Yoga isn’t traditionally where people turn to enhance muscle tone and build full body strength, but these workouts will prove just how effective it can be. Cardio and weight training aren’t the only methods for achieving the body of your dreams – Behold! Yoga has the power to transform your figure while making you feel stronger and more flexible than ever before. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or a yoga newbie, these workouts will leave you sweaty, grounded, and ready to face the day with a renewed sense of clarity.
Advanced Core Power Flow
Advanced yogis and those with strong core muscles will love this short power flow. The sequence incorporates traditional postures with dynamic movements to bring results fast. You’ll do a short warm up to get the muscles firing before transitioning into the advanced series of poses. Following the flow is a quick cool down to restore calm in the body. Get ready to feel the heat in your midsection!
Dandayamana Bharmanasana— Bird Dog Pose
Come to all fours with wrists under shoulders and knees under hips. Inhale your right arm straight forward and your left leg straight behind. Exhale to round the spine and draw your right elbow to your left knee. Inhale to extend back out and repeat five times before switching sides.
Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana — Three Legged Dog Pose
From your tabletop position, reach the hips up and back into a downward facing dog. Bring the soles of the feet together and inhale your left leg straight back. Exhale and round the spine while pulling your left knee towards your nose. Inhale to extend the leg out again and do five more round before repeating with the right leg.
Vasisthasana — Side Plank Pose
Roll the spine forward from downward facing dog to a high plank pose with wrists under shoulders. Mindfully roll to the outside edge of the left foot and stack your right foot over as you reach your right hand to the ceiling. Keep the hips lifted and the belly in as you breathe for thirty seconds on each side. Add in leg lifts if you’re craving an extra burn!
Virabhadrasana III — Warrior III Pose
We left off in side plank, so run through a vinyasa and make your way back to standing at your own pace. Root down through your left foot and slowly exhale your right leg straight back as you give forward at the waist. Try to bring your torso parallel to the floor in line with the right leg. Hold and breath for three to five cycles and move to the other side.
Paripurna Navasana — Boat Pose
It’s time to get on the floor – Option to take a vinyasa before finding a comfortable seat. Plant your feet flat and bring your arms parallel to the floor with palms facing down and shoulders relaxed. Inhale your feet off the mat and either keep the knees bent or extend the legs straight for an extra challenge.
You made it! Now let’s give those abs the love they deserve. Starting on your belly, walk your hands to the front corners of the mat and come into an upward facing dog variation to stretch the abdominal muscles. Stay here for thirty seconds before making your way into child’s pose to rest as long as you need.
Total Body Burner
This full body workout is perfect for anyone who appreciates the physically challenging aspects of yoga without holding shapes for extended periods of time. You’ll flow through different poses to target all major muscle groups and build strength. A short warm up and cool down will replenish and rejuvenate your body before and after the sweat session.
I know you’re ready to dive right in – But let’s run through a few slow sun salutations to wake the entire body first. Observe areas of tension and ease as you match inhalations and exhalations to specific movements. Take three to five full salutations before starting the sequence.
Phalakasana — Plank Pose
Take a forward fold and flow to a plank with wrists under shoulders and belly engaged. Activate through the whole body and keep space in the back of the neck by gazing ahead of the fingers. Stay here for thirty seconds or longer if you need an extra challenge.
Kakasana — Crow Pose
From plank pose, walk your feet as close to your hands as possible. Rise high to the balls of the feet and bring knees towards your armpits. Begin to shift your weight forward into the palms and let the feet lift from the floor. Tighten your tummy and pull the heels towards the sit bones. Keep gazing ahead as you breathe here for as long as you can.
Trikonasana — Triangle Pose
Come to a standing position and take a wide step back with your left foot. Keep your right toes pointing forward as you dial the left toes out slightly. Inhale your arms or in a T-shape and exhale to reach forward with the right fingertips. Drop your right hand down to your shin or a block and reach the left hand towards the sky. Stay here or make some pulsing motions up with the left hand to work the core. Come back to stand at the head of your mat and repeat triangle on the other side.
Utkata Konasana — Goddess Pose
Keeping the feet wide, turn the toes out and bring your hands to your hips. Slowly slide down into a squat with the knees pointing in the same direction as the toes. Cactus your arms to the sides and pulse down in the legs for thirty seconds.
A full body workout requires a whole body cool down. Take some seating stretches for the legs and side body. Slowly ease off the effort and find your way into some restorative poses. Come to lie on your back for some gentle hip openers such as happy baby or reclined pigeon. End this practice laying down with your full body melting into the mat for a restful savasana.
Advanced Sun Salutations
It’s the sequence of postures we all know and love – The sun salutations. This workout is a fresh and exciting spin on the classic salutations that will leave you ready to melt into the cooling down postures. Run through the sequence as many times as you’d like and expect to feel the burn from head to toe!
Start this workout with some seated neck stretches. Find a long spine and slowly roll the neck clockwise, dropping your right ear to your right shoulder and following the motion around to the other side. Repeat in a counterclockwise direct after three to five full circles. Gently stretch the shoulders and wrists in any way that feels appropriate before coming to stand at the head of your mat.
Uttanasana — Standing Forward Fold Pose
Exhale to fold over the legs and sway side to side. Let the head and neck relax as you create space in the lower back and legs.
