It’s common knowledge that high intensity workouts that make you work hard and sweat a lot provide the greatest fat burning benefit, right? If you believe that this is true in every case, think again. Yoga can provide an alternative way to stay fit, reduce stress and fight fat!! It decreases stress hormone levels and increases insulin sensitivity, sending your body a natural signal to burn the food you eat as fuel rather than storing it as fat.
Before you sign up for a yoga class, try a few moves at home to see whether yoga provides a workout that you enjoy and that works for you. Basic yoga positions should be held while you breathe deeply three to five times. As you get more proficient, extend the hold time to five to eight breaths and increase your repetitions.
Crescent (for firming abs, hips and thighs)
Stand with arms at sides and feet together. Raise your arms over your head while inhaling and reach toward the ceiling with your fingertips. While exhaling, bend forward at the waist and touch the floor with your hands. Inhale and then exhale while stepping your right leg backwards into a lunge position. While inhaling, raise arms overhead, face forward and hold the position.
Willow (for firming sides and abs)
Stand with arms at sides and feet together. Bring your left leg up and place the sole of your left foot on your right inner thigh. Bring your palms together in front of your body and hold for two breaths, then raise your arms toward the ceiling. Exhale, then inhale and bend to the left. Inhale and return to the center. Exhale and bend to the right.
Hover (for firming shoulders, arms, abs and back)
Place yourself in push-up position on your yoga mat. Keep arms straight with hands under your shoulders. As you exhale, lower your body toward the floor and bend elbows back with arms held close to your body. Keep your abs tight and hold the position with your chest a few inches off the floor. Inhale and exhale, then return to starting position.
Chair (for firming your butt and thighs)
Stand with arms at sides and feet together. While inhaling, place palms together and raise your arms overhead. Exhale, and bend your knees as you sit back about 45 degrees. Keep your knees behind your toes and abs tight while you focus in front of you. Inhale as you straighten to a standing position.
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