Are Your Thighs Burning? They Are Now
Don’t have time to hit the yoga studio for a full class? Hop on your mat for a quick thigh-strengthening yoga sequence that’s sure to bring on the burn. Flow through these nine postures on the right side| and then repeat on the left.
| Side Fierce
- Stand at the front of your mat with both feet together. Bend the knees to squat down into Fierce pose.
- Rotate your torso| and cross your right elbow over the outside of your right thigh. Actively press into your outer right arm to lift the torso.
- Pull the right hip back to keep both knees in line and keep weight back into the heels.
- Hold here for five deep breaths| gazing over the left shoulder.
| Arching Three-Legged Dog
- From Side Fierce| rise back up into Fierce Pose. Fold forward| and take a vinyasa back to Downward Facing Dog.
- Step both feet together so your big toes are touching. Keeping the left heel on the mat| raise your right leg in the air coming into Three-Legged Dog| and then bend the knee. Actively squeeze your right heel in toward your hip| lifting the knee high.
- Lift your head up| and turn to look over your left shoulder| arching the spine.
- Hold here for five breaths| keeping the belly still and breathing into the chest.
| Wild Thing
- From Arching Three-Legged Dog| keep your left foot and right hand where they are.
- Draw your right knee into your chest| raise your left hand up| and simultaneously rotate your torso 180 degrees so your belly is pointing up toward the ceiling as you plant your right foot on the ground about a foot and a half to the right of your left foot.
- Deeply arch the spine| and reach your left fingertips toward the floor.
- Actively press into your feet and right hand to lift the hips as high as you can| breathing here for five breaths| gazing at your extended hand.
| Burning Lunge
- Place your left hand back at the front of your mat| and step your right foot forward between your hands.
- 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 hard for your thigh muscle to hold (it’s an intense move!)| then rest one or both hands on the floor.
- Breathe deeply in this low lunge for five breaths.
| Warrior Eagle
- Release your clasped hands| and inhale to rise up into Warrior 1 as you cross your right elbow over your left| bringing your palms together. Exhale as you gently arch back| actively lifting your hands away from your shoulders.
- Enjoy this pose for five breaths| continuing to press the right knee forward over the ankle.
| Eagle Warrior 3
- From Warrior Eagle| lean forward| raise your back leg into the air| and balance with the body parallel to the floor.
- Actively extend the arms away from you| and engage the abs for five breaths.
| Warrior 2
- From Eagle Warrior 3| lower your left leg into a lunge position.
- Unwind the arms| and extend your arms out wide| gazing over your right fingers.
- Hold here with the right thigh parallel to the floor for five breaths.
- From Warrior 2| straighten the front leg| and turn the left heel in.
- Bend your knees coming into a wide squat until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Your knees should be directly over your ankles| so adjust your feet if you need to.
- Lift your arms up| bending your elbows so they are at 90-degree angles| opening the palms away from you.
- Hold here for five deep breaths.
- From Goddess| fold forward| lower the hands to the floor| and come onto the stomach.
- Bend your knees| and hold onto the outside edge of your right ankle| and then your left.
- Once you have a firm hold of each ankle| try to keep your toes together| either pointing or flexing your feet. Lift your feet as high as you can| and shift weight forward so you’re resting on your naval instead of on your pubic bone.
- Hold for five deep breaths| then slowly lower| and lie flat. Turn your head to one side| and shake your hips from side to side to release your lower back.