Beauty comes in all colors, shapes and sizes, but a little TLC helps to radiate your outer appearance as beautifully as you feel on the inside.
You may already have a regular skin and hair care regimen, but certain asanas (or postures of yoga) can also help to bring out your inner glow.
To burn fat and tone the entire body while increasing strength, flexibility, grace, and balance, try adding these 3 beautifying yoga poses to your daily routine:
1) Extended Right Angle
Benefits: Stimulates the abdominal organs, opens through the chest and shoulders, strengthens and stretches the legs, knees and ankles.
Begin in Warrior Two with your left leg forward. Your front left heel should be in line with the arch of your back right foot. Back foot is at a ninety-degree angle. Reach forward with your front left hand, hinge from the hips. Bring the left elbow to your knee and inhale, reaching the right arm over into a side stretch. Reverse out the way you came in and make sure you switch sides with your right leg forward. Take at least five breaths on each side.
2) Hip Opener/Frog Pose
Benefits: Brings breath into stagnant areas of the body, cultivates expansion and opens the deep hip flexors.
Begin by lying on your belly and press your forearms into the floor while lifting your upper torso and head. Bend both knees out to the sides and allow your feet to extend back behind you. Hips anchor down as you round the back and shift back toward your feet. Ground down and push back, breathing into whatever you may have been sitting on that is congesting your hips, thighs, and groin. Stay here for about five minutes, eyes closed and mind still—cry if you need to. Release, come back, and pause in Child’s Pose. Let the grace of your body’s full breath move you into, through, and out of this posture. Important: It is possible that this pose could be highly uncomfortable and even bring you to the edge of what you might call pain. If it’s too much, start with only one leg at a time, and notice the difference between sharp pain (which is cautionary) and the discomfort of deep, thick, old stuff being stored that must be faced in order to move. I must admit that this is my least easy pose, so I re-label it my favorite and breathe.
3) Bow Pose
Benefits: Modern lifestyles that keep us at our desks and seated in cars contribute to abdominal stagnation, which can impair digestion and lymphatic flow through our core. This torso-lengthening pose increases blood flow and supports our organs.
Dhanurasana in Sanskrit (dhanu means bow), this pose resembles an archer’s bow. Begin by lying on your belly with your hands alongside your torso, palms up. (You can lie on a folded blanket for padding if needed.) Exhale and bend your knees, bringing your heels as close as you can to your buttocks. Reach back with your hands and take hold of your ankles (optional adjustment: use a strap to wrap around the ankles to assist in reaching the hands back).
Keep your knees no more than hip-width apart (if you’re flexible) for the duration of the pose to protect the back. Inhale and pull your heels up away from your buttocks as you lift your thighs away from the floor. Keeping your back muscles supple, raise your chest and let the head follow, allowing your tailbone to be heavy toward the floor. If this is a good stretch already, stay here for few easy breaths, exhale and release down, enjoying the energy just cultivated in the body. For advanced practitioners, when you repeat, continue lifting your heels and thighs higher. Keep your neck long, and with the strength of your legs, open that area of your body called your heart. Release as you exhale, and repeat twice more. Please take five to ten breaths each round.
Prepare to bring out the radiant, rejuvenated, and confident new you as you feel the gift of Yoga that will leave you looking and feeling your best. To see this postures demonstrated in a sequence, check out this Yoga for Beauty series on Lionsgate BeFit. For more yoga pose of the day suggestions, download The 21 Day Superstar Cleanse eBook available on Amazon Kindle.