Who doesn’t want toned, strong limbs? We use our hands and legs everyday, and any weakness or lack of flexibility in these parts can cause injury and strain. Stronger arms and legs not only enable us to do our daily activities well, they also contribute to our overall fitness by allowing us to work harder and longer. Here are some yoga poses that can help you cultivate this strength –
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) – A universally known asana, this is one of the easiest and most impactful of yoga poses that provides an all-around workout. It stretches and tones the legs while opening and working out the shoulders and hands, and also helps in engaging the core. It energizes the body, relieves stress and tension, and can be helpful for those suffering from menstrual discomfort or digestive problems. Hold the pose anywhere between one to three minutes
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) – While this pose is known for targeting the core and the hip region, it also works out your thigh muscles and fosters stretch and flexibility in the entire leg. This asana is also beneficial for a number of chronic problems, including high blood pressure, osteoporosis and sinusitis. If you face problems in keeping your core raised, slide a block under your pelvis to achieve the proper form.
- Natarajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose) – Challenge your balance and give your legs and hips an intense stretch with this standing asana which strengthens the legs and ankles. The full version of the asana also stretches the shoulders and the chest. Make sure that you do not yank your feet into position – you might injure yourself. Instead, gradually build up to the full pose. To keep your balance, you can use your outraised hand to brace against a wall.
- Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand) – What can be a better strengthening for the arms and shoulders than a handstand? It works all the parts from the wrists to the arms and shoulders, stretches and opens up the chest and belly, and calms the brain. While it does provide a lot of benefits, a handstand can also be a tricky pose to master. Always do this pose in the supervision of experts.
- Chakra Asana (Wheel Pose) – An ultimate backbending exercise, this asana not only provides an intense stretch to the belly and the core, but also helps in strengthening the legs and arms by making them support the body in a pose they do not normally engage in. Even holding the pose for thirty seconds will have your muscles straining from the effort.
- Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose) – An advancement of the two arm plank, this is a powerful arm, shoulder and wrist strengthener which can also help in stretching the belly and legs and improve one’s sense of balance. However, given that it puts the entire body weight on a single arm, do not undertake this pose if you have any pre existing problems in your arms.
- Utkatasana (Chair Pose) – This deceptively simple looking asana will strengthen your tights and knees while stretching your shoulders and arms, giving you a full body workout. It also works to reduce flat feet, strengthen the ankles and calves, and stimulates the diaphragm making it a total body workout. You can perform this pose against a wall to help you get down the perfect posture.
- Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall Pose) – Believed to be an asana capable of curing any ailment, this pose is a resting one that still stimulates the body and the legs in particular. It is recommended for a host of problems ranging from anxiety, insomnia, and migraine to menstrual cramps and respiratory ailments. Relax in this pose for as long as you want, and you will surely feel rejuvenated.
Stronger, flexible limbs means a stronger and healthier you. So integrate these asanas into your daily workout to see not only toned and great looking limbs, but also arms and legs capable of doing challenging tasks with ease and grace.