Photo: Getty Images
Say ommmm if you love yoga! Anecdotal evidence and research suggest this ancient fitness practice has endless health benefits, from boosting heart health to alleviating anxiety. And yes, getting bendy can make you slimmer and more beautiful too. Yoga burns calories, battles cellulite, and may make you look and feel younger. No time to get to class? No problem! Click through for some of the best moves for every body part now.
How to do it: Chant "bye-bye batwings"! Begin on your hands and knees, then lower your elbows to the floor, shoulder-distance apart. Interlace fingers, tuck your toes, and press hips up to create a long line between elbows and sitting bones (aka your butt). Slowly squeeze your upper arms inward to work biceps, triceps, and shoulders. Breathe and repeat.
Photo: Perry Hagopian
Abs and Lower Belly
How to do it: Celeb yogini loves this move! Sit up high and straight, hands beneath your knees. Slowly tighten your abs and lift your feet off the floor, knees bent, with your legs at a 45-degree angle. If this feels easy, straighten your legs and arms. Breathe and slowly lower.
Photo: Jay Sullivan
Downward Dog Split Pose
How to do it: Begin on hands and knees. Take a big breath out and push into Downward Dog by straightening legs and lifting your hips and butt in the air. Relax head between straightened arms. Exhale and lift one leg as high as you can into the air, flexing foot. Repeat on other side.
How to do it: This move looks relaxing but is one of the toughest hip strengtheners and openers. Start on your hands and knees, and slide your right leg back to cross over your left leg. Gradually sit back between your heels, using a rolled up towel or block if you can’t sit on the ground. Hold as long as you feel comfortable, then switch legs and repeat.
How to do it: Thin of this move as the top half of a push-up:
Start with your hands and knees on a mat, hands directly under shoulders and knees right below hips (if this is hard on your wrists lower your arms and rest on elbows). Lift up and straighten legs. Tighten your abs and keep your eyes on one spot in front of you.
Photo: Andrew Macpherson
Side Plank Pose
How to do it: From plank position, press your right hand into a mat and turn your body so your weight is on the outer edge of your right foot. Brace your core and keep your arms elevated over your head. Option to bend your leg and place it behind you for support, or, if you’re super fit, to rock a few mid-air crunches like our model Jillian Michaels!
Photo: Getty Images
A Strong Back
How to do it: You already know how bad sitting all day at a computer or in your car if for your back. This pose strengthens and stretches the muscles in your lower back and along the spine. Lie facedown, press your legs together, and lift legs off the floor. Then lift your arms straight back behind you and lift your chest, coming into a mini-Cobra in the front.