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How to Flatten Your Stomach with Yoga

Sculpt sexy abs and strengthen your core with these abdominally targeted yoga moves.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Do a half boat with a crunch. Lie on your back and cross your right ankle over your left knee. Place your hands behind your head, elbows wide, and extend your left leg. Draw your upper body and left leg slightly off the ground. Twist torso to the right, going back and forth between left and right sides. Switch the cross of your legs and repeat.
  • Step 2: Try the leg climb. Lying flat on your back, bend your left leg to your chest and raise it straight into the air. Hold the back of your thigh with your left hand. Lift the upper body and try to climb up the leg, one hand over the other, until you're sitting tall. Climb down and repeat with the other leg.
  • Step 3: Use the mermaid pose to tighten the obliques. Lie on your left side, arms extended overhead together, so that your body is one straight line. Lift your legs in the air and raise your arms and torso as high you can. Hold for five breaths. Then repeat on the other side. You'll be ab-tastic in no time flat!
  • FACT: Bikram yoga is practiced in a 105 degrees Fahrenheit room. Participants can burn up to 600 calories while performing the 26 different poses during a session.
  • Step 4: Learn the cobra pose. Lie face down on the floor. Place your hands, palms down and fingers straight ahead, next to the sides of your chest, with your elbows bent. Press down into your palms, lifting your shoulders and chest off the floor until your arms are nearly straight or as far as you can.
  • TIP: Add variation by lifting one leg straight in the air and draw small circles with the foot clockwise and counter-clockwise. Repeat with the other leg.
  • TIP: Try to hold all poses for five to 10 seconds, repeating for three sets.
  • Step 5: Do the reverse plank. Begin in a seated position with your legs straight out in front of you, arms down at your sides, and hands flat on the floor facing forward. Press into your arms while lifting your legs and hips off the floor so that your body forms one straight diagonal line or plank. Drop your head back slightly and hold pose.
  • Step 6: Try the bridge pose. Lie flat with your heels hip-width apart, your knees over ankles, and your arms on the floor alongside your body. Raise your hips up and your inner thighs toward each other. Press into your arms to lift your spine, with your shoulders, heads and feet still touching the floor.
  • Step 7: Rock the boat position. Sit with your knees bent and your feet flat in front of you. Lean back slightly, raise your legs straight toward the ceiling with the sides or your feet pressed together. Extend your arms straight in front of you at shoulder height -- to form a V shape -- palms facing up.

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