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Last Updated on February 28, 2019

8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs

8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs

Reverse-Warrior

    1. Reverse Warrior

    • Begin in Downward Facing Dog. Step your right foot forward, rising up into Warrior 1. Open your hips, arms, and chest into Warrior 2.
    • Inhale to lower your left hand to your left thigh or calf and raise your right arm overhead, arching toward the back end of your mat. Continue pressing the right knee forward, with the front thigh parallel to the floor. Hold Reverse Warrior for five breaths.
    • Rise up, and switch sides.

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    Triangle

      2. Triangle

      • First, come into Warrior 2 with the right knee bent. Straighten your front leg, extend your right arm away from you, and lower it to the floor.
      • Extend your left arm up and gaze at your left palm, holding for five breaths.
      • Rise up, and switch sides.

      Side-Fierce

        3. Side Fierce

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        • Stand with both feet together. Bring your palms together, rotate your torso to the right, squat down, and cross your left elbow over your right outer thigh.
        • Press down your palms together, and actively push your bottom elbow against your thigh to lift and rotate your chest up, increasing the twist.
        • Keep weight in the heels, gazing over the right shoulder for five deep breaths.
        • Stay in the low squat as you rise back to the centre and rotate the torso over to the left side for another five.

        Eagle

          4. Eagle

          • Release hold of your foot, lift the torso as you swing your right knee forward. Wrap it around your left thigh, and tuck the right toes around your lower left leg.
          • Cross the left elbow over the right then bring your palms together.
          • Hold like this for five breaths, lift your elbows, gazing at the hands.

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          Goddess

            5. Goddess

            • Stand at the top of your mat. Step open to the right, open your legs about three feet apart. Turn your heels in.
            • Bend your knees coming into a sumo wide squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your knees should be directly over your ankles, so adjust your feet if you need to.
            • Lift your arms up, bending your elbows at 90-degree angles, opening the palms away from you.
            • Enjoy this pose for five deep breaths.

            Sage

              6. Sage

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              • From Down Dog, step both feet together. Move your right hand to the center of your mat, and roll the body to the right, balancing on the outer edge of your flexed right foot.
              • Raise the left arm overhead, gazing at the fingertips.
              • After five breaths, release the left hand to the center of the mat, and roll open to the left for another five breaths.

              Intense-East

                7. Intense East

                • Begins by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Place your palms behind your hips about six to eight inches away, with your fingers pointing toward your toes.
                • As you inhale, press into your hands and feet firmly, lifting your hips into the air. Slowly release your head back, looking behind you.
                • Stay here for five deep breaths, and then release.

                Half-Wheel

                  8. Half Wheel

                  • Begin lying flat on your back with your arms along the sides of your body, palms facing down. Bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the floor. Walk your heels as close as you can to your tush.
                  • With your palms and feet pressing firmly into the ground, lift your hips up. Try to keep your thighs parallel. Bring the hands to the lower back for support or interlace the palms together.
                  • Stay here for five deep breaths, actively pressing your feet into the floor.

                  yoga a3
                    Reference: popsugar.com

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                    Published on March 8, 2019

                    How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

                    How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

                    When we fall into a workout routine, our moves become automatic, and the body quickly adapts. This is called muscle memory.[1] While teaching your body how to properly execute squats, push-ups, or crunches is a benefit, overly relying on these moves to consistently grow gains won’t yield the kind of results you want. That’s because the muscles work in the same way every time.

                    Simply put, they’re not being “surprised,” so they get lazy.

                    Supplementing your routine with flow yoga is one way of surprising your muscles, especially if you are new to the yoga practice and have never tried the postures. It’s like taking a new road home when you drive, deviating from your usual route. Science has found that by doing so, you’re creating new neuropathways in your brain.[2] The same is done in your muscles when you try a new routine.

                    How is this done? Let’s dive right into it.

                    How Flow Yoga Boost Your Gains in Your Workout Routine

                    Think about your current workouts:

                    If you lift weights, you rely on external tools to engage your various muscle groups. Over time, your shoulders, legs, or biceps will come to expect the weighted plates or dumbbells, in the repetitive sequences that you remember.

                    In flow yoga, we use the body as the weight. Add gravity and hundreds of different postures and combinations, and you have a workout that uses the same muscle groups, but in many different ways.

                    A pose such as plank is a full-body workout, with every muscle engaged to keep the body in one long line. While it’s a stationary pose, it requires muscle control and activation, with no room for passivity.

                      A Flow sequence, on the other hand, requires your muscle to switch from one pose to another swiftly, providing you with a more balanced and wholesome use of your major muscle groups.

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                      Not only do these poses and routines re-energize the body in a refreshing way, they also allow you to learn something new, which is powerful for the mind.

                      Bottom line? Complementing your exercise regimen with flow yoga is like hitting the shuffle button on your workouts, using your muscles in ways that “surprise” them, which in turn boost their growth and performance.

                      Energizing Flow Yoga with Added Cardio

                      Flow yoga is also known as “Vinyasa.”[3] In Sanskrit – the sacred language of the practice and its Indian roots – Vinyasa is roughly translated to “one breath, one movement.”

                      This guideline, first and foremost, enhances your breathing, and teaches you how to go from our typical shallow, chest-only breathing, to a more deeper, belly-chest breath that uses the entire lung system.

