Say Say "Om" for a Better Body
If you've always wanted to try yoga but aren't sure where to start, this is the workout for you! Research shows that doing yoga can improve your flexibility, help you de-stress and lower your blood pressure, which protects your heart-not to mention tone and lengthen your muscles, making you leaner. The best part? You don't have to be a pro to reap the benefits. I've developed this workout based on easy yoga poses that you can do in 20 minutes or less. Take off your shoes, roll out a mat and do it 3 or 4 times a week. All photos by Hilmar Meyer-Bosse.
Tree Twists A Tree Twists A
Tones waist, back and abs. Stand with feet together, arms extended above head next to ears. Intertwine your fingers and clasp hands together with index fingers pointing to ceiling. Bend slightly to your left.
Tree Twists B Tree Twists B
Twist torso so your left shoulder is pressing down toward floor behind you and your gaze is directed up. Hold for 5 seconds, then rotate back to starting position. Do 10 twists on each side.
Thigh Sit-Backs A Thigh Sit-Backs A
Works thighs and butt. Kneel with arms extended straight in front of you.
Thigh Sit-Backs B Thigh Sit-Backs B
With abs tight, lean back slightly (no more than 45 degrees), turning palms up. Hold for 3 seconds, then sit back up. Repeat 10 times.
Warrior Lunges A Warrior Lunges A
Strengthens back and legs. Step right leg out wide, bending knee at a 90-degree angle, keeping left leg straight. Extend arms out to the sides so they form a straight line.
Warrior Lunges B Warrior Lunges B
Reach right arm toward floor, tilting upper body, keeping arms in a straight line. Hold for a few seconds, then return to start. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.
Cobra Pushups A Cobra Pushups A
Strengthens arms, shoulders, back. Lie facedown with hands on either side of chest, elbows bent, palms down. Push up slightly, keeping abs on the floor. Repeat 4 times.
Cobra Pushups B Cobra Pushups B
Push farther up, lifting your upper body off the floor, keeping thighs on the ground. Lower back down to position a). Do 2 sets of 10.
Downward Dog A Downward Dog A
Stretches back, abs, calves, hamstrings, shoulders. Start on your hands and feet (heels off the ground) with butt in the air.
Downward Dog B Downward Dog B
Push chest to knees, dropping your head between arms. Hold for 30 seconds, rest, then repeat 5 times.
Child's Pose Child's Pose
Full-body stretch. Sit on your knees with chest folded into legs. Stretch your arms straight in front of you with palms facing down. Press your nose toward floor as you push your butt back toward your heels. Hold for 60 seconds, breathing deeply.
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Original article appeared on WomansDay.com
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