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How to tone your butt with yoga

Last updated on: September 23, 2011 17:18 IST

How to tone your butt with yoga

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Shameem Akhtar

Shameem Akthar, who follows the Sivananda yoga school, shows you five simple ways to tone your hips.

Though the initial reason for specifically targeting this body part may be aesthetic it has several health benefits to have strong, toned and supple hip muscles. Due to it's limited range of motion the hip never gets fully worked out. Even walkers may find that though their leg and hip muscles are strong they are very stiff.

Same is true of those who work machines at gym or even cyclists and runners. Only yoga helps simultaneously develop a muscle tone which uses two different types of muscle fibers: the fast twitch muscles that has power and slow twitch muscle which gives endurance.

The latter also is better able to deal with the aftermath of workout and helps tissue repair faster.

Strong hips also will help define posture since it is part of the load bearing muscle group for the body. In fact those who worry about sloppy abdomen do not realise that part of their problem, and a large part of it, comes from hips not having tone.

Thighs, hips have to be toned to help you draw your stomach in during the rest of the day.

For more of Shameem's yoga writings visit http://jaisivananda.blogspot.com. Shameem's second book Yoga in the workplace, with photographs by ace photographer Fawzan Husain, is now available at online shops and bookshops across the country. It is also available as e-book, with Kindle, Amazon.

Disclaimer: This column just shares the columnist's passion for yoga which is ideally learned under the guidance of an expert.


Image: A collage of yoga poses to tone your hips
Photographs: Shameem Akhtar
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How to tone your butt with yoga

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Virabhadrasana (Warrior pose, advanced)

Stand up straight feet a meter apart. Draw right foot in front, facing forward. Back foot is slightly flared. Inhale, exhaling lunge forward bending at right knee. Both hands are held in front as shown.

Lower your torso as much as possible with lifting or bending the back leg. Continue breathing normally. Hold for ten or 15 seconds initially. Then increase duration over few weeks to a minute or more. Repeat for other leg.

Benefits: Tones hips, legs, thighs. Improves mental and physical stamina. Helps with advanced poses.

Improves posture, mood and confidence.

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Image: Virabhadrasana (Warrior pose, advanced)
Photographs: Shameem Akhtar
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Ushtrasana (Camel pose, simple version)

Go on your knees as shown. Cup elbows as shown, holding arms at chest level. Focus on arms. Inhaling tilt back lightly. Simultaneously move chest and stock ahead, creating a resistance between stomach and hips.

Breathing normally hold as long as is comfortable. As with the other poses in this practice duration must be increases with regular practice over time for proper impact.

Benefits: Improves breathing. Tones stomach, hips, thighs and arms.

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Image: Ushtrasana (Camel pose, simple version)
Photographs: Shameem Akhtar
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How to tone your butt with yoga

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Marjariasana (Cat stretch, advanced)

Go on your fours as shown. Fold right leg at knee, reach right hand behind to grasp right ankle. Inhale, lifting knee backwards, drawing it high, with leg still folded. Once balance is reached lift your head up to look at ceiling.

Straighten your arms. Lift knee higher. Maintain balance, breathe normally. Release and repeat for other leg.  Increase duration with practice.

Benefits: Improves overall body tone. Shapes thighs, legs, arms. Boosts immunity. Boosts balance and creates impulse control.

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Image: Marjariasana (Cat stretch, advanced)
Photographs: Shameem Akhtar
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Salabhasana(locust pose, advanced)

Lie on your stomach. Fold arms behind interlocking fingers. Inhale lifting head off the ground, tilting chin up. Simultaneously lift both legs off ground. Breathe normally throughout. Hold for ten seconds initially.

Repeat few times. Later hold longer with practice.

Benefits: Tones all muscle groups at the back including hips. Builds physical and mental endurance. Tones spinal nerves. Prevents back problems. Is a cure all pose.

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Image: Salabhasana(locust pose, advanced)
Photographs: Shameem Akhtar
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Kandharasana (Shoulder pose, advanced)

Lie on back. Fold legs at knees. Hold waist with hands as shown. Lift hips up. Push into the ground with feet. Lift right leg straight up. Inhale. Hold for 15 seconds or so breathing normally.

Remember to hold hips up and try not to transfer weight to hands. Relax leg back. Repeat for opposite leg. Increase duration in final pose with practice.

Avoid: If having weak wrists.

Benefits: Complete body work out, it tones all muscle groups at the back, targeting specifically the hips. Boosts immunity. Works the thyroid to boosts metabolism. Works parathyroid to strengthen tissues. Improves respiration. Prevents and helps control back pain.


Image: Kandharasana (Shoulder pose, advanced)
Photographs: Shameem Akhtar
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