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5 yoga poses to help you look good naked

Sculpt long, lean muscles with these yoga poses

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naked yoga

How yoga can help you look good naked

The point of yoga is to calm your mind, de-stress and get connected with your body – but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t also make you look fit and fabulous. Yoga poses are great for strengthening and toning muscles because they require you to hold up or balance your own body weight.If you want your yoga practice to help you sculpt a great bod, add these poses to your regular routine.

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women yoga plank

Plank

This pose works your entire body while strengthening your core – meaning you’ll look more toned all over.

Start on hands and knees, making sure that wrists are directly under shoulders and hands are engaged.

For level one, walk back on your knees until there’s a fairly straight line from knees to shoulders. Bring your belly button toward the spine and use your core muscles to keep the hips from sinking. Make sure the wrists are still directly under the shoulders.

For level two, come off your knees and onto your toes so that the entire body is in a straight line from shoulders to heels.

If this pose hurts the wrists, come down onto the forearms instead, with hands clasped and elbows under shoulders. Once level two gets easier, challenge yourself by lifting alternating feet for a breath or two each.

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yoga twist

Seated twist

Not only do twists promote a healthy spine and relieve tight back muscles, they also improve your posture, which instantly makes you look taller (and better sans clothes).

Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position with spine upright. If you find yourself uncomfortable or slouching, try placing a folded blanket, cushion or yoga block or bolster under your hips.

Inhale and sit up as straight as possible. On the exhale, twist gently to the right, starting the movement from the base of the spine and letting it flow upward. As you move, place the left hand on the right knee and the right hand behind you for balance. Move the head last and only as far as it can comfortably go without strain.

On each inhale, lengthen the spine – you will likely move slightly out of the twist. On each exhale, gently twist deeper.

Return to centre on an inhale, then repeat on the left, making sure to switch the crossing of your legs first.

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yoga pose downward dog

Downward dog

A yoga staple, downward dog strengthens the upper body, releases tension in the spine and stretches out the back, calves and backs of the thighs.

Get onto your hands and knees with fingers spread open and pointing away from you, hands slightly forward of your shoulders.

Distribute your weight through your whole hands, not your wrists.

Lift your knees off the floor, raising your tailbone and buttocks toward the ceiling; draw your abs up and in.

Straighten legs, heels down, or keep knees slightly bent and heels off floor (a good beginners’ option).

Gently press tailbone upward as you lengthen through your arms and legs. Keep head in line with arms.

Hold for up to five yoga breaths; return to starting position.

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Warrior pose II yoga

Warrior II

Do this pose to get better balance as you tone muscles in your hips, thighs, butt and shoulders.

Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart-three to four feet, depending on your flexibility.

Turn your right foot to point toward the right with both heels in line, keeping your body facing forward. Your left foot should be pointed forward or slightly inward, perpendicular to your right foot.

Extend your arms to your sides at shoulder height, palms down. With tight abs, bend your right leg, gently lowering the pelvis toward the floor and keeping the torso upright, until your right knee is directly above your right ankle. Adjust the distance between your feet to adjust the stretch.

Gently turn head toward the right, gazing along your right arm and fingers.

Hold for up to five yoga breaths. Switch sides.

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yoga

Staff pose

Staff Pose will alleviate chronic back pain and at the same time restructure and realign your posture, which translates into looking fitter. If you want to stand tall and radiate confidence and elegance, staff pose is a great way to do it.

Sit on the floor with your back slightly away from or leaning against a sofa or chair.

Stretch your legs out in front of you and lift the flesh away from your buttocks so you are sitting directly on your sitting bones.

Contract thigh and calf muscles and push your heels forward, flexing ankles, so you stretch and lengthen the hamstrings.

Lift your torso and upper chest up, roll your shoulders back and down, and place your hands on the floor beside your thighs. Keep chin parallel to the floor and relax your facial muscles and jaw. Visualize your body as the letter L. Try to avoid leaning backward-though this sometimes happens for beginners, don’t let it put you off.

As you inhale, draw the breath up into your upper chest, lengthening your back muscles and spine, and as you exhale, hold the height and contract belly (abdominal) muscles as tightly as you can. The extra height and the contraction are the core-strengthening building blocks. (If you want to take it to the next level, work with eyes closed and on every exhale quietly say to yourself, “I AM STRONG”).

Repeat for 6-10 breaths (or more), keeping your legs contracted, your ankles flexed and the jaw and shoulders relaxed.

On your last exhalation, release, let go

Related:
The benefits of yoga
8 yoga moves to boost your energy
5 reasons to try yoga this year