5 Yoga poses to Strengthen and Tone


Guru's of Penmai
May 20, 2011
Navasana (Boat Pose)

  • Start from a seated position with your legs together stretched out straight in front of you, knees pulled up, thighs tight and toes pointed up towards the ceiling .
  • Keeping your your feet together slowly bring your legs straight up to a 45 degree angle while inhaling without bending your knees.
  • Without letting the spine collapse, but leaning back naturally as your legs are raised, your body should take a “V” shape.
  • Raise your arms stretched out in front of you till shoulder level.
  • Balance the entire weight of your body the sit bones. Hold the pose for a count of 8 and then slowly release your arms and legs down while exhaling.
  • Beginner Tip: For a half boat pose bend your knees with the calves parallel the the floor.
Trikonasna (Triangle Pose)

  • Start with your legs 4 feet apart. Heel and toes inline. Both arms raised to shoulder level, palms facing down.
  • Now tun your right foot to the right, keeping your hips facing straight (put your hands on your hips and straighten them if needed). Make sure your knees are pulled up straight and thighs are tight to deepen your hip crease.
  • Palm upwards, raise your right hand above your head touching your ear while keeping your left hand in line with your shoulder and start stretching down with your right hand towards your right foot, while exhaling.
  • Reach down to your shin, ankle or onto the floor inside or outside the right foot, whichever is comfortable for you.
  • Ensure your shoulders are in line with each other, as you open your chest and look up toward your left hand fingertips.
  • Repeat on the left side.
  • Beginner Tip: If you cannot reach the floor without bending the knees, use a yoga block on the floor to rest your hand.
Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

  • Start by sitting on your heels with your knees close together and your calves parallel with each other.
  • Come up onto your knees. Use a blanket under your knees for padding if you would like.
  • Keeping your hands on your hips start looking up all the while stretching your torso and leaning back, opening your chest.
  • Slowly release your hands one hand at a time and grasp your heels.
  • Pull your hips forward, arching your back so that they are inline with your knees and not falling behind.
  • Drop your head backward, opening your throat. You should feel your chest and abdomen muscles stretching and keep the weight on your arms.
  • Beginner Tip: use blocks on either side of your heels if you can’t reach.
Bitilasana – Marjaryasana (Cat – Cow Stretch)

  • Start on all fours, with your spine straight keeping the neck, shoulders and hips in line.
  • While inhaling, curl your toes under the heels and starting from your tailbone to the neck gradually drop your belly and look up towards the ceiling. This is known as Bitilasana or Cat pose
  • Hold the pose for 5 seconds.
  • On the exhale, release your the tops of your feet to the floor. Drop your head and round the spine.
  • Look at your navel and hold for 5 second. This is Marjaryasana or the cow pose.
  • Repeat the Cat – Cow Stretch on each inhale and exhale for 5-10 breaths and then return to neutral straight spine position.
  • These poses performed in succession at the start of a yoga session like a rhythmic sequence increases spinal flexibility and abdominal strength.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)- Plank Pose

  • From a position of all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and knees in line with your hips. Curl your toes under and lift your backside towards the ceiling.
  • Elongate the spine and straighten the knees, spreading the fingers evenly and pushing down from your forearms.
  • Let your head hand and try lowering your shoulder blades and broaden the collarbone.
  • Pay attention to stretching the thighs and arms but using the abdominal muscles to keep the weight off them look towards your feet making this a resting pose.
  • Try lowering your heels to the floor as much as you can.
  • From the downward facing dog, lower your torso until your shoulders are inline with your wrists and your body is in a straight line.
  • Lift your head in line with the spine and without letting the chest sink push back with the heels. The weight of our body comes on your arms. This is the Plank pose
  • Move back and forth between the downward facing dog and plank pose without changing the distance between your feet and hands to strengthen the spine and abdominal muscles.


Yuva's of Penmai
Registered User
Oct 13, 2011
Sri Lanka
Hi Sudha :) Good Evening !!!
Xcellent work, very informative :thumbsup

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