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If yoga abdominal exercises are done properly, they are of tremendous benefit in toning digestive organs and creating postural support in the lower torso.

What does ‘properly’ mean? It means we build up strength in this region slowly over time and we do the exercises regularly.

Abdominal exercises are the poses that fall into the category of poses we love to hate. They take work and concentration and we usually only enjoy them after we’re finished our practice.

I presented two variations of ‘boat pose’ – navasana – in the previous post, and here are three more of the best yoga abdominal exercises.

1) The leg raises – Urdhava Prasarita Padasana – can be done with your legs bent if you find that your hip flexors are tightening up. Start with ten rounds and build up gradually over a few weeks.

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2) The belly-twister – Jatara Parivartanasana – can also be done with legs bent. Start with five rounds (legs left, then right is one round) and build up gradually to ten.

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3) The twisting variation of boat pose – Paripurna Navasana – gives you a version that works your oblique abdominal muscles, the ones on the sides of your abdomen that contribute to six-pack look. More importantly, these muscles give strength and support to your lower back. Do five rounds (right and left is one round) and gradually build up to ten.

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