Want toned and strong legs? Well, you don’t have to spend your entire day doing leg exercises in the gym. Yoga expert Bharat Thakur suggests 4 asanas that you can squeeze into a busy day to get toned thighs and a perked up derrière. So bring out your yoga mat and get started.
Tadasana: This posture strengthens and tones the lower body. It Improves body posture by correcting your balance. Tadasana distributes weight equally amongst all the muscles engaged to hold the posture—knees, thighs, calves and ankles. It also tones the buttocks and abdomen and reduces flat feet.
Technique: 1. Stand erect with your feet and toes together, hands by your sides. 2. Distribute your weight equally on both feet. 3. Tighten your ankles and thighs and push up your kneecaps. 4. Inhale, double lock your fingers and stretch your arms above your head. 5. Exhale Raise your heels off the mat. 6. Stretch your arms and spine to the maximum, squeeze the shoulder blades and push the tailbone towards the floor. 7. Breathe there. 8. Exhale and release the posture.
Duration: 30 seconds to 5 minutes.
Utkatasana, as the name suggests works on the lower body, as well as the back, arms and shoulders. In getting into a posture that imitates sitting on a chair, the gluteus muscles, and the quadriceps and the calf muscles, are strongly engaged, resisting gravity, to prevent you from falling down. You do this pose while keeping the back straight and arms stretched out, this engages the entire back, shoulders as well as abdomen and strengthens your core.
Technique: 1 Stand straight with the feet hip width apart and toes pointing straight. 2 Inhale and stretch your arms up, with the elbows straight, and join the palms together. 3 Exhale, bend your knees and lower your hips, pushing them slightly back, imitating the movement of sitting on a chair. 4 Keep the back straight all the while. 5 Keep the heels pressed, and stop going down when you feel that you would fall down if you try to go down more. 6 Keep your knees behind the line of the toes.
DURATION: Hold this posture for 30 seconds to one minute.
Kaliasana is a powerful posture that strengthens the whole body. In Kaliasana you stand straight and keep your feet wide, with the toes turned out and squat half way. Here by keeping the lower body halfway down, you are resisting gravity, with the lower body. So your legs, particularly the quadriceps, and inner thighs are engaged in holding the load of the body. This increases blood flow to the leg muscles, which boosts blood circulation and metabolism.
Technique 1 Stand straight with your feet wider than the hip. 2 Turn your feet out, at a 45 degree angle. 3 Inhale and stretch your hands up next to the ears. 4 Keep your elbows straight and palms pressed together. 5 Exhale slowly as you bend your knees and lower your body. 6 Lower your hips till they are at the same level as your knees.
Duration: Start by holding for 30 seconds. But as you build your strength, try to stay still in this posture for 1 minute, and gradually achieve 2 minutes.
Utthita Parsvakonasana starts as a standing yoga pose and then culminates into a side angle. It utilises all the muscles in the body. Bringing alive every muscle fibre in the lower body. This posture stretches and strengthens the knees, ankles, groin and the legs and increases stamina.
Technique: 1. Stand erect and open your legs wide apart while inhaling and stretching your arms sideways at the shoulder level, palms facing down. 2. Point your right toes out, and keep your left toes pointing forward and look at your right side. 3. Exhale and bend your right knee at 90 degrees while stretching your left leg completely, keeping both heels pressed on the ground and aligned together. 4.Bring the right arm down and place your palm on the floor next to the right foot, right hand parallel and touching the inner right shin and knee, keep breathing. 6. Extend your left arm to the ceiling, palm facing the front. Inhale and exhale. 7. Keep your spine and neck long, and aligned. Turn your gaze towards the left arm. 8. Ensure the ribcage faces the ceiling and keep your feet firmly pressed on the ground. 9. Hold the posture and breathe there. Release then repeat the same on the left side.
Duration: 30 seconds to 2 minutes.