Summer tummy toner
This fairly simple posture has deep benefits which involves nothing more than lying on your back and swinging your extended legs to almost a 90-degree angle, and back to the floor again. Called ‘upwards extended feet pose’, it is a wonderful way to reduce fat round the abdomen, strengthen the lumbar region of the back and tone the abdominal organs.
This simple movement strengthens a muscle called the psoas, that which passes through the very core of your body. This will aid your posture, your movement and the diaphragm, the way you breathe. Avoid this pose if you have lower back problems, however.
- Lie down on a yoga mat, either with the arms overhead (a little more challenging) or down by your sides firm against the floor, palms pressed downward.
- Exhale and reaching through the legs swing them up to vertical.
- Roll the tailbone towards the heels, draw the navel into the spine and press the sides of the waist down towards the floor.
- Exhale and lower the legs down about a third of the way, until the lower back first starts to come up of the floor. Pause a moment here. Only take the legs as far down as you are able to stabilize the abdomen and lower back.
- Exhale and lower the legs again about two-thirds of the way to the floor. Pause again here.
- Remember your lower back should stay connected to the floor
- Exhale and lower the legs to just a few inches off the floor. Pause here.
- Either lower the legs to the floor or take them back up to vertical, pausing at each of the stages depending on your level of fitness.
- Gradually build toward a dozen or more repetitions.
This article is not a recommendation for your own practice but serves as interesting reading for anyone thinking of going to a yoga class. As with any form of physical exercise, please consult your family doctor beforehand.
Lee Kennedy qualified with The BKS Iyengar Yoga Association UK, the YTTC and Ana Forrest of Forrest Yoga. She specialises in pregnancy-related yoga and also studied with Janet Balaskas, founder of the Active Birth Foundation, UK. Visit Yogadara.com or call 0863906343 for more information.