Plank Push Ups
Step back to plank and feel the body ignite from head to toe. Lift the back of the knees towards the ceiling and press through the palms to broaden the upper back. Bend the elbows and lower halfway to the floor into chaturanga dandasana then push back up to plank. Repeat five push-ups before flowing through upward facing dog into a downward facing dog.
Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana — Downward Facing Dog Flow Pose
In your downward facing dog, bring the soles of the feet together and inhale your left leg straight back. Exhale and round the spine while pulling your left knee towards your nose. Inhale to extend the leg out again and do five more round before repeating with the right leg.
Anjaneyasana — Crescent Pose
Continuing with your downward facing dog flow, step your right foot between your hands and rise into a high lunge on an inhale. Exhale your hands down to the mat, step back to downward facing dog, and repeat on the other side.
Take a seat with legs straight in front of you and take a relaxing forward fold. After about thirty seconds, widen the legs and fold once again. Slowly roll onto your back, bringing the soles of the feet together and the knees wide. Let one hand rest on your belly and one on your heart as you recover and connect back to the breath.
Lower Body Toning Flow
Get the chiseled calves, muscular thighs, and perfectly shaped glutes you’ve always wanted with this lower body workout. Yes, your legs will be shaking, and your breath will be shallow, but it’ll be worth it when you see the results. Stay focused as you move through this fluid sequence and remain connected to the power and strength of your grounded lower half. Enjoy a refreshing warm up and a relaxing cool down to top off the perfect workout routine.
This workout will leave your legs feeling like jelly, but warming up the muscles will help keep the achiness at bay. Starting in a standing position at the head of your mat, take a deep inhale and simultaneously lift your arms overhead. Exhale and fold over the legs, keeping a soft bend in the knees. Inhale back up to standing with arms overhead and repeat three to five more times.
Utkatasana — Chair Pose
Inhale your arms by your ears and exhale the hips down and back. Sink weight into your heels and draw the lower belly in as you breathe here for thirty seconds. For an extra kick try rising high on the balls of the feet.
Virabhadrasana I — Warrior I Pose
From chair pose, flow through a vinyasa to downward facing dog. Bring your left foot between your hands and turn the right foot or slightly. Inhale your arms overhead and sixty both hip points forward. Lunge as deep as you can into your left knee and breathe for five cycles of breath before switching sides.
Virabhadrasana II — Warrior II Pose
From downward facing dog, draw your left foot between your hands and turn your right foot flat. Lunge the front heel with the back arch and rise up with arms in a T-shape. Lunge into your left knee as you gaze over the left fingertips and maintain a straight spine. Stay for five full breaths and move to the other side. Option to bring some movement to the pose for an added thigh burner.
Utthita Parsvakonasana — Extended Side Angle Pose
Start this pose the same way you entered warrior II with the left foot leading. On an exhale drop your left forearm to your left thigh and reach your right arm overhead. Rotate your heart towards the sky and breathe for five full cycles. Don’t forget to keep pulling the inner thighs together to maintain stability.
Whew! It’s time to cool down and give those legs a rest. Find a comfortable seat with soles of the feet together and knees wide. Fold over the legs and breath into the hip flexors for about thirty seconds before lengthening the legs into a wide-legged fold. Finish this sequence lying on your back with a reclined pigeon on both sides.
Beginner Core Strength
If you’re new to the yoga scene or looking for a gentle core practice, try out this mild, yet effective core workout. This routine is also an excellent way to maintain core stability and reduce the incidence of back pain. Respect your limitations and move mindfully through the sequence of postures to get the most from your practice.
Find a comfortable seat with hips slightly elevated on a blanket or block. Stretch both arms overhead and bring some space to the waist. Alternate dropping one arm down to your side as you reach the other arm overhead. Finish your warmup with any gentle neck, shoulder, or wrist stretches that feel appropriate for your body.
Marjaryasana — Cat/Cow Pose
Come to all fours and run through three to five rounds of spinal waves. Inhaling to open the chest and drop the belly; exhaling to round the spine and tuck the chin.
Vasisthasana — Modified Side Plank Pose
Step back to a plank pose and drop your left knee to the floor. Kickstand your left foot behind as you roll onto the knife edge of the right foot and open to a side plank. Lift your right arm straight up and pull your belly in. Hold here for thirty seconds, lifting the right leg if it feels appropriate, before heading to the other side.
Bhujangasana — Cobra Pose
Lower down to your belly from plank and bring both palms under your shoulders. Using the muscles of the core and back, peel your upper body from the mat. Move through this motion the times.
Vrksasana — Tree Pose
Flow through a vinyasa and come to stand at the head of your mat. Root down through your right foot and draw your left foot up to either the ankle, calf or inner thigh of your right leg. Open the left knee and bring your hands to your heart. Continue to breathe for five cycles before lowering and moving to the other side.
Take a child’s pose with the knees wide, and the big toes are touching. Let the belly drop towards the floor and the arms reach towards the head of your mat. Stay here and collect your breath as long as necessary.
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After spending nearly two decades as a relationship therapist, Patricia journeyed down the path of writing as a vehicle for sharing her wisdom. Her work reflects a sincere interest in readers’ wellbeing and is abundant with helpful advice and fascinating insight.