Mastering yoga is one of the hardest things to do to achieve a tip-top body condition. This type of exercise that originated in the country of India is perfect for everyone, especially those who want to focus on their mental health while maintaining a 'summer bod.'
What you'll like about yoga is it gives a comprehensive focus on your core muscles, which include the abdominals, obliques, lower back, and pelvic muscles.
Because let's all face it – having toned abs goes far beyond aesthetics; it also associates with a solid upper body so that you can do effortful exercises like pull-ups and planks.
If you are looking for ways to strengthen your core and improve your yoga practice, you've come to the right place. In this article, we are excited to share with you the 13 Poses to Master Yoga for Abs comprehensively. Not only will these poses give you a more toned midsection, but they will also enrich your balance, flexibility, and overall strength.
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What is Yoga?
Before we begin, let us introduce you to yoga and its many benefits. Yoga is a workout where you let your body flow from one pose to another, which would make even a contortionist jealous. It's all about connecting with your body, mind, and soul.
You must know how this type of workout blends various elements together to create balance and harmony within you. You'll mix in deep breathing exercises, gentle stretching, and meditation to create a perfect recipe for tranquility.
As a holistic practice, yoga's primary benefits are flexibility and strength. However, if you want more than its physical prowess, yoga can also help reduce stress and anxiety and improve your sleep patterns.
13 Poses to Master Yoga for Abs Comprehensively
From the downward dog, where you stretch like a sleepy puppy, to the warrior pose, where you embrace your inner strength, each pose has its own personality.
So, grab your yoga mat, put on your most comfortable clothes, and get ready to embark on an adventure that will leave you feeling grounded, centered, and blissfully happy! Namaste!
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana) – Align your body and engage its core
Photo Credit: Yogajala
Let's start with the easiest yoga pose. Tadasana is a foundational pose that is incredibly powerful for strengthening the core and improving body alignment.
Though it may appear simple on the surface, it is a starting point for many beginners to connect with their breathing and focus on proper alignment first.
How to do the Mountain Pose?
- Begin by standing tall with your feet rooted firmly into the ground, hip-distance apart.
- Feel the connection between your feet and engage your leg muscles by tucking your tailbone.
- Keep your head in line with the spine, spread your fingers wide, and make sure that your palms are facing forward.
- Remember to find a moment of stillness even though Tadasana seems like a simple standing pose.
2. Plank pose (Phalakasana) – Strengthen the entire core
Photo Credit: Gaia
The plank pose targets the entire core as it requires strength and stability to hold your body. For me, phalakasana is a powerhouse pose that can ignite your core and take your yoga practice to the next level without requiring a lot of effort (as compared to other yoga poses for abs).
How to do the Plank Pose?
- Start by coming into a push-up position with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your legs extended behind you.
- Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Remember to engage your core muscles by drawing your navel in towards your spine and squeezing your glutes.
What you'll love about Phalakasana is you can challenge yourself further by trying side planks and forearm planks. It's a rock-solid foundation to master stability and step out of your comfort zone!
3. Boat Pose (Navasana) – Engage the deep abdominal muscles
Photo Credit: Styles At Life
Navasana is a personal favorite to many. It leaves your core on fire as it targets those deep abdominal muscles and focuses on your posture. To make matters more interesting, it stimulates the digestive system and massages the internal organs. It can help improve digestion and alleviate digestive issues. It's a two-for-two!
How to do the Boat Pose?
- Get into the boat pose by sitting on the mat with your legs extended in front of you.
- Keep your spine straight and place your hands on the ground beside your hips, fingers pointing towards your feet.
- Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, lean back slightly and lift your feet off the ground, balancing on your sitting bones.
In a nutshell, the boat pose lets you create a "V" shape with your body. Make sure that you keep your chest lifted and your shoulders relaxed, too.
