Health Topics

Healthy Living

October 2011
Get A Six-Pack The Yoga Way!
Shobita Shivshankar
Apart from healing the mind and spirit, yoga is the world’s most dynamic way of keeping the waistline in control and sculpting the abs… Yoga exercises are a complete low impact cardiovascular, toning, flexibility and strengthening workout regimen—a great way not just to strengthen the joints, knees and back but also to get fit and stay fit. Many yoga asanasare designed to sculpt the body and are particularly effective in controlling an expanding waistline and developing abs.


  • One hour of yogaasanas can burn from 400 to 750 calories; much higher than if one did aerobics.
  • The asanas work on all muscle groups without being monotonous.
  • It is also possible to focus on a desired muscle group and this makes the exercise regimen equally popular with men and women.
  • The best part is that when done under professional guidance there is very little injury risk.
  • Yogic fitness accommodates all ages, fitness levels and abilities through a variety of programming options.
  • It is almost a perfect means to condition the body.
  • It not only stimulates the mind but is a great de-stressor and rejuvenates the spirit as well.
5 Yogaasanas for toning the middle
Here are some of the most effective yogaasanasfor toning the middle and strengthening the abdominal muscles.

Uddhiyana Bandha or the Stomach Lock is an excellent exercise for toning the belly muscles. Stand erect with feet apart. Bend head and knees forward and lower your arms and grasp your thighs a little above the knees. Exhale and contract the abdominal muscles while simultaneously expanding the chest and rib cage. Hold this position for around 15 seconds without breathing. Now inhale and relax your muscles and come back to normal position. Repeat ten times.

Paschimothanasana or the Seated Forward Bend is an extremely effective asana for toning up abdominal muscles. Sit on the floor with legs stretched in front. Raise your arms and breathe out. Now bend your torso forward and try holding your feet with your hands so that your head touches your knees. This will be tough in the beginning but extend your arms as far as they go and your head as much close to the knees as possible. Hold for 15 seconds and then relax. Repeat 10 times.

Hastapadasana is one of the eight basic poses of yoga, which form a part of the Surya Namaskar. Stand erect with feet a bit apart. Take a deep breath and raise your hands. While exhaling, lower your hands, bend your torso so that your head touches your knees and try touching your feet with your hands. It may not be possible in the beginning. But go as far as you can and hold the position for around 10 seconds. Then come back to standing pose. Repeat 10 times.

Setubandhasana or the Bridge Pose is also beneficial for the waist and back. Lie on your back with knees bent and arms outstretched on the sides with palms flat on the ground. Inhale and lift your hips towards the ceiling going as far as you can. Now hold the position and move your arms over your body to the back while carefully keeping the balance of the body. Hold for 10 seconds. Slowly bring arms back to the original position and lower your hips and relax. Repeat exercise 10 times.

Trikoasana or the Extended Triangle Pose is an excellent way to tone the waist muscles. In this asana, stand straight with feet about a foot apart. While inhaling bend your body forward with hands extended in front. Slowly go into the doggy pose with your hands touching the floor in front of you. Move your right foot forward and bring your bent body towards your right hand. With your right hand touching your right foot raise your left hand towards the ceiling so that your body forms a triangle. Hole the position for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 10 times.

Yoga exercises are different from the workouts in a gym. They are not only the best means to condition the body but are also an effective way of reducing flab and staying in shape. 
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
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