits, including a stance that holds steady when the waves try to knock you over. Keeping your bikini on is another matter!
Warrior I with static lunge
What it does for me: tones the big muscle groups in my legs and builds focus
Why do it: Two words--bikini season
Begin with your feet 4 to 4.5 feet apart and parallel. Lift your arms up overhead, shoulder-width apart, palms facing each other. Turn your left foot out 90 degrees and your right foot in 45 degrees. Rotate your hips and torso so they’re facing the same direction as your left leg. Bend your left knee to a right angle, knee over foot. Hold for 10 long breaths. Keep your back foot anchored down and lift up through your tummy! Keep breathing.
Straighten the front leg and hold for five breaths and then bend the knee again and hold for 10 breaths. Repeat five times, then switch sides and do it again.
Variation: Warrior I straight leg lunges
What it does for me: gets into the muscles even deeper and builds strength
Why do it: Because you know you’ll feel good afterwards, and you’ll like the results.
For a great leg toner, start in Warrior 1, and straighten and lower the front leg 10 times. Keep your torso steady and your back foot anchored. You get to tone all the big muscle groups of both legs with this movement. Switch sides and repeat.
Warrior II with static lunge
What it does for me: whips the front quad into Olympic shape.
Why do it: People will be asking if you have just completed a marathon when they check out your legs!
Begin with your feet 4 to 4.5 feet apart and parallel. Lift your arms out to your sides at shoulder height, turn your left foot out 90 degrees and your right foot in 15 to 30 degrees. Bend your left knee to a right angle, knee over foot. Face left, gazing over your left hand. Hold for 10 breaths with your front knee bent over your foot and you will feel the burn for sure! Reach out evenly through your arms and press down through your feet.
Straighten the front leg and hold for five breaths. Then bend the knee again and hold for another 10 breaths. Repeat five times, then switch sides and do it again.
Variation: Warrior II straight leg
What it does for me: targets all the areas that need attention!
Why do it: All the lunges in the world won’t be as affective as this move!
Start in Warrior II, and then straighten your front leg and bend it again 10 times. You’ll get a great toning session for your legs from this movement, especially for your front upper thigh, which is good stuff for bikini season! Keep your abs lifted and your body steady while you straighten and bend your knee.