We know that practicing yoga asanas consistently can help your overall mobility, strength, flexibility, and mental health. In fact, yoga checks all the boxes when it comes to mental and physical fitness. That said, yoga is not just a few asanas—it’s a lifestyle.
Yoga is what you do the entire day, the way you think, the way you treat others, the way you react, and what you eat. Whatever your physical goals are, you need to know that you are what you eat. Ultimately, to get a “toned” body, the work has to take place in the kitchen and then on your yoga mat. The longer you hold each pose, the more those muscles will work and tone up.
But if toned hips and thighs is what’s on your mind, then here are six asanas that can help:
1. Anjaneyasana or crescent moon pose Feel the sweet pain of this asana as it stretches, strengthens, tones and relieves tension in your quadriceps, hamstrings, hip joints, and glutes.
Start by getting into downward-facing-dog. Now place your right foot in between your hands and lower your left knee to the floor.
Place the top of your left foot on the floor and ensure your right knee is bent at a 90-degree angle.
Inhale, lift your spine upwards, stretch your arms up to the ceiling in line with your ears, and join your palms in namaste mudra.
Bend your head slightly backwards and look up. Stay here for 5-9 breaths and then repeat with the left foot.
2. Setu bandhasana or bridge pose This basic but beautiful asana opens your hips, creates new awareness in your lower body, tones and strengthens the back, glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings.
Start by lying on your back on your back. Bend your legs from the knees and place your feet hip-width apart.
Inhale and lift your hips up to the ceiling, pushing into the feet. Exhale slowly with control and drop your hips back onto the floor.
Repeat this movement for 10 times and then hold for 1 minute.
3. Lizard pose or utthan pristhasana Need to work on that booty? The lizard pose strengthens our shoulders, muscles, arms, and chest and works on our glutes and thighs.
Start by getting into the downward-facing dog asana.
Inhale, bring your right foot forward to the outside edge of your right palm, coming into an extended lunge position.
Now lower your hips, keeping your arms straight and spine flat and lengthened.
If comfortable here only then slowly lower onto your forearms. Press onto the ball of your left foot as you straighten up your left leg. Stay here for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
4. Malasana or garland pose Malasana helps boost energy in the body and helps open and activate the sacral and root chakras.
Start by standing up tall, keeping your feet a little wider than hip-width distance.
Now, join your hands in front of your chest in a namaste and turn your toes slightly outwards.
Take a deep inhale and on the exhale begin to slowly bend your knees, lowering your hip towards the floor.
Once your hips are a few inches above the ground, use your upper arms to press your thighs open. Simultaneously, squeeze your thighs inwards so that you feel a lift through the hips.
Keep your torso upright and chest lifted. Relax your shoulders. Keep your whole body engaged and hold for 8-10 breaths.
5. Virabhadrasana or warrior 1 pose This pose does a fabulous job of opening up your hips, legs, and chest.
Start by placing your feet 3 to 4 feet apart .Turn your right foot completely to the right (90 degree) and left foot 45 degree inwards.
Gradually turn your entire body towards the right, squaring your hips. Your body should face the front of the mat.
Coming into a lunge, bend your front knee and thigh, keeping the weight on the front heel and big toe and the back foot is pressing from the outer heel.
Square your hips and ensure that your knee is directly above your ankle. *Inhale, lift your arms up straight, in line with your ears and extend your trunk.
Stay here for 5-10 breaths. Repeat on the other side
6. Goddess pose This pose strengthens the abs, knees, legs and calves–and also stimulates the pelvic floor.
Start by placing your feet 3 to 4 feet apart.
Now turn your toes outwards, about 45 -90 degrees depending on your flexibility.
Inhale and lengthen your spine. Exhale, bend your knees and lower your hip down into a wide squat. Bring your palms together in front of your chest in namaskar mudra.
Hold here for 9 to 12 breaths and repeat a few rounds of this.