4. Side Plank (Vasisthasana) – Build the strength of your obliques
Photo Credit: Yoga Journal
This challenging yet rewarding pose requires balance and concentration, making it a great addition to any ab-strengthening routine! What Vasisthasana can do for your body is life-changing. It offers flexibility and confidence in your yoga practice, as well as body coordination. It's a full-body workout, indeed!
How to do the Side Plank?
- Come into a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body in a straight line.
- Shift your weight onto your right hand and the outer edge of your right foot, stacking your left foot on top of the right.
- Engage your core muscles and lift your left arm towards the ceiling, extending it above your shoulder.
- Remember that you need to maintain a strong alignment as you hold this yoga pose for abs and avoid any sagging or sinking in the hips.
5. Dolphin Plank (Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana) – Targets the core and upper body
Photo Credit: Fitsri Yoga
Feel the burn as you engage your core and upper body in a whole new way with the dolphin plank. Technically, this yoga pose for abs is the popular plank pose we all love (and hate at the same time), but what makes it unique is the added challenge of balancing on your forearms rather than your legs.
Dolphin plank is also when you send your hips backward and press through your elbows to take the weight off your legs.
How to do the Dolphin Plank?
- Start in a forearm plank position, with your forearms shoulder-width apart and parallel to each other.
- Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, forming a 90-degree angle.
- Keep your palms firmly planted on the ground.
6. Upward plank (Purvottanasana) – Activating the entire core while opening the chest
Photo Credit: Yogajala
Do an upward plank to create a sense of expansion and rejuvenation in your body. This yoga pose activates and strengthens the entire core while opening up the chest. It's the perfect pick-me-up if you need more time to do a full yoga workout after a long, tiring day.
How to do an Upward Plank?
- To practice upward plank, on the mat with your legs extended in front of you.
- Place your hands about shoulder-width apart behind you, with your fingers pointing towards your feet.
- Press through your palms and lift your hips up towards the ceiling, creating a straight line from your head to your heels.
Of course, always engage your core by drawing your navel towards the spine. Upward plank is the solution you need if you want to counteract the effects of sitting for long periods.
7. Crow pose (Bakasana) – Challenging the core strength and balance
Photo Credit: Leah Sugerman
Crow pose is not for the faint-hearted, nor is it a yoga pose for beginners. But this pose not only tests your core strength but also challenges your balance and focus. It may seem intimidating at first, but with practice and dedication, you can surely master it and strengthen your abs in the process.
How to do the Crow Pose?
- Get into a squat position with your feet hip-width apart.
- Place your hands on the mat shoulder-width apart, slightly in front of you.
- Bend your elbows slightly and bring your knees onto the backs of your upper arms, just above the elbows.
- Shift your weight forward onto your hands as you engage your core muscles. Slowly lift your feet off the ground, one at a time, and bring your toes together towards your buttocks.
- Find your balance and focus your gaze slightly forward.
This yoga pose is challenging, especially if you are new to the practice. But take it at your own pace, just like any other yoga pose. After all, we practitioners need to start from scratch.
8.(Parivrtta Trikonasana) – Engaging the core while twisting
Photo Credit: Verywell Fit
If you know this famous yoga pose, you're finally one of the 300 million people who practice it regularly! What we like about the revolved triangle pose is the dynamic twist that adds excitement to the exercise! This yoga pose for abs opens the hips and stretches the hamstrings with little effort.
How to do the Revolved Triangle Pose?
- Go in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart.
- Step your left foot back about three to four feet, keeping both feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Rotate your right foot to face forward and align it with the arch of your left foot. Keep your hips squared to the front of the mat.
- As you inhale, extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height, parallel to the floor.
- Exhale and rotate your torso to the right, bringing your left hand to the outside of your right foot.
- Your right arm should reach up towards the ceiling, creating a straight line from your right hand to your right shoulder.
Although this yoga pose may sound technical initially, it's one of the best workouts to deeply engage those core muscles and create a healthy space on your spine!
