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Terrific Yoga Ab Exercises & Workout for Toned Stomach

Yoga Ab Exercises to Shape Stomach

Previously on Mastery of Meditation & Yoga, I had provided the powerful Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set to help you tone and build your abdominal muscles, but when it comes to strengthening and toning muscles it is good to hit the same muscle group with a variety of exercises and workouts.  This is simply because muscles adapt to certain exercises over time, and so targeting them with new workouts is needed to help stimulate their development.

Ab exercises are a must for any starting Kundalini Yogi, as building that center gives you, not only a flat firm stomach, but also the energy and willpower you need in order to develop a long-term consistent yoga practice.

This particular set is excellent to include into any yoga or fitness routine and consists of the ab exercises I do in my yoga classes to help the students tone and shape their stomach muscles.

The Yoga Ab Exercises & Workout Set will be the 10th set in our Free Online Kundalini Yoga Set E-Book.

yoga for toned stomach

Benefits of Yoga Ab Exercises & Workout

  • Tone & Shape Ab Muscles:  Each exercise and the workout as a whole is designed to a help tone and strengthen your abdominal muscles.  Overall, it works to shape your stomach and midsection.
  • Build Energy & Core Strength:  Developing the stomach muscles and strengthening your core, is key to increasing your levels of energy and health.  This will also help prevent injuries and back problems.
  • Build Willpower & Character: The abdominal region is the seat of the Navel Chakra (Manipura Chakra).  This center is responsible for your willpower and strength of character, and working on this area activates and balances this key chakra.
  • Helps Digestion and Elimination: The important organs of digestion and elimination reside in the stomach region, which get massaged and rejuvenated by the focused attention that this workout puts in this area.

Yoga Ab Exercises & Workout Practice Details

Please read the following documents to help guide you in practicing the Yoga Ab Exercises & Workout Set:

Essential Beginners Guide to Yoga Practice

10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice

Remember the golden rule is please do not overdo anything.  Back off if you feel uncomfortable or dizzy.  Use common sense when it comes to injuries and work around them whenever necessary. Take a short break between each of the exercises below, during which just do long deep breathing while lying on your back (corpse pose).

Yoga Ab Exercises & Workout for Stomach Shaping

1. Yoga Single Leg Lifts:


Illustration #1: Yoga Ab Single Leg Lifts – Starting Position



Illustration #2: Yoga Ab Single Leg Lifts – Left Leg Up


Illustration #3: Yoga Ab Single Leg Lifts – Right Leg Up


For this exercise lie on your back with your palms underneath your buttocks, to support your lower back, as shown in Illustration #1.  Then lift your left leg up to 90 degrees and then back down (Illustration #2).  Follow that by lifting your right leg to 90 degrees and then down (Illustration #3).  Repeat with left leg and continue on.  You will feel your abdominal muscles working to raise each leg.


Inhale as leg goes up, exhale down.


1- 3 minutes.

2. Yoga Double Leg Lifts:


Illustration #4 – Yoga Ab Double Leg Life – Starting Position


Illustration #5 – Yoga Ab Double Leg Lifts – Ending Position


For this exercise remain on your back with your palms underneath your buttocks, to support your lower back.  But now lift both legs smoothly up to 90 degree and then back down.  Try to keep your knees straight and keep the motion controlled and smooth (illustration #5).  This exercise work your ab muscles much harder than the single leg lifts, so be ready.

Make sure to take a break between exercises to let the abdominal muscles recover a little before moving on.


Inhale as legs goes up, exhale down.


1- 3 minutes.

3. Yoga Criss-Cross Legs:


Illustration #6 – Yoga Ab Criss Cross Legs


Illustration #7 – Yoga Ab Criss Cross Legs


Again for this exercise remain on your back with your palms underneath your buttocks, to support your lower back.  Now lift both legs up about 12-18 inches off the floor and have your toes pointing forward.  Now begin to criss-cross your legs at ankle level rapidly (Illustrations 6 & 7).  At first one leg will be on top, and then when you cross back have the other leg be on top. 

This exercise will give the side ab muscles (obleques) a workout,and is excellent for shaping your stomach region.


Do the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise as you criss-cross your legs.


1- 3 minutes.

