Yoga poses to slim your thighs
For some, yoga is a spiritual journey. For others, it’s a path to slimmer thighs. Here are 8 simple yoga poses you need to know to shape long, lean, healthy legs.
1. Chair Pose
To do this pose, begin in a standing position. Gently bed your knees and lower your butt, as if sitting in an imaginary chair. Just as you want to keep your back straight and not slouch when seated, keep your back upright by raising your hands over your head and looking between your fingers. Hold the pose for a 30 to 60 seconds, maintaining deep, yogic breathing.
2. Warrior I
The best way to do this pose is to begin in down dog. Gently step your right foot between your hands, spin your left heel outward so the foot is parallel with the mat and grounded to the floor. Be careful to double check the right heel is in line with the right knee cap. This will protect the knee and help you get the most out of the pose. Slowly, raise your upper body, reaching your hands and gaze upwards. Hold for 5 deep breaths.
3. Warrior II
Transition into Warrior II from Warrior I by circling your arms down and out so they stretch out to the sides. Keep the right knee bent, hips low, and look over the right fingertips. Hold for 5 deep breaths. Release and repeat Warrior I and II on the left side.
4. Extended Triangle Pose
After strengthening your thighs in Warrior I and II, you will want to stretch and lengthen your thighs. To do this, stand with your feet in Warrior position with the right toes facing forward and the left toes parallel to the mat. Face the side of the mat and extend the arms. Keeping the legs straight and torso long, tip over the front leg. Reach downwards with your right fingers, resting them on the right thigh. Reach upwards with the left hand and gaze toward the ceiling. Lean back, working to keep the back straight and the torso in a long, lean line. Hold for 5 deep breaths and then repeat on the left side.
5. Bound Angle Pose
In yoga, it is important to counteract poses so the muscles are stretched, strengthened, and healed. Bound Angle Pose is a great way to counter Chair Pose and protect the thighs after their hard workout. Begin with your legs stretched straight out in front of you. Bend your knees and pull your heels towards your pelvis. Drop the knees to the sides and with the fingers, grasp the big toes, pressing the soles of the feet together. If your hips or groin are tight, use a blanket to raise the pelvis.
6. Locust Pose
This baby backbend does wonders to both strengthen and lengthen thighs. Begin by laying with your belly and forehead relaxing on the floor, your arms and turned up alongside the torso. Rotate the thighs inwards by turning the big toes towards one another and squeezing the buttocks together. Exhale and lift the head, upper torso, arms, and legs. Point the toes and raise the arms parallel to the floor, stretching the back and upper legs. Maintain a forward gaze and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Release with an exhale, and repeat.
7. Camel Pose
Like Locust Pose, Camel Pose is a backbend that stretches both the back and the legs. To get into the pose, begin by kneeling on the floor. Your knees and thighs should be parallel to one another. Keeping the tops of the feet and shins firmly pressed to the floor, move the hands to the lower back. Place the bases of the palms on the tops of the buttocks with the fingers pointing downwards. Lightly press your hands into the back, as not to crush the tailbone. Lean backwards only slightly, keeping the head up and hands on the back. When your body is ready, you can refer to the Yoga Journal to learn how to drop all the way backwards.
8. Garland Pose
This pose can be both relaxing and invigorating. It is good not only for the thighs, but also for more neglected areas like the ankles and groin. To start, squat with the feet as close together as possible. Bend only as far as you can keep your heels completely on the floor. Separate your thighs so they are wider than your torso, and lean forward so your thighs are hugging your torso. Press the hands together in prayer position, and use your elbows to exert pressure on the thighs, pressing them outwards. Hold for 30 t0 60 seconds and then release by slowly straightening the knees and standing.
While these poses are great on their own, you will benefit most from following a daily yoga practice that targets the legs and thighs. Try the below 20 minute workout by Anita Goa everyday for 30 days.