9. Warrior III Pose – Channel your posture
Photo Credit: Yoga Journal
Imagine yourself as a fearless warrior standing on the edge of a cliff, ready to take flight. What you'll love about the Warrior III pose is you can activate the muscles in your standing leg to stabilize yourself. You may also take a moment to embrace the sensation of flight and balance you developed as you grow stronger with yoga.
How to do a Warrior III Pose?
- To get into the pose, start by standing tall in a mountain pose, feeling grounded and rooted to the earth.
- Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, shift your weight onto one leg, lifting the other leg off the ground behind you.
- Extend your arms forward, reaching out as if you're about to take off into the sky.
- Try to challenge your balance by doing it as long as you feel your core engaged.
10. Low boat pose (Ardha Navasana) – Develops core stability and control
Photo Credit: Essence
You may ask, what makes this yoga pose an excellent addition to your core-strengthening routine? Well, low boat pose targets the core muscles by enhancing their stability and control.
How to do the Low Boat Pose?
- Begin by sitting on the mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
- Place your hands behind your hips, fingertips pointing towards your feet.
- As you exhale, lift your feet off the ground, keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Balance on your sitting bones and find a comfortable position where you feel stable.
11. Wind-relieving pose (Pavanamuktasana) – Releasing tension and activating the deep core muscles
Photo Credit: Satori Concept
Ah, to float like a feather with a wind-relieving pose after a hard-core yoga workout is just surreal! This powerful yoga pose is highly effective in toning and strengthening your abdominal muscles, giving you a stronger core!
How to do a wind-relieving pose?
- To practice this pose, begin by lying flat on your back on a yoga mat.
- Take a deep breath and bring your knees towards your chest as you exhale.
- Interlock your fingers around your shins, or if possible, bring your hands to hold onto your toes.
- As you hold onto your legs, gently pull them closer to your chest, applying gentle pressure to your abdomen.
- Feel the stretch and release any tension in your lower back and hips.
- Stay in this position for a few breaths, allowing your body to relax and surrender.
Keep in mind that it's best to do a wind-relieving pose as a cool-down or warm-up technique because this workout wakes those muscles up so you can do intense movements throughout the practice.
12. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) – Extends your core strength
Photo Credit: Yoga Journal
Unleash your inner cobra power with this yoga pose for abs. What makes Cobra Pose unique and interesting is that it doesn't take much effort or expertise. You must lie on your stomach and imagine how fun it is to bask in the sun.
How to do the Cobra Pose?
- With your hands placed firmly on the mat, under your shoulders, you push up, letting your chest rise towards the sky.
- Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, let out yourself by opening your chest.
- Feel the gentle stretch in your abdomen and spine as you hold this pose.
Just like the wind-relieving pose, you can give the cobra pose a try before or after some intense movements because it works so well as a cool-down technique or when you want to wake your core muscles.
13. Downward-facing dog – Energizes your posture
Photo Credit: Healthshots
If you've ever watched a dog stretch, you've probably seen them do something similar to the yoga pose called Downward-facing dog. This pose is not only great for stretching and strengthening your body, but it also brings a playful and fun element to your yoga practice.
How to do a downward-facing dog pose?
- Start on all fours of your arms and legs.
- Place your hands shoulder-width apart, spread your fingers wide, and press them firmly into the mat like little pawprints.
- Push your hips up toward the sky, creating an upside-down V shape with your body.
- Feel the stretch in your back, hamstrings, and calves, just like a dog arching its back in a morning stretch.
- Your head should be relaxed and hanging freely.
When are You Starting Your Yoga for Beautiful Abs?
Yoga can be a fantastic way to strengthen and tone your abdominal muscles, and the 13 poses we shared in this article will help you achieve just that. Remember to always listen to your body and modify the poses as needed.
With consistent practice, you'll be well on your way to achieving strong and toned abs through the power of yoga. Namaste!
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