4. Yoga  Piston Legs:


Illustration #8 – Yoga Ab Piston Legs



Illustration #9 – Yoga Ab Piston Legs


Remain on your back with your palms underneath your buttocks, to support your lower back.  Again lift both legs up about 12-18 inches off the floor and have your toes pointing forward.  Now begin to piston your legs back and forth rapidly (Illustrations 8 & 9).  As one leg bends in (knee coming towards the chest), the other goes straight out and the motions reverse. 

Be sure to not bicycle the legs, the legs should move parallel to the floor for this exercise.  This exercise will ensure that if any parts of your stomach muscles were left out of the workout, that they get a chance to now participate .


Breath out as you fire each leg out.


1- 5 minutes.

5. Add Stretch Pose or Boat Post (Optional). 

The above 4 ab exercises provide a great workout to tone and shape your stomach, but if you feel ready to take it to the next level, then add Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose to this set.  If you feel really strong and would like to set the bar even higher, then add Kundalini Yoga Boat Pose to enhance this set further.  You will find me demonstrating Yoga Boat Pose in the Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set Video and description also in that article.


Illustration #10 – Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose

Make sure you rest adequately after doing this set, to allow the body to assimilate all the good energy you have awakened by doing this set.


As I mentioned earlier, if you are new to Yoga practice, ab exercises are a must.  The Third Chakra is an excellent center to develop early in your practice and according to Kundalini Yoga abdominal work should be done everyday.  And anyway, who does not want a nice flat stomach with toned, shapely abs .


Yoga Plough Pose for Activating Chakra Points

Plough pose (Hal Asana) is another yoga posture which is slightly more advanced and should therefore be practiced carefully.  As this position puts pressure on the neck, it is important to not force the pose and to gently develop the necessary flexibility to come into the final position.  This yoga pose though, is certainly worth the time and effort to master, as it is capable of bestowing multiple benefits by working to open several key chakras simultaneously.

The following pose is again common to both, hatha yoga and kundalini yoga and thus, is a part of both e-books that are available on Mastery of Meditation.  The Free Online Hatha Yoga Poses Galleries and the Free Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses E-Book.

As mentioned above, Plough pose works on several of the chakras of the Kundalini Seven Chakra System.  Some articles that will help you understand better this chakra system and how kundalini yoga looks to open and balance them are as follows: Introduction to Kundailni Yoga and Kundalini Seven Chakra System Overview.  It is also important to note, that hatha yoga, or for that matter all yoga, looks to open and balance the chakras to promote the greater flow of kundalini shakti throughout the nadi sytem (psychic channels of the energetic body).

Specifically, Plough pose works on the throat chakra (vishuddhi chakra), heart chakra (anahata chakra) and the navel chakra (manipura chakra).  More details about these benefits are in the practice section below.

Yoga Plough Pose for Multi Chakra Activation

Picture of Yoga Plough Pose (Hal Asana)


Hatha Yoga Plough Pose Practice Details:

a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Plough Pose:

  • Lie on your back, bend your legs and bring your knees above you.
  • Use your hands to support your back by placing them on ribcage, as show in the illustration above.
  • Straighten your legs and keeping them together slowly swing them over till your toes touch the floor behind you.
  • Try to stay on your upper back (instead of your shoulders) and keep your legs as straight as possible.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Plough Pose:

  • 15 seconds – 5 minutes.

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Plough Pose:

  • Works on your navel chakra and improves the functioning of all your digestive organs.  This asana also develops the abdominal muscles.  There is great number of available games. These games are quite different and you may play all of them in any mood.
  • This pose also stimulates the heart chakra and improves the respiratory, circulatory and immune systems.
  • Tones the thyroid and para-thyroid glands, and helps activate and balance the throat chakra.
  • Plough pose develops flexibility of the spine, entire back and hamstrings.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Plough Pose:

  • Do not practice this pose if you have problems with your back or neck.  It is also not recommended for those suffering from high blood pressure.
  • To modify this exercise, keep a small chair or low table behind you to rest your toes on, if you can’t reach the floor with them.  It is also fine, to only bring your legs over as far as possible and to bend your knees if necessary, until you are flexible enough to do the full posture.
  • One should stretch the neck, shoulders, back and hamstrings prior to doing Hal Asana.
  • Do not force this pose and be careful of your neck as you bring your legs over.

Yoga Technique to Increase Willpower

Yoga Exercise to Improve Willpower

There are many traditional yoga exercises that are indicated for those interested in improving their willpower and overall mental strength.  Many of these techniques work on the navel region, which is the location of the Manipura or Navel Chakra and is responsible for one’s willpower and strength of character.  Here are some testimonials of how working on this center has helped readers develop their confidence and willpower – Yoga for Willpower and Self-Confidence Testimonials.  

