Bridget Smith for
(Black PR Wire) How did you get those arms? Do you lift weights every day? You must do a million squats to get that booty! People who do yoga get a lot of questions and assumptions made about how they’ve been able to achieve their strong bodies. People are always surprised by the simple answer, “Nope, I just do yoga.” Yoga requires nothing but you. No weights, no machines, just the ability to lift and hold your own body weight.
While some yoga classes are gentle and relaxing, yoga can provide a heart-pounding, cardio-burning and muscle-toning workout. What I love the most about yoga is the variations with every pose. Just when you’ve mastered a pose, you’ll learn a new transition that will take your mind and body to the next level. This kind of training creates a long, lean body that shows flexibility and strength without bulking you up. The bonus is, it doesn’t matter how young or old, big or small you are, yoga is great for anyone.
Try These Body Toning Yoga Moves:
Do these four muscle-toning yoga poses as a sequence 3 to 5 times a week to tone your entire body.
Begin on all fours with your arms straight and shoulders stacked over your wrists. Have your palms flat and shoulder-width apart. Curls your toes under and step both feet back until your legs are straight and your feet are hip-width apart. Bring your shoulders, hips and heels into one straight line with your core and quad muscles engaged. Distribute the weight of your knuckles evenly and slightly look past your fingertips. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
From the plank pose, extend your gaze forward and keep the front ribs in as you bend your elbows halfway to the ground. Keep your elbows in and over your wrists, and lower your shoulders so they’re in line with your elbows. Keep looking forward with your shoulders lifted. Your upper back should be broad and the tips of your shoulder blades should draw down the back. Hold for 5 breaths.
Begin in the plank pose. Bring your left palm to the center of your mat and roll onto the outer edge of your left foot. Stack your right foot on top of your left. Press deeply into your left palm to bring your shoulder away from your earlobe and stack your right shoulder directly above your left. Engage your obliques by lifting and stacking your hips. Extend your right arm straight up and look sideways or upward. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.
Begin in the mountain pose, standing straight with your arms down at your sides. Bend your knees and drop your hips, bringing your weight onto your heels. Press your lower legs back so you can see your toes when you look down. Drop your tailbone, firm your front ribs inward, and lift your arms up shoulder-width apart. Keep your shoulders relaxed and rotate the outer edges of your arms inward. Look slightly upward. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
About the Writer -- Bridget Smith is a Celebrity Health and Fitness Expert, Certified Life Coach, a National Spokesperson for American Heart Association. Bridget has trained with Master Fitness Guru Billy Blanks and has been featured in over 30 TaeBo Workout videos as well as media appearances one Bravo TV, TNT, VH1, BET, QVC, Fox. Bridget’s reputation in the health and fitness community resulted in partnerships with General Mills, BET, Coca Cola, Radio One and American Diabetes Association and other Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations. She conducts master fitness classes and workshops worldwide and for annual conferences including the National Urban League, NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus. Bridget was selected as an elite trainer by NIKE and is also the founder of B360Fit. Follow her on Twitter/Instagram @b360fit to keep up with her B360Fit Tips.