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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yoga That Warms You to the Core

Defrost your frozen muscles-and tone your tummy-by generating your own heat with yoga. "These core-focused poses light a fire from the inside out," says Tara Stiles, yoga expert for the new Jane Fonda's WORKOUT Daily Yoga DVD. "They build heat in the body while also working on deep core strength." Try these moves to sculpt a sexy stomach and shake off that dead-of-winter chill.

Yoga poses for a cover model body

Hands and Knee Hover

Subtle movements can still be super-effective for building strength. "This pose may not look like much, but lifting the knees just 2 inches from the floor activates your entire core," says Stiles. To begin, come onto all fours, spreading your fingers wide on the mat and tucking your toes under like shown. Lift your knees 2 inches off the floor and hold. Stay here for 3 long, deep breaths before moving on to the next pose.

Hands and Knee Hover Cat

This move activates and strengthens your entire core. It also provides an extra tummy-toning challenge because it forces you to move the spine while keeping the knees lifted, says Stiles. Staying on all fours with the knees hovering above the floor, inhale and round your spine, tucking your chin in toward your chest. Hold this position for a moment and then prepare to move into cow.

Hands and Knee Hover Cow

Keeping your knees off the floor, exhale as you arch your spine and look upward. Repeat the cat and cow three times before resting your knees down.


Boat pose activates the core and builds heat in the entire body, says Stiles. To perform boat, sit on your hips. Lift your shins parallel to the ground and extend arms forward. Make sure to keep the shoulders relaxed. Stay here for 5 long, deep breaths.

Arm and Leg Reach

From boat pose, press your lower back into the ground to prepare for arm and leg reach. This pose provides twice the body benefits, says Stiles, because it activates the entire core while also lengthening the torso. To perform, extend your arms behind you and your feet in front of you, holding both about a foot off the floor. Stay here for 3 long, deep breaths. Lift back to boat pose and continue alternating between the moves for a total of 5 sets. After completing 5 sets hug your knees into your chest and relax on your back.


This move releases the abs while opening up the chest and back. "To have the strongest, most stable core, it's also important to have a flexible spine," says Stiles. Lay on your back and place your feet on the ground under your hips. Press your arms down by your sides. Lift your hips straight up and your chest up and back. Stay here for 5 long, deep breaths. Gently lower your body to the floor.

Source: Fitbie