You can easily search this website for sets and exercises that work on this region, by searching for abs, stomach or navel chakra. Also, here is a nice article which helps you determine the condition of each of your chakras and provides exercises and techniques to help balance the one’s that need work – How to Heal and Balance Your Chakras.  So if you feel you need to improve your willpower, pick the techniques that help charge the Navel Chakra.

I though have another recommendation for you if you are looking to build your willpower and inner strength, and that exercise is Yoga for Nerve Power.  This exercise, as it’s name indicates, is actually for strengthening your nervous system, but I have found it very useful for increasing mental strength as well.

More Yoga Poses for Willpower:

As usual this technique will be added to our ongoing free online collections – Free Hatha Yoga Galleries and Free Kundalini Yoga Exercises.  There you will find many of the poses which work on the abdominal region as well, but there is another great pose for building willpower which is part of the collection that I want to point out and that is Yoga Jesus Pose for Inner Strength.

Jesus Pose is similar to Yoga for Nerve Power and I have found it equally beneficial for building and improving willpower. Both these poses come from the school of Kundalini Yoga.

Yoga and Meditation Certification Program Teacher Tips:

For students enrolled in the Online Yoga Teacher’s Training and Certification Program or Online Meditation Certification Program, typically this exercise is done at the end of a set, but you can work it into any yoga routine as well in a location that is sensible.  As it requires rapid arm movement, it is a good idea to stretch one’s shoulders and arms prior to doing this technique.  Also, as this is a relatively easy movement to do, almost all students can practice it.  The willpower building affect is related to how long one can keep this up for :-).

Yoga Exercise for Nerve Strength and Willpower

Below you will find details of how to practice this pose, along with illustrations, step-by-step instructions, benefits and practice tips.

Yoga for Willpower Illustrations


 Yoga for Building Willpower Start
Yoga for Willpower – Illustration #1
 Yoga Exercise to Increase Willpower - Arms Up
Yoga for Increasing Willpower – Illustration #2
 Yoga for Improving Willpower Down
Yoga for Willpower – Illustration #3


A. How to do Yoga for Nerve Strength:

  • Sit comfortably with your legs crossed.  You can also sit up on your heels in rock pose if you prefer or on a chair.
  • Next extend both arms out to the side keeping the elbows straight.  The arm should be at shoulder level and your fingers are all extended as well.  See illustration #1 above.  
  • Now begin to move your arms up six inches from parallel (Illustration #2) and down (Illustration #3) six inches from parallel.  So you start with arms parallel to the floor and then move them up six inches and then down six inches. Continue to “flap” the arms in this way. The movement should be rapid and use the Breath of Fire throughout the exercise.  You will notice that moving faster is actually easier that moving your arms slower.
  • Willpower is like a muscle so when your shoulders start to hurt is when you have the opportunity to build this muscle, so DON’T STOP.  Keep going and you will notice that as the muscles warm-up and pathways open up it will get easier.  Remind yourself of all the good this exercise is doing for you, not just with regard to increasing your willpower, but also with regard to strengthening your nervous system.  Use this as motivation to keep going.
  • Once you are done, stretch your arms up and apply root lock three times.

B. Duration:

  • For the purpose of building willpower you need to push through the discomfort this exercise is going to create, so try to do 15-30 seconds more than is comfortable.  Generally this exercise is done for 1, 3, 5, 7 or 11 minutes.

C. Benefits:

  • Helps increase your willpower and mental fortitude.
  • Helps strengthen your nervous system.
  • Excellent exercise to strengthen and tone your shoulders.
  • Builds character and grit.

D. Practice Tips:

  • Be sure not to overstrain or overdo.  Although the idea here is to build willpower by pushing past the point of pain and discomfort, you should be careful not to incur any injury.
  • Concentrating on the Breath of Fire, it will help carry you through and help you go much further.
  • There is a variation to the hand position which makes this exercise a little tougher, but is often used to enhance the effects.  That is to have the thumb tip touching the base of the pinkie, while keeping the other 4 fingers extended. Try this hand position if you feel ready for the additional challenge.
  • Another variation with the breathing you can use, if Breath of Fire is too much, is to inhale as the arms go up and exhale as the arms go down.
  • Being able to sustain the exercise for extended periods of time will give you a great deal of confidence in your ability to handle the challenges life throws your way.  It will make you mentally very tough and powerful.

