Want to tone your entire body instead of just thighs or arms? Do yoga to tone your body. We tell you the best body toning yoga poses.

Once we get rid of extra body fat in our, our next aim is usually to get enhanced muscle definition. After all, we want our muscles to look lean. There are many strength training exercises that can help you in toning your body. But you can also take the yoga route. Yoga is not just for relaxation. It can help to tone your entire body too.. While some asanas can tone your thighs or arms, there are yoga poses to tone your whole body. Read on to know about yoga for toning.

Yoga poses for toning body

Yoga helps to tone the whole body by engaging multiple muscle groups through various poses and movements. It combines strength, flexibility, and balance, allowing you to work on different areas of your body simultaneously, says yoga expert Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar. The controlled movements required in yoga poses help build lean muscle mass and improve overall muscle tone.

A woman doing yoga to tone body
Pick yoga asanas that engage multiple muscle groups. Image courtesy: Freepik

A 2015 study published in The Journals of Gerontology Series also showed that practicing yoga regularly is as effective as stretching-strengthening exercises in improving functional fitness. Here are eight yoga poses you can try:

1. Santolanasana (Plank Pose)

  • Start with a push-up position that means your arms should be extended and hands should be directly under your shoulders. Engage your core and form a straight line from your heels to your head.
  • Inhale deeply when you lift up your body.
  • Exhale after holding the pose for a few seconds.

Avoid this asana in case of wrist or shoulder injuries.

2. Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose or Low Plank Pose)

  • Start with the plank position and inhale.
  • Exhale when your lower your body in a straight line until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.

People with wrist, shoulder, or lower back injuries should not attempt the
Chaturanga Dandasana, says the expert.

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3. Naukasana (Boat Pose)

  • Sit with your legs extended.
  • As you engage your core, inhale and raise your arms overhead and legs off the ground.
  • Exhale when you lower them.

If you have neck or lower back injuries, do not do the Boat Pose.

4. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

  • Stand with your feet together.
  • Inhale and raise your arms overhead.
  • Exhale and bend your knees, pushing your hips back as if sitting on a chair that is not visible.

People with knee or ankle injuries should avoid this asana.

5. Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)

  • From a standing position, shift your weight onto one leg as you inhale and raise the other leg behind you, parallel to the ground.
  • Exhale as you lean forward and extend one arm in front and the other behind you.

This standing yoga pose also improves balance, but if you have injuries to the back, hips, or knees, do not do it.

6. Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose)

  • Lie down on your side with your legs extended, and prop yourself up on your forearm and foot.
  • Inhale, engage your core and lift your hips off the ground, forming a straight line from heels to head.
  • Exhale after holding the pose for a few seconds.

People with wrist, shoulder, or neck injuries must avoid it.

7. Salabhasana (Locust Pose)

  • Lie down on your stomach to do the locust pose.
  • Engage your core, inhale and push your body up onto your toes and hands.
  • Hold the pose for some time then exhale.

Don’t do this asana if you have wrist, shoulder, or lower back injuries, says Akshar.

A woman doing yoga to tone body
Boat pose can tone your body. Image courtesy: Freepik

8. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)

  • As you lie on your back, keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Engage your core, inhale and lift your hips off the ground, forming a straight line from knees to shoulders.
  • Hold this pose then slowly exhale.

Avoid it if you have neck or shoulder injuries.

Before attempting these poses, make sure to warm up properly to prevent injuries. You can go gentle stretches and deep breathing exercises before doing body toning poses.

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