There are several ways in which yoga poses for stomach muscles can improve the health and appearance of your waistline. Not only are there yoga poses that will strengthen the stomach muscles, but also the stomach benefits from the stretching, twisting, and deep breathing that are all central to yoga.
Overall Waistline Appearance
Long before you can achieve six-pack-abs, the fat around the belly area must be whittled away. Yoga can help with this both physically and mentally. Several yoga poses for stomach muscles are actually more for reducing fat than they are for building stomach muscle strength.
Regular yoga practice will help reduce belly fat, in combination with a sensible diet. The mixture of moving your whole body for stretches, and deep breathing exercises for relaxation, are a great recipe for reducing belly fat.
Yoga Poses for the Belly
The following poses and sequences of poses are especially effective for the stomach.The Sun Salutation Sequence is an excellent exercise for stretching the stomach area as well as the entire body. Even if you don't practice yoga for any length of time several times per week, a quick flow of Sun Salutations are a great way to start the day. The series goes from standing, to stretching, to Plank Pose and Downward-Facing Dog, and back again. While learning the sequence may seem confusing at first, practicing it often will make it so automatic that you can just enjoy the effects of it.
All standing poses, and especially those that stretch or twist the abdomen, are good for this purpose. Try Triangle Pose for a good leg stretch as well as belly stability. Other great poses that require holding your core muscles steady include Plank Pose and Warrior III. These two poses require you to lightly tighten all the muscles of the body in order to balance and support the pose. While these poses will not result in bodybuilder-like ab muscles, they will trim down fat and tone the underlying muscles.
Lastly, stretching the abdominal area is a great way to reduce fat and tone muscles. Going from Cat Pose to Upward-Facing Dog Pose, and back again for several times, is a great way to loosen up the abdomnal area. Cobra Pose is the ultimate stretch for the abdominal area, and also opens up your breathing. The deeper you breathe, the better your stomach muscles and surrounding tissue will appear.
Yoga Poses for Stomach Muscles
If you would like to go from a flat stomach to a well-muscled one, working the abdominal muscles in more concentration will help you achieve your goals. Two poses that are excellent for this are Boat Pose and Side Plank Pose.
Boat Pose is very difficult because your feet and hands are off the ground; balancing on your bottom, your stomach muscles get recruited to support lifting your legs up and off the ground, and holding them there. While the pose is challenging, you can build up the length of time that you hold it over time, and the results are remarkable.
Side Plank Pose trains your oblique stomach muscles. Not as difficult as Boat Pose, Side Plank Pose still has a considerable effect on training abdominal muscles.
Yoga has many positive effects for the abdominal muscles and the core area of the body overall. Even without specifically practicing the yoga poses for stomach muscles, a regular yoga practice, matched with a sensible diet both in choices and amounts of food, can help reduce stomach fat, tone your core muscles, and improve blood flow to your internal organs. All of these effects have a positive impact on one's quality of life.