PS: If you enjoy this exercise or any other exercise on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga, please do share them with your friends.  I appreciate your support.


Awakening of Kundalini and Energy Centers

Kundalini Chakras and Energy

In today’s guest post, Richard, who is a meditation teacher and author, shares his insights about Kundalini Awakening and Energizing Chakra Centers with us.  Richard is a meditation teacher and author, and you will find more information on the courses he offers on his website

If you would like to be a guest author on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga, please email me at

kundalini energy

Awakening Kundalini Energy


Richard Crown

The Sacred Sound comes, vibrating red Mooladhara chakra (base or root). It spins and expands ecstatically. Kundalini energy, liquid and golden, pours into the spinning, vibrating vortex.

The lovely Kundalini mixes with the bright red chakra energy already present. Cool Earthly energy is drawn up from below by the increased spinning and vibrations caused by chanting the Sacred Sound, bringing unlimited power. All the energies join together in blissful, empowering union.

The Sacred Sound comes again. And again. And again…

Each time the sound comes, the energies become more powerful, growing, cleansing and expanding the chakra.

“Om Kundalini, Kundalini, Kundalini…”

The chant changes. The now golden chakra, packed full, expanded to its limit, clean and happy, begins to settle and cool –becoming stable but energized. Oh, so energized.

The Sacred Sound for Swadishtana chakra begins. As the chakra starts vibrating, lovely liquid gold Kundalini pours into it, mixing with the orange already there and with the strong Earth power coming up from below.

When the chakra is full, happy and stabilized by chanting Om Kundallini, the whole process moves up to yellow Manipura chakra above the navel. Then up to green Anahata at the heart. Then blue Vishuddi at the base of the throat and on to indigo Ajneya, the Third Eye.

Finally, it breaks the seals in violet Sahasrara, the crown chakra in the center of the skull’s top. An ecstatic burst of golden energy appears, formed by the energies from below meeting the Celestial, or Heavenly, power coming down from above.

Liquid gold flows down over the body, covering the skin with a protective, empowering layer. Golden mist fills the entire aura, cleansing, strengthening and granting it the power to dissolve incoming negative energies.

Tears of joy run down her face. “Thank you, thank you, thank you…”

Her gratitude is for the life force filling every fiber of her being. Before, she was only half alive –or half dead. Now she feels complete. Completely normal for the very first time in her life. Super energized, but completely normal.

Different Kundalini Experiences

Other people laugh uncontrollably, have highly Spiritual visions, reunite with lost loved ones, go into muscle spasms or are rendered silent. Everyone reacts differently to a Kundalini Awakening.

A few are incapable of experiencing anything at all. They desperately want the experience, search for it, will pay anything to get it, but can’t have it. They go from teacher to teacher, blaming the teachers, searching, searching, always searching.

Sadly, their systems are still too blocked with cravings, suppressed emotions, concepts and karma. They’re not ready yet. They need more basic Spiritual healing work on themselves before being able to move up.

The Kundalini Energy Path

After the initial Kundalini awakening, the necessity of a personal, daily practice to maintain the beautiful experience appears. No practice and, sadly, the lovely experience soon fades into being just a lovely memory.

With regular practice, the entire energy system grows and expands. Psychic abilities begin to come and grow. Deeper and deeper states of meditation appear effortlessly. The life purpose becomes clear.

And the issues begin rearing their ugly heads to be healed. The increased light pouring in exposes the inner demons present in all of us. They are concepts, beliefs, suppressed emotions, chronic habit and behavior patterns, past life karmas, cravings, etc. They must all be healed as they arise.

Changes come in outer life as well. Careers, partners and homes all may change. Anything that’s not in accord with your Spiritual path to Enlightenment will go. Because that’s where dedicated Kundalini practice takes you. All the way to Realization.

If these changes are embraced with gratitude and understanding, they can be joyful and empowering. If they are resisted by trying to hang on to the old lifestyle while moving forward into the light, life can become quite painful.

The Right Teacher is Necessary

This is where the continued guidance and support of a self Realized teacher becomes invaluable. She will be kind, compassionate, supportive and available for you whenever the releasing issues become overwhelming.

She will know how to identify and heal each different situation because she’s already been through it herself and has guided other students. She’ll smooth and accelerate your healing process and your growth.

