6 Yoga Moves to Do Right Now
For fitness beyond bikini season.
We have something to say about all the “bikini body” talk we hear every summer: we don’t get it. Isn’t it preferable to have a healthy body year-round and not just in time for beach season? Yes, it’s true that hemlines creep shorter between May and September, but here at COV HQ, we think it’s about more than just about looking good (although, admittedly, that’s a happy consequence). Cue Lyons Den founder, Bethany Lyons, who shares our feelings on the subject and has created a full-body yoga toning circuit to help us be stronger and leaner all year long.
Low Lunge to 3 Crescent Lunge Dips to Arched Back
“Step into a low lunge with your feet hips-width apart. Bring your hands to your thighs and focus on contracting the abdominals. Bring your hands to your hips. Squeeze the back of your thigh and lift up, then dip down three times. Slowly transition by bringing your arms straight above your head. Start arching your back and reach behind your head with your outstretched arms. This sequence is going to strengthen and tone your quadriceps and glutes.”
Crow Pose with Leg Lifts
“Bend over (as if you’re touching your toes) and place your hands about foot-width in front of your feet. Keep your hips high and go up on your toes with your knees slightly bent. Draw your knees towards your armpits and up high against your triceps. Gently transfer the weight to your knees to lift your feet off the ground. Actively engage your core muscles and flex your feet up toward your glutes, then lower back down to the floor. Repeat this motion several times. Remember that every time you lift your feet up, squeeze into the center line of your body and press into the floor. This move with help strengthen your core, upper back and arm muscles.”
“Get into your downward dog position. Lift your right leg, and cross your right ankle over your left leg, creating a ‘4’ with your legs. Bend your left knee and then press your weight back and up while engaging your core. Make sure to keep your right foot flexed for the entire movement. This is great for strengthening your legs, core, upper back and arms, as well as a great hip-opening pose.”
Warrior II to Side Angle
“Take a Warrior II stance: a long lunge with your hips and shoulders open to the side and both feet firmly planted down into the mat. Draw your front forearm down onto your thigh, and reach the other arm overhead to the front of the mat. Press into your feet and engage your core muscles to extend your bottom arm parallel with your top arm; hold for a breath and bring it back to the starting position. Repeat several times, while breathing evenly. This will strengthen your legs, glutes, back and abdominal muscles.”
“From Downward Dog position, walk your feet forward to shorten your stance, so that your shoulders come over your wrist creases. Press down into the floor with both hands. Bring your feet together on your tiptoes, and bend your knees out slightly to the side to create a diamond shape with your legs. Keep your arms straight and leap off the floor for some air time. Try to get your hips to come over your shoulders while maintaining strong core contraction and keeping your feet active with their inner edges touching. This is one of the best core exercises you can do. It gets the heart rate up and helps to burns calories!”
“From a standing position, bend your left leg slightly. Cross your right leg over the left as tightly as possible, trying to wrap the foot all the way around the calf. Sweep your right arm under your left, wrapping and binding them as well. Lift your elbows slightly away from your body and send your shoulders towards the back, maintaining a neutral spine. Take five breaths. Repeat on the other side. This is a great stretch, and strengthening move for your ankles and calves. It generates joint stability and balance as well.”