15 Yoga Poses That'll Make Your Stomach Flat
How to achieve a flat stomach? Three helpful yoga exercises
Contrary to common misconception, yoga is not a kind of fitness, but an ancient philosophical teaching that combines spiritual and physical practices to achieve an exalted state. Therefore, it is not entirely correct to perceive yoga classes solely as physical education.
Nevertheless, many exercises from hatha yoga have a beneficial effect on health and help to improve your body. Together with the instructor Alexandra Churkina , we will tell you about three techniques that, if performed regularly and correctly, will help to improve digestion and achieve a flat stomach. And you don't have to curl up into a knot at all!
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Three techniques have a positive effect on the abdominal cavity and digestion: uddiyana bandha (abdominal lock) , agnisara dhauti kriya (kindling the inner fire) and nauli kriya (wave). The first two exercises will not be difficult even for beginners. For the third, some preparation is still required, but it is subject to most people.
It is important to remember that any physical activity may have contraindications. So, the above techniques cannot be performed by women during pregnancy and menstruation, with endometriosis and other acute conditions in the pelvic organs, and with acute inflammatory conditions in the abdominal organs. Alexandra also advises to do exercises in the morning on an empty stomach or not earlier than four hours after eating.
Performing these abdominal manipulations regularly has a beneficial effect on various body systems. Reduced pressure in the chest increases the return of venous blood to the heart, which is an excellent prevention of varicose veins of the legs and pelvic organs. It also improves blood circulation in these areas and eliminates congestion. The digestive organs are stimulated, intestinal motility develops, which helps to get rid of constipation. In addition, exercise helps to tone the deep abdominal muscles, which are hardly used in everyday life, the expert explains.
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Abdominal lock (uddiyana bandha)
How to do it. Take the fisherman's pose: feet shoulder-width apart, body slightly tilted forward, hands resting on hips. Keep your back straight. Take a full deep breath through your nose, and then exhale sharply while bending your elbows and leaning forward. Straighten your arms and back, lower your chin slightly. Record a breath hold after a full exhalation by blocking the glottis. ZThen take a false breath - an inhalation movement with the glottis blocked, which prevents the flow of air. An area of reduced pressure forms in the chest area, due to which the soft and relaxed abdomen is pulled up to the ribs. Maintain this position for a few seconds, then release your belly and take a smooth full breath.
Expert Opinion: This practice formed the basis of the popular vacuum exercise, but it is often performed incorrectly, tensing the transverse abdominal muscles. When doing uddiyana bandha, it is important to keep your abdominal muscles relaxed. You need to leave the exercise before discomfort appears; dizziness or discomfort in the throat should not be allowed. During the mastering phase, this exercise can be repeated up to three times.
Kindling the inner fire (agnisara dhauti kriya)
How to do it. Take the fisherman's pose and perform the abdominal lock from the first exercise. Without getting out of holding your breath, release your relaxed soft belly forward, and then pull it back under the ribs. Release and suck in your stomach several times during one breath hold. To exit the exercise, first release your belly and then breathe in.
Expert opinion: This technique is named for its positive effects on the stomach and digestive system. At the stage of development, you need to perform three cycles. Further, the number of repetitions can be increased depending on how you feel and how you feel.
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Wave (Nauli Kriya)
How to do it. Stand in fisherman's pose and perform the abdominal lock as described in the first exercise. Without getting out of holding your breath, tense only the rectus abdominis muscles, keeping the obliques relaxed. At the stage of development, press with your hands on your hips with effort. As a result, the so-called median tourniquet should come forward, that is, both rectus muscles. To exit the exercise, return to uddiyana bandha, release your belly, then breathe in smoothly.
Expert's opinion: This technique is more complex than the previous two, so you can only proceed to it after you have fully mastered uddiyana bandha and agnisara dhauti kriya. After mastering control over the rectus abdominis muscles, you can learn to shift the tourniquet to the left or right, alternately shifting the body weight in one direction or the other. The final stage of mastering is to rotate the tourniquet in a circle, in one direction and the other. We always end the cycle by rotating from right to left. During rotation, the pelvisremains stationary.