Kundalini Awakening is only the beautiful beginning of the Kundalini experience. Dedicated practice inevitably brings far greater rewards. As the Kundalini expands and grows your chakras, your consciousness grows and expands until you realize that you are an Enlightened, eternal being of pure light.

Shaman Remedia and Richard Crown have been doing energy work together for fifteen years. They awaken Kundalini for others using Shaktipat and Sacred Sounds via Skype at  They also provide ongoing support and live, personal guided meditations one on one via Skype.

You can try Shaktipat and a guided meditation free and download free Ebooks by taking a 7 day free trial.


Best Core Yoga Pose Video

Core Yoga Exercise

Yoga for Core Power

A Kundalini Yoga class with my teacher, Ravi Singh, was almost never complete unless we had done our core power yoga exercises.  Over the course of my training I realized the many benefits of developing this center and later, once I began teaching yoga myself, I too ensured to include some abdominal exercises in every class.

The physical and aesthetic benefits of developing your core power and abs is relatively obvious.  You get more energy, develop a flat, toned stomach and having a strong core helps you avoid injuries as well as assists you with other yoga poses.  But there is another more subtle reason for focusing on your core strengthen, especially early in your practice, and that is because working on this area gives you great willpower.  It builds your character.  This inner strength then helps you commit to a steady, long-term yoga and meditation practice, from which then all the other marvelous benefits of yoga are realized.

Core Yoga Pose

The importance of character should not be underestimated in life.  As many of us undoubtedly know, life will constantly challenge us and sometimes knock us down.  From these positions, we have to rise again to meet the challenge of the moment, and for this you will need to have resolve and tenacity.  A strong core, lends itself to having such determination.  So not just does it help you walk the path, but in the event you are dislodged from the path by the storms of life, it helps you get back on it.

From a chakra point of view, working on the core is equivalent to working on your Navel Chakra or Manipura Chakra.  You can read more about the chakra model and understand core power yoga exercises from this point of view by visiting the following articles:

Seven Chakra Kundalini Yoga Model
How to Analyze and Balance Your Chakras

Best Core Yoga Pose:

So now that we know understand the importance of developing our core strength and core power, which yoga exercise should we start with to get that going?  And the answer to that question, from Kundalini Yoga, is Yoga Stretch Pose.  This pose is ideal for beginning to develop your abdominal region and balancing your Navel Chakra.  It works fast, it is simple to do, it has good modifications for beginners and is very effective.

I previously detailed this exercise in the article, Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose for Yoga Abdominal Power, and you read that article for more details on this excellent yoga pose.

In this article today I will provide a video for Stretch Pose, so if you have neglected to learn this key exercise, here is your chance once again to do so :-).  I assure you, you will not regret incorporating Stretch Pose into your routine and your body will love you for it.

Given how good Stretch Pose, it should be no surprise that it is part of many yoga routines here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga.  In particular it is the heart and soul of the Yoga Ab Exercises and Workout to Shape Stomach set, which you can use if you are really looking to get your stomach and abs in shape in a hurry.

This video, like the other yoga exercises I am now creating videos for, will become part of our ongoing Free Yoga Exercise Videos series.

Modifications to Stretch Pose:

As I mentioned above, there are some easy modifications for Stretch Pose, and these modifications will work just as well for developing your core as the full version.  They are just ways to simplify the exercise to match your level, so feel free to use them as you develop your capacity.  The most common modifications are to do one leg at a time, or to do the exercise with knees bent.

For Yoga and Meditation Certification Students:

For students enrolled in the Online Yoga Teacher’s Training and Certification Program and Online Meditation Certification Program, this yoga pose is part of both the trainings.  In the Yoga Training Manual it is chapter 24, and in the Meditation Training Manual, it is part of the Basic Yoga Poses Set, which is chapter 19.

As you can see, my teacher ensured we did core yoga work in each class, I have done the same and I suggest you continue the tradition.  The students really appreciate doing these exercises and the benefits to them are enormous.

Core Power Yoga Stretch Pose Video Contents:

  • The video gives a full demonstration of Stretch Pose and it’s modified version as well.
  • It teaches the correct hand positions to help take pressure off the lower back when doing this exercise.
  • It discusses the core and abdominal benefits of this pose, along with other details about the technique.
  • Please note if you have trouble viewing the video from here, I have provided the YouTube link as well which you can use.

