With warm weather around the corner, are you ready to bare your legs?
The inner thigh muscles are quite relevant as they initiate the alignment of the hips and lower back and as such they play and important part in every group of poses, ranging from standing poses, backbends, forward bends etc. to keep the legs and hips aligned.
WF experts have designed a yoga sequence specifically to tone the inner thighs so you’ll feel confident slipping on those short skirts and bikini bottoms in this hot weather.
Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior)
- Begin in Downward Facing Dog, with both hands and feet pressed firmly into the floor.
- Inhale to step your right foot forward between your hands, coming into Warrior 1. Then open hips, arms, and chest, coming into Warrior 2.
- From here, gently arch back and lower your left hand down, resting it on the back of your left leg. Raise your right arm overhead, feeling the stretch through the right side of the body. Make sure you continue to lower your hips and press your front knee forward so it’s directly over your right ankle.
- Remain here for five complete breaths. Then lift your torso up, place your hands on the floor, and move back into Downward Dog. Step your left foot forward and do this pose on the other side.
Parivratta Utkata Konasana (Revolved Goddess Pose)
- From Downward Dog, inhale as you step your right foot forward between your hands. Rise all the way up and turn your body to the left. Point your heels in, bend your knees, and squat down so your quads are parallel with the floor, coming into Goddess pose. Tuck your tailbone in, keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips.
- Rest your right forearm on your right thigh. Reach your left arm into the air, bring it around your lower back, and clasp your fingers around your right inner thigh.
- Keeping equally back in your heels, hold this pose for five breaths. Release and repeat this post on the other side. Rise back up into Goddess pose.
Extended Standing Straddle
- From Goddess pose, straighten your legs and turn your heels outward, bringing your feet parallel. Inhale to extend your arms straight above you.
- With strong legs, exhale as you hinge at your hips, keeping your back straight, but stop when your torso is parallel with the floor. Focus on drawing your belly in, and shift weight forward toward your toes. If this causes too much strain on your lower back, bring your hands to your hips or thighs for support. Stay here for five breaths.
- From Downward Dog, step both feet together. Move your right hand to the center of your mat, and roll the body to the right, balancing on the outer edge of your flexed right foot.
Raise the left arm overhead, gazing at the fingertips.
- After five breaths, release the left hand to the center of the mat, and roll open to the left for another five breaths.
Ardha Chakrasana (Half Wheel Pose)
- Stand straight and bring your hands together in a clasped position.
- Raise and rotate your hands above the shoulders.
- Slowly bend the upper part of your body along with the hands, as far as you can go.
- Remain in this position for few seconds to a minute, according to your capacity.
- To release the pose, bring back slowly to the standing position with hands on your side.
- There is a variation of ardha chakrasana, where the hands are placed behind the hips and then the back bending is attempted.
Garudasana (Eagle pose)
- Stand in Tadasana. Bend your knees slightly, lift your left foot up and, balancing on your right foot, cross your left thigh over the right. Point your left toes toward the floor, press the foot back, and then hook the top of the foot behind the lower right calf. Balance on the right foot. If you are a beginner, instead of hooking the raised foot and calf, press the big toe of the raised-leg foot against the floor to help maintain your balance.
- Stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the floor, and spread your scapulas wide across the back of your torso. Cross the arms in front of your torso so that the right arm is above the left, then bend your elbows. Snug the right elbow into the crook of the left, and raise the forearms perpendicular to the floor. The backs of your hands should be facing each other.
- Press the right hand to the right and the left hand to the left, so that the palms are now facing each other. The thumb of the right hand should pass in front of the little finger of the left. Now press the palms together (as much as is possible for you), lift your elbows up, and stretch the fingers toward the ceiling.
- Stay for 15 to 30 seconds, then unwind the legs and arms and stand in Tadasana again. Repeat for the same length of time with the arms and legs reversed.
Note: When you stretch your inner thighs, you not only make your inner thighs more flexible, you also stretch your diaphragm so you breathe better!