Yoga Exercises & Postures for the Thighs and Reducing Weight

by Nicole Carlin, Demand Media Google
    Power yoga classes can help you burn fat.

    Power yoga classes can help you burn fat.

    Practicing yoga can help you to reduce weight all over your body, including your thighs, and tone the muscles. To burn more calories, choose a sporty, active style such as power, Ashtanga or Bikram yoga. During fitness-based yoga classes, you'll move quickly through flowing postures, raising your heart rate and burning calories in the process. With time and practice, you will lose weight. Certain yoga poses such as bridge or crescent lunge pose focus primarily on working the thighs.

    Bridge Pose

    Bridge pose actively targets your thighs and butt. To increase the intensity of the pose, consider performing a one-legged version of the pose with one leg extended in the air throughout. While lying on your back, bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the floor close to your buttocks. Press your heels into the floor and lift your hips up toward the sky as high as you can. Hold you hips up in the air for five to 10 rounds of deep breathing. Lower your hips to the floor to come out of the pose.

    Warrior I Pose

    Warrior I pose is a deep bodyweight stretch for your whole body, especially your thighs. To perform warrior I, stand up straight at the top of your yoga mat. Step back with your right foot three to four feet and turn your right toes out 45 degrees. Bend your left knee to 90 degrees and move your left thigh so it is parallel with the ground as much as possible. The more you practice warrior I, the deeper you'll be able to lower your hips. Point your hips straight forward and extend your arms toward the sky, palms facing each other. Hold warrior I pose for five to 10 rounds of deep breathing.

    Crescent Lunge Pose

    Crescent lunge pose is similar to warrior I, but requires more stabilization in the thigh muscles to keep the body balanced in the pose. To perform crescent lunge, stand up tall at the top of your mat. Step back three to four feet with your right foot and lift your heel off the floor, balancing on your toes. Bend your left knee to 90 degrees and attempt to position your left thigh so it is parallel with the floor as much as possible. Square your hips forward and extend your arms overhead, palms facing each other. Engage your thigh and core muscles to stabilize your body in this pose. Hold the pose for five to 10 rounds of deep breathing. If you find it too difficult to keep your balance in this pose, bend your back knee to the floor.

    Half Frog Pose

    Half frog pose is a deep stretch for the quadriceps muscles in the front of the thighs. To perform this pose, lie on your stomach on a yoga mat. Lift yourself up by placing your forearms on the floor and curl your chest open toward the sky. Bend your right knee and draw the right foot toward your right buttock. Hold yourself up with your left forearm while you reach back with the right hand to grab the right foot. Point your right elbow toward the ceiling and press down on the top of the foot with the palm of your hand, fingers curling around your toes. Press your left palm into the floor and extend your left arm completely to increase the intensity of the pose. Hold the pose for five to 10 rounds of deep breathing before switching sides.

    Yoga for Weight Loss

    Dynamic, flowing yoga sequences, such as sun salutations, can help you burn the calories necessary to reduce weight all over your body -- including your thighs. Practice five to 20 rounds of sun salutations in addition to thigh-strengthening poses like bridge and warrior I three to four times per week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend performing at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity per week. As you perform sun salutations, move at a pace that gets your heart rate pumping and leaves you slightly breathless. You should still be able to maintain a conversation though. If you are too out of breath to speak, slow down and take a break.

    About the Author

    Nicole Carlin is a registered yoga teacher. Her writing has been published in yoga and dance teacher training manuals for POP Fizz Academy. Carlin received a Masters of Arts in gender studies from Birkbeck University in London and a Bachelors of Arts in psychology from Temple University, Philadelphia.

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