Yoga Stretch Pose for Core Power



Powerful Yoga Ab Crunches to Get Toned Six Pack Abs

Abdominal Crunches

Yoga Exercises for 6 Pack Abs

If you are interested in developing your abs, whether to get a toned six pack or to enjoy the energy and willpower developing this center gives, this article are some excellent yoga crunches for you to do.  If you have been following this blog for some time, you will certainly have come across some potent ab exercises and sets already such as the, Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set and the Terrific Yoga Ab Exercises and Workout for Shaping Stomach, but I feel that when it comes to developing your abdominal muscles and core strength, variety is always very useful.

Yoga Ab Crunches

The ab crunches I am going to detail for you in this articles are not the easiest to do.  But, if you have been doing your daily yoga workouts, then you should be ready for these challenging exercises.  If you are new to yoga or just getting back to getting fit, not to worry there are plenty of other ab exercises on the website for you to start with.

So, if you are looking for something a little easier then please try Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose for Core Abdominal Power.  That is a good exercise to start training your ab with, and has some nice modifications for beginners.  Also, at the end of this article I list a few more ab exercises that you might want to try which are great for helping you develop those six packs or balancing your Navel Center.

I call these particular exercises, Yoga Ab Crunches, and many different types of yoga use these movements.  They will become part of the Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises e-book and the Hatha Yoga Galleries hosted here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga.  In addition, be on the lookout for ab yoga sets incorporating these crunches in the near future in the Free Online Kundalini Yoga Sets.  Also, be sure to check out the Free Online Yoga Classes that we already offer on the website.  

As always, please follow the guidelines for yoga I have laid out in the following documents…

Beginner’s Guide to Yoga Practice

Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice


Ab Crunches for Six Pack Abs

Illustrations for Yoga Ab Crunches

Ab Crunches Starting Position

Illustration #1 – Ab Crunches Starting Position
 Ab Crunches Ending Position Variation 1


Illustration #2 – Ab Crunches Ending Positions – Variation 1


Ab Crunches Ending Position - Variation 2

Illustration #3 – Ab Crunches Ending Positions – Variation 2

Abdominal Crunches for Six Pack Abs:

A. How to Do Yoga Ab Crunches: 

  • Lie on your back, interlace your fingers and place your hands at the back of your head as shown in Illustration #1 above.  This is the starting position.
  • For variation #1 above, in a smooth motion raise your torso up to 90 degrees and press your chest forward.  Exhale as you come up and then Inhale as you return to the starting position.  This completes 1 crunch.  Keep going and try to isolate and use your abs muscles to pull yourself up.
  • For variation #2, you are going to work your lower abs and your upper abs at the same time.  In this case, as your raise your body up, also bring your legs up and off the floor as far up as you can.  The ending position is shown in Illustration #3 above.  Again exhale as you crunch up and exhale as you lie back down.  Keep going.
  • Both exercises above will give your stomach muscles a great workout, and are great for developing the core center as well as getting six pack abs. 

B. Duration for Yoga Ab Exercises: 15 seconds – 11 minutes.

C. Benefits of Ab Exercises:

  • Excellent exercises for developing six pack abs and strengthening your core.
  • Balances and awakens the Navel Center (Manipura Chakra).
  • Build willpower and strength of character.
  • Strengthens the lower back and hip flexors.
  • Increases energy and gives vitality and vigor.

D. Practice Tips and Cautions for Yoga Ab Crunches:

  • Don’t over strain.  These crunches are not the easiest to do, so if can’t do them yet, follow the suggests I gave above for easier ab exercises and try these later once you are stronger.  
  • These crunches can be incorporated into other abdominal sets.  Add them in towards the end.
  • It is perfectly fine to do take breaks in between repetitions.  Just lie on your back when you do and relax, until you are ready to go again.
  • Squeeze your abs to max out the workout, when you bring legs and body up for variation number 2.  This will really give you a great burn.

More Yoga Ab Exercises:

As I mentioned above, there are plenty of other ab exercises you can do to train your core and develop your 6 pack.  Below are some of these for you to try…

Best Yoga Exercise to Get Firm Toned Abs

Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose for Core Abdominal Power

Dynamic Yoga Sit-ups for a Fast Ab Workout


Pure Yoga Technique to Train Abs

Abdominal Training

Yoga for Abs

For training your abs, there are 2 great sets currently on the website, Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set and the Terrific Yoga Ab Exercises and Workout for Shaping Stomach, and today I will give a pure Kundalini Yoga exercise to supplement these sets and help you max out your ab workout.  At first glace, this particular technique may not appear be a great ab training tool, but if done correctly, it is quite effective in helping you tone and strengthen your stomach muscles and core.