                      Not only is this beneficial for a myriad of healthcare reasons (combat allergies, eliminate toxins, reduce stress, ease anxiety), it also greatly impacts our muscles,[4] and therefore our workout.

                      Flooding your muscles with rich oxygen will only keep them healthy, while the cardio benefit will get you warmed up to take on the more challenging postures in a flow yoga class. This prevents injuries and cramping.

                      The best example of energizing cardio in flow yoga is the Sun Salutation sequence. Each pose is completed on an inhale or an exhale, until the sequence is finished. One full sequence may be repeated several times, encouraging you to take fuller and deeper breaths. The cycles warm up and loosen the body and prepare the muscles for stationary poses that are held longer.

                      Here’s how to do a Sun Salutation Flow:

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                      Due to the Sun Salutations, the muscles are not thrown into a challenging workout, but rather primed and prepared with energizing breath.

                      Why is this important, you ask? Because happy muscles are warmed-up muscles.

                      The Best Thing About Flow Yoga

                      The best thing about practicing flow yoga? You’re building strength and flexibility.

                      Strength and flexibility are like the Mecca of a wholesome workout routine. Before we get into why this is important, let’s break these two down individually to see how they stand up on their own:

                      Meet Strong Stan

                      Strong Stan is at the gym, doing bicep curls with massive dumbbells. His muscles have peaked in size, and he proudly displays them.

                      While he loves to lift weights, Strong Stan often skips stretching or warm-ups. He just doesn’t see how that could help him continue his muscle gains, so he jumps right into a heavy workout.

                      While it’s not evident to a passerby, Stan’s muscles are hurting. Without sufficient flexibility or deliberate stretching, Stan’s muscles are shortening and getting tighter. This eventually leads to joint injuries,[5] because un-stretched muscles have limited range of motion.

                      Big muscles are a sure indicator of strength, but here’s the kicker – choosing not to prioritize flexibility will keep them inherently at risk.

                      Meet Flexible Fiona

                      Flexible Fiona is in a flow yoga class, easing herself into a backbend.[6] She effortlessly gets into the pose, and “hangs” out there for a few breaths while the teacher cues the class.

                      Even though the teacher instructs the students to engage their glutes and be mindful that this is an active pose, Flexible Fiona opts otherwise, and relaxes into the posture by sacrificing the strength she ought to be building.

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                      To many in the class, Fiona’s execution of the backbend would be a success – maybe even something to envy. However, what Fiona doesn’t realize is that her excessive flexibility is actually a detriment to her joints.[7]

                      Flexibility has been defined as the “absolute range of motion” by Tony Gummerson, Martial Arts instructor. For people who are naturally flexible, that line of absolute range is often blurry and, in practice, overlooked.

                      It’s very easy for Fiona to go above and beyond her range of motion, since her flexibility parameters are much wider than what Strong Stan may experience in a similar pose.

                      Because she doesn’t feel the stretch in the same degree of motion as other students in class, Fiona has to push the envelope of her flexibility. This puts too much pressure on the joints that are already overworked, and it overstretches the muscles that are now prone to tearing.

                      Your goal is to create muscle and joint balance and wholeness.

                      What Strong Stan and Flexible Fiona have in common is that they’re both missing vital pieces of muscle awareness.

                      In Stan’s case, heavy and tight muscles crave flexibility. Without it, not only would Stan hit a plateau in his gains because of a sure injury, but he would miss out on having the lean and toned muscles that we all want to have.

                      In Fiona’s case, her overstretched muscles are not getting a workout at all. Rather, her excessive flexibility is resting on her joints, which leads to definite injury.

                      So what can you do? It’s quite simple.

                      You have to give your muscles the opposite of what they’re used to.

                      If you’re a Stan and hate stretching, focusing on your flexibility is key. You will lengthen your tight muscles, and you’ll create new muscle memory by practicing routines that are new to you and your muscle groups.

                      If you’re a Fiona and hate strengthening, focusing on this priority is vital. Your muscles are used to being passive as you stretch, so shaking up the usual and putting them to work will not only keep you injury-free, but that much closer to the muscle gains you’ve been looking for.

                      Fortunately, flow yoga is the whole package, and can be the one-stop-shop for both Stan and Fiona.

                        Final Thoughts

                        If you’re serious about using flow yoga to supplement your workout routine to boost gains, sign up for a class at your local gym or yoga studio. There are a number of styles of yoga to try, but as we’ve discussed in this article, the Vinyasa style is your best bet to complement a moderate exercise regimen.

                        Many studios offer beginner-style Vinyasa classes, where the instructor will explain the basics, and break down the sequences in a pace that is suitable for entry-level students. From here, the student can build upon their practice, and opt for more challenging, fast-paced classes, such as Power Flow or Ashtanga.

                        Working out is a lesson in teaching your muscles. The gains that we grow are the result of that experience, and it all comes down to conditioning our body in a way that is healthy, efficient, and balanced.

                        With a practice like flow yoga, we can offer supplemental training to our current regimen that will work our muscles in ways that are new, refreshing, and “surprising.” This method will keep our muscles toned and lean, as long as we prioritize the balance between strength and flexibility to ensure that we’re meeting both of these needs. Our muscle gains and body health depend on it.

                        More Resources About Yoga and Fitness

                        Featured photo credit: Edit Sztazics via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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