Dynamic Yoga Sequence to Build Your Best Bikini Body

Dynamic Yoga Sequence to Build Your Best Bikini Body

Sure| yoga is great for calming the mind| but this ancient practice can also give you a strong and sexy body to boot! Get psyched for beach time with these 12 challenging yoga poses that will tone your tush| thighs| abs| and upper body. Follow this 12-pose sequence through on the right side| and then repeat on the left.

| Quarter Dog

What it tones: Shoulders| upper back| and abs

How to do it:

  • Begin in Downward Facing Dog. Spread your fingers wide| and lower your forearms to the mat. Check to make sure you’re creating a straight line between your elbows and middle fingers.
  • Try to straighten your legs and lower your heels toward the floor| flaring your heels slightly wider than your toes so the outside edges of your feet are parallel with the outside edges of the mat.
  • Relax your head between your arms| and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button.
  • Hold Quarter Dog for five breaths.

| Balancing Star

What it tones: Arms| shoulders| abs| and thighs

How to do it:

  • From Quarter Dog| lift your elbows up| coming back into Downward Facing Dog. Step both feet together so your big toes are touching.
  • Move your left hand over to the right six or so inches so it’s at the upper center of your mat. Step your left foot forward two inches| and plant the sole of your left foot firmly on the mat so your toes are pointing to the right.
  • Roll open to your left side| and lift your right hand off the mat. Raise your right leg up into the air. Stay here| balancing on your left hand and foot. Keep your shoulders| spine| and hips in one straight line| and gaze toward your right hand.
  • Hold here for five deep breaths| keeping your core strong and the pose steady.

| Knee-Up Plank

What it tones: Abs| upper body| and legs

How to do it:

  • From Balancing Star| lower your right hand and right foot to the mat| coming into a plank (top of a push-up) position with straight arms and legs. Make sure your shoulders are stacked over your wrists.
  • Bend your right knee| and squeeze it into your chest. Hold here in Knee-Up Plank for five breaths.

| Burning Low Lunge

What it tones: Thighs and tush

How to do it:

  • From Knee-Up Plank| step your right foot all the way forward between your hands| coming into a low lunge.
  • Lower your torso| and reach your right arm underneath your bent right knee. Interlace both hands in front of your right ankle. Keep all the weight in your legs| resisting the urge to lean into your hands. If this is too intense for your thigh muscle to hold (it’s a killer move!)| rest one or both hands on the floor.
  • Breathe deeply in this Burning Low Lunge for five breaths.

| Side Fierce

What it tones: Thighs| tush| and shoulders

How to do it:

  • From Burning Low Lunge pose| lower your hands to the floor| step your right foot back| and take a Vinyasa (Four-Limbed Staff to Up Dog to Down Dog). Inhale to step or hop both feet forward between the hands| and exhale to fold over straight legs. Inhale to rise up to a standing position.
  • Make sure your feet are together| and as you inhale| bend the knees and squat down| raising the arms into the air. Exhale to cross your left elbow over to your outer right knee. Press your palms together| and actively push your bottom elbow against your thigh to lift and rotate your chest up| increasing the twist. Pull your left hip back slightly| making sure both knees are parallel.
  • Stay in Side Fierce for five breaths.

| Extended Standing Straddle

What it tones: Abs and thighs

How to do it:

  • From Side Fierce| rotate your torso back to the center| and stand up. Take a step open to the right so your feet are parallel and about three to four feet apart.
  • Inhale to extend your arms straight above you. With strong legs| exhale as you hinge at your hips| holding your torso parallel to the floor. Focus on drawing your belly in| and shift weight forward toward your toes. If this causes too much strain on your lower back| bring your hands to your hips or thighs for support.
  • Stay in Extended Standing Straddle for five breaths.

| Goddess

What it tones: Thighs and tush

How to do it:

  • From Extended Standing Straddle| lift your torso all the way up. Point your heels in| bend your knees| and squat down so your quads are parallel with the floor. Tuck your tailbone in| keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips.
  • Raise your arms in the air| bending your elbows so they are at 90-degree angles| opening your palms away from you.
  • Keeping weight back in your heels| hold Goddess pose for five breaths.

| Warrior 3

What it tones: Abs| back| and thighs

How to do it:

  • From Goddess| straighten your legs| and step your right foot to the front of your mat so the feet are together.
  • Shift weight into your right foot| and extend your arms overhead. As you lift your left leg behind you| lower your chest so your torso and left leg are parallel to the floor. Draw your belly in to protect your lower back. If your lower back hurts| place your hands on your hips.
  • Balance in Warrior 3 for five deep breaths.

| Reverse Warrior

What it tones: Thighs and abs

How to do it:

  • From Warrior 3| step your left leg toward the back of your mat| rising up into Warrior 1. Then open your hips| arms| and chest| coming into Warrior 2.
  • From here| gently arch your back| resting your left hand on the back of your left leg. Raise your right arm overhead| feeling the stretch through the right side of the body. Make sure you continue to lower your hips and press your front knee forward so it’s directly over your right ankle.
  • Remain in Reverse Warrior for five complete breaths.

| Crow

What it tones: Core and upper body

How to do it:

  • From Reverse Warrior| lower your hands to the floor| step your right foot back| and take a Vinyasa (Four-Limbed Staff to Up Dog to Down Dog). Inhale to step or hop both feet forward between your hands.
  • Bend your knees| squat down| and place your hands shoulder-width distance apart on the mat. Spread your fingers as wide as you can| creating a strong| stable base.
  • Straighten your legs slightly| placing your knees as high up onto your triceps (back of your arms) as possible. Slowly shift weight into your palms and lift your feet off the floor. Pressing your feet together and squeezing your knees inward will help you feel more stable and give you a sense of lightness.
  • Stay in Crow pose for five breaths| gazing at the floor in front of you.

| Intense East

What it tones: Upper body| tush| and thighs

How to do it:

  • From Crow| lower your feet to the floor. Sit down between your hands| extending your legs out in front of you.
  • With big toes touching| place your hands six to eight inches behind you so your fingertips are pointing toward your hips.
  • As you inhale| press into your hands and feet| lifting your hips as high as you can so your spine is in a long line. Lower your head behind you| pressing into the outside edges of your feet to engage your inner thighs.
  • Hold Intense East for five deep breaths.

| Wheel

What it tones: Arms| upper back| thighs| and tush

How to do it:

  • From Intense East| lower your hips to the floor. Lie on your back| bend your knees| and place your feet flat on the ground (heels as close as possible to your booty). Bend your elbows and place your palms flat on the ground above your shoulders| fingertips facing your feet.
  • Inhale and press into your palms| and lift your head| shoulders| and hips into the air| coming into Wheel pose. Try to walk your hands and feet a little closer together.
  • Stay here for five to 15 deep breaths| and then slowly lower your body down. Hug your knees into your chest to release your lower back. Then roll up into a sitting position with your legs extended in front of you| and do an Easy Seated Forward Bend as a counterpose.
  • After five breaths| step back into Downward Facing Dog| and repeat this sequence once more on the left side.