Yoga to Tone Abs
How to Get Firm Abs
Today I want to illustrate and detail for you one of the best yoga exercise to help you tone your stomach muscles and get great firm abs. In fact, this particular exercise might just be the single best exercise from the world of health and fitness to work on your abs. It is such a potent pose that in Kundalini Yoga it is considered a Kriya in and of itself and called Maha Shakti Kriya (Great Strength/Power/Energy Set), and this is also a key Hatha Yoga pose, and there it is called Nauk Asana or Boat Pose.
As I have mentioned in the past, varying your workout routine is a key element in abdominal and other muscle training, and to help you do that there are several excellent ab exercises and sets already on the website. Here is a quick list of these resources for you, which will give you plenty of ways to introduce variations in your workout. Rest assured, I will continue to add more exercises and sets to help you target your abs and core muscles in a variety of ways in the future.
Yoga Workouts for Toned Firm Abs:
Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set (This set uses Boat Pose)
Yoga Exercise for Great Toned Abs:
Boat Pose along with Stretch Pose I think are great exercises to use to benchmark the fitness level of your abs. So even if you switch to other abdominal workouts, you can do either of these 2 poses from time to time to measure the progress you are making with your core strength and power. Stretch Pose is a little more basic, while Boat Pose is more advanced. In addition, if you are doing a yoga set where you are not getting enough abdominal work, I suggest adding Boat Pose to your routine, generally at the end, to ensure you get your work in for this key region.
Like almost all yoga postures, Boat Pose also has modifications for beginners to do and I have explained that in the practice section below. This pose will be part of the following 3 free online e-books: Free Hatha Yoga Poses, Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises & Free Kundalini Yoga Kriyas, where you will find a huge collection of other yoga sets, poses and exercises, fully illustrated and detailed.
Below you will find illustrations of this great ab exercise and done regularly I am sure it will help you tone your abs and give you a firm, flat stomach. Please also follow the guidelines on how to practice yoga which I have detailed in the following 2 articles, Beginner’s Guide to Yoga Practice and Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice.
Boat Pose for Firm Toned Abs
Illustration #1 Yoga Boat Pose for Rock Solid Abs
Illustration #2 Yoga Boat Pose for Rock Solid Abs
Yoga Boat Pose (Maha Shakti Kriya or Naukasana)
a. Instructions for Yoga Boat Pose for Rock Solid Abs:
- Lie flat on your back.
- Have your arms straight out to the sides with your palms facing in. Keep your legs together and straight out as well with your toes pointing forward.
- Now bring your legs and torso up such that you are balancing on your sacrum. Keep your eyes focused on your toes, this will help you keep your balance. You are forming a V shape, with your legs and torso.
- Begin the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise and continue on for as long as you can.
b. Duration for Yoga Boat Pose: 15 seconds – 11 minutes
c. Benefits of Yoga Boat Pose:
- Builds your Navel Center and firms and tones your abdominal muscles.
- Activates and balances the Manipura Chakra.
- Builds willpower and strength of character.
- Awakens all the systems in the body (digestive, nervous, endocrine, circulatory, etc.).
- Develops core energy and vitality.
- Develops focus and balance.
d. Practice Tips for Yoga Boat Pose:
- To modify the exercise hold on to your knees or thighs. This is a good way for beginners to start.
- Keeping a steady gaze upon your toes will go a long way in helping you keep your balance.
- If you need to, you can take a break and then come into the pose again once you are ready. Generally I will do this exercise 3 times, with breaks in between.
- You can build up the time for Maha Shakti Kriya to 11 minutes. This will give you rock solid abs like Bruce Lee, who often practiced this very exercise .