The great part of this technique is that it is very different from your usual abdominal exercises and I have found many students, specially the ones with a creative and artistic side, really enjoy doing it.  This exercise, like Kapalbhati Pranayama, works your abs by the pumping motion it incorporates, but unlike most other exercises, it uses sound power to further accent the effect.

yoga for abs

That’s the reason I titled this article, pure yoga technique.  It is because this technique uses a mantra to help you work your core.  That’s right, a mantra for abdominal training .  This technique uses the sound “HAR” or “HARRRRR”, which rhymes with “BURRRR”, and which is considered a sound for awakening the Navel Chakra and is associated with the stomach and abdominal region.  Just go ahead and make this sound powerfully now, and immediately you will feel your abdominal muscles going to work.  I call this technique Abdominal Training with Yogic HAR.

Details of how to do this exercise are in the practice section below.  Abdominal Training with Yogic HAR will be added to our free ongoing yoga exercises e-book, which you can find here: Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises e-book.  In addition, be on the lookout for yoga sets incorporating this exercise in the near future here: Free Online Kundalini Yoga Sets.  Also, be sure to check out the Free Online Yoga Classes that we already offer on the website.  

At the bottom of this article I have provided some more pure yoga exercises for abdominal training, so be sure to check those out as well.  As always, please follow the guidelines for yoga I have laid out in the following articles…

Beginner’s Guide to Yoga Practice

Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice


Abdominal Training with HAR

Illustrations for Abdominal Training with HAR

Illustration #1 – Front View of Technique




Illustration #2 – Side View of Technique

Abdominal Training with Yogic HAR:

A. How to Do this Pure Yoga Technique: 

  • Here is an exercise which is going to work your abs, without a lot of movement .  Sit up straight with your legs crossed or sit on your heels.  You can also sit on a chair for this technique.  Just make sure your back and spine are straight.
  • Next, interlace your fingers and extend your arms straight out as I have shown in the illustrations above.
  • Now take a deep breath and chant out loud with POWER.  HAR HAR HAR HAR (Very Fast) (Pause Slightly) HAR HAR HAR HAR (Very Fast) (Pause Slightly) HARRR HARRR HARRR (slow).  So you will say out loud, with power 4 times HAR HAR HAR HAR very fast, then again after a slight pause HAR HAR HAR HAR very fast, and then after a slight pause say HARRRR HARRR HARRR 3 times, with each of these HARRRs slow and with emphasis.  In addition, with each HAR you will consciously pull your stomach wall back towards your spine (pump your stomach/suck it in). For the fast HAR HAR HAR HARs you will only be able to pump your stomach lightly, but for each of the slow 3 HARRRs pump your stomach with FORCE. You can say the HARs as loud as you want.  Don’t wake the neighbors .
  • Take deep breaths whenever you need to, and also take a break when you need to.  See how the sound HAR explodes from the ab region.
  • If you are doing it correctly you will start to feel your ab muscles burn and fatigue in due course.  Continue on for the duration of the exercise. 

B. Duration for Ab Training with HAR: 30 seconds – 11 minutes.

C. Benefits of Pure Yoga HAR Ab Exercise:

  • Good technique for training your abs and strengthening your core.
  • Balances and awakens the Navel Chakra (Manipura Chakra).
  • Build willpower and strength of character.
  • Helps the respiratory system.
  • Increases energy and gives vitality and vigor.

D. Practice Tips and Cautions for Abdominal Training with Yogic HAR:

  • For this technique to be successful some intensity is needed from your side.  So don’t be shy when practicing the chanting and really let the sound HARRR HARRR HARRR, explode from your tummy.
  • For those looking to do Third Chakra work, this is an excellent exercise for you.
  • Doing this in a group or a yoga class is a lot of fun, so be sure to try it in class if you are a teacher.
  • Kids love this exercise so do it with them too.
  • This exercise is something you can add to the end of the abdominal sets you do.

