For those of you who are wondering, ‘Will yoga tone my body’ I would like to enlighten you about all of the wonderful effects yoga has.
The most known benefit of yoga would definitely be flexibility – which you certainly experience the benefit of that too! However, with a steady paced flow, you can tone your whole body!
You Don’t Even Realize It’s Happening!
There have been so many times where I go to a yoga and everything is flowing smoothly. I feel confident and strong in the poses. Then when I am done and walking out to my car – my legs are shaking. It’s crazy because I certainly didn’t feel anything happening during the class but, afterward my whole body was feeling the practice.
Once you start your practice and get into the meditative flow of moving your body, your body tends to crave the poses as opposed to wanting to make the pose easier.
All poses target a muscle or muscle group in each form of yoga and each transition requires you to work different muscles. Yoga is a way for you to discover what muscles need work, what ones are already strong and, muscles you may not have even noticed before.
Yoga Poses To Tone Your Body
Downward dog is so wonderful for stretching out your legs and building strength in the arms. You don’t notice it as much but it also works on your traps and back muscles, while requiring you to keep your ribs in and core engaged.
The ol’ chaturanga. A yoga classic that gets your arms and core warmed up for the practice. Be sure to follow it with a cobra or upward facing dog.
To ignite the glutes. Chair pose is exactly how it sounds, pretend you’re sitting in a chair. This is a great pose that can be modified into a twist as well.
Warrior 2 is one of those poses that I was talking about earlier where I don’t really realize the effects it has on my body until after the class. There are so many little tweaks that you need to make in this pose to do it correctly. Once you are in this pose, it screams full body strength and you’ll understand why when you hold it for a period of time.
This standing pose definitely isolates the muscles in the rooted leg. You also have to be conscious of your core & posture in this pose. Not only is this a pose to tone your body, but it’s also a great pose for concentration and balance as well!
Some Other Things To Consider
Adding/modifying movement into your practice really enhances and engages toning your muscles. Sometimes all you need to do is sink deeper into the pose – with your breath (that’s really important).
A lot of times you will be guided through movement, in Warrior 2, to use your core, keep your legs in place and bend over your top leg on your exhale, and then come back up on your inhale. You will definitely feel it if you do that five times on each side.
Another form of movement that tones your body is when you are in a high lunge with your arms stretched over your head, take a breath in and one your exhale bend your back knee and sink into the pose while pulling your arms down & bending your elbows, inhale to rise up.
Doing it Right
This one may be a little self-explanatory but if you ever feel like you’re not getting anything from the pose that you should be, think about things like – is my core engaged, are my shoulders/hips stacked, are my shoulders back & not hunched.
I find within a class practice your instructor will remind you of these things throughout the class. I always felt like they were almost a mind reader. The instructor would say, ‘make sure you aren’t clenching your jaw’ and sure enough, I would be.
So, if you seem to not be getting what you were expecting out of your practice, it may just be the little body tweaks that need to be made.
I want to thank you for taking the time to learn that yoga WILL tone your body. Do remember, all great things take time and if you are continuously working towards your beach body, you will look in the mirror one day and it will be staring back at you!
Please feel free to leave any comments below with questions or pointers that you have experienced!
Cheers & have a great day!