Fake it until you make it isn’t the best principle when it comes to fitness and body weight. While you can dress to hide those few extra pounds or to look slimmer for a special occasion, it’s really hard to hide the lumps and bumps while at the gym, especially if you’re dressed in yoga pants and a comfy but revealing tee. While yoga pants and high quality capris can make your legs look slimmer, working out to actually get those slim legs is always the best solution for feeling confident and comfortable in your skin. So forget about the sliming gels and endless diets and embrace a lifestyle that can help you maintain a healthy weight and look great at the same time.
As part of your daily or weekly routine, yoga exercises can sculpt a stronger, firmer and leaner body, improving your flexibility and balance at the same time. Moreover, yoga helps in relieving the stress and gives you a better mood and a clear mind, so there’s surely plenty of reasons to try out the routine below!
1. Bridge lift
The bridge lift pose works the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and core muscles, so it’s great for shaping the lower body and boosting the calorie burns. Start in a reclined position and bend your knees, placing the soles of your feet on the ground, at hip-width distance.
Pressing the feet into the ground, inhale and lift the hips toward the ceiling, then exhale and lower the hips back, touching the ground. You can also extend the arms overhead while inhaling, and bring them back by sides while exhaling.
Repeat this pose for 1 minute or do 20 repetitions. Once you’re done, hold the bridge for 30 seconds, then lie on the exercise mat for another 30 seconds to relax the back.
2. Warrior 2
Start in the standing position, and bring your feet wide across the exercise mat.
Turn the left foot out by 90 degrees, so that your left heel is opposite to the right foot arch.
Turn your right foot slightly in, then raise the arms to the sides. Keep your shoulders down and palms facing to the ground and engage the core by contracting the abs.
Exhale, bend the left knee so that your thigh is parallel to the ground, and make sure to keep the knee above the ankle.
Hold the pose for 20 seconds, then straighten the legs and move to the other side. Repeat 3-5 times per side or for 1 minute.
3. Triangle PoseExtended Triangle Pose — Utthita Trikonasana (oo-TEE-tah tree-koh-NAH-suh-nuh) — is a standing yoga pose that tones the legs, reduces stress, and increases stability. The word "Trikonasana" comes from the Sanskrit words "tri," (meaning "three"), "kona"(meaning "angle"), and "asana" (meaning "pose"). It refers to the triangular shape created by your body in the full version of the pose. "Utthita" means "extended" in Sanskrit.
4. Half moon
This pose is very efficient in toning and strengthening the outer thighs and core muscles.
Start by standing in the downward facing dog.
Step with your right foot forward between your hands and raise up into Warrior 1, then open the hips, arms and chest into Warrior 2.
Place the left hand on the left hip and stretch the right arm straight out, then shift your weight onto the right foot. Bring the left foot up towards the ceiling, and place the right palm flat on the ground, slightly under the shoulder, while maintaining the arm straight.
Bend the right knee and distribute your weight evenly between the right foot and hand. Your face should be turned towards the ground.
Bring the left arm straight up, and look towards the left hand. Hold this pose for 20 seconds, then release, come back into the downward facing dog and switch to the other side. Repeat 3-5 times per side.
5. Chair pose
The chair pose works the hamstrings, quads and calf muscles, as well as the glute and core area, if performed correctly.
Start in a standing position, with abs contracted.
Reach your seat back and down so that your thighs form a 90 degree angle with the ground.
Stabilize your back and spine by contracting the abs and try to find balance by keeping the chest lifted and knees slightly bent.
Raise the arms overhead and relax the shoulders. Knees should reach toward the middle toes.
Stay in the chair position for 20-30 seconds, then return to the standing position and repeat two more times.
To return to the initial position, straighten the knees with an inhalation, and lift through the arms. Performed regularly, these poses will help you build flexibility and strength and build a slimmer and more attractive lower body.