More Pure Yoga Ab Exercises:

In addition to Yogic HAR for Abdominal and Core Power, there are several other exercises from yoga which are great for ab training and below are 3 more for you to enjoy and benefit from…

Best Yoga Exercise to Get Firm Toned Abs

Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose for Core Abdominal Power

Dynamic Yoga Sit-ups for a Fast Ab Workout


Learn Yoga | Yoga Asana Challenge of the Month

Learn Yoga Challenge

Yoga Asana for August

The way to learn yoga is not by watching yoga TV shows or by reading yoga blogs, no matter how great they are , but by actually practicing yoga asanas (poses) and exercises.  So here is a new idea that bubbled up to my mind after reading my good friend Ashish’s comments on my facebook page regarding Nauk Asana, and it was to have a yoga asana of the month, that we all work on together to see if we can learn it, master it and benefit from it.  Thanks for the inspiration brother .  But before I jump into the details of this new experiment though, I wanted to make a few quick announcements regarding the Mastery of Meditation and Yoga Blog.

Yoga Asana

Annoucement #1:  Thank You for Your Support and Help in Spreading the Word

I wanted to take a moment and thank all of you, from all around the globe, who send me those wonderful I love your website and newsletter emails .  I do read each and every email and comment I receive, and even though I am not able to personally respond to all of them, I really do appreciate all the love and support I get.  This positive energy really does inspire me, and it fuels my passion to make the site even better and more useful.

In addition, I also wanted to thank all of you who have been helping me spread the word about the website and blog.  As a wise reader commented a few days ago, life is simply about being happy and being of service, and I appreciate the help you all are giving me in spreading the wisdom of yoga and meditation, and thus helping in being of greater service to all.  Please continue to do this, it is the best way to help give back to the website.

Finally, I would like to thank all of you who have given donations to support the website.  Needless to say, I appreciate the energy exchange .

Announcement #2: Staffing Increase Coming

Recently I have received many requests for Numerological Readings and also, many readers have posted questions on the blog that I am yet to address.  I am working to expand the support staff for the website so I will be able to devote more time to answering your questions and complete your readings in a timely manner.  I apologize for these delays and appreciate your patience while I make the necessary adjustments.  The website is currently on pace for over 3,000,000+ hits annually and continues to grow very rapidly, so I need to reorganize my resources to keep up.

Now onto learning yoga and the yoga asana challenge for the month of August.

Learn Yoga Challenge | Yoga Asana for August

So the idea here is to pick one great yoga asana and for us all to include that asana in our yoga practice during the entire month.  Then for us to observe the improvement we can make in doing that asana, and share our experiences about it with others.  In my view this will be great to do for all the following reasons:

1. Learn Yoga Asanas:

Spending the month practicing that particular asana, will really help us learn it and also, sharing our progress and experience with it, will inspire and motivate us to do it in a fun and interesting way.

2. Learn from Each Other:

Reading the experiences of others with a particular asana and how they might have overcome their challenges regarding it, will surely give us more insight into each asana and exercise.

3. Explore the Benefits of Asanas:

Doing a particular asana for the entire month is surely going to bestow on us the many benefits that such poses and exercises promote, and we will be able to validate and enjoy these benefits together here.

How the Monthly Yoga Challenge Will Work:

It is going to be nice and simple.  I will post 1 great asana to practice for a given month and all who want to participate simply leave a comment on that blog post that they are taking part.  Then post their progress and experience with the pose, as they practice it throughout that month.  Of course, you can continue to share your progress after the month expires as well, or start the asana practice if you come across this article at a later date.  One important note is that this is not a competition, yoga is about you and you, and this is just a means to help you learn yoga asanas in a fun, interesting and collective way.

Yoga Asana for August:

So we will kick off this month with the following 2 asanas.  I am giving 2 poses, as one is for beginner’s and the other is for slightly more advanced yogis.  The asana for this month is going to be STRETCH POSE for beginner’s and BOAT POSE for others.  For any yoga practice, the Navel Chakra and developing core abdominal power is the place to begin, so for this new adventure of ours, I think it is appropriate to start here as well.  Here are the 2 articles that have all the details for these 2 asanas.  These asanas are very similar in how they work and what they work on.

Stretch Pose for Core Abdominal Strength and Power

Boat Pose to get Firm Toned Abs

Some of the primary benefits of these 2 asanas are the following:

  • Develop Your Abs, Stomach Muscles and Core Abdominal Power
  • Awaken and Heal your Manipura (Navel) Chakra
  • Develop Willpower and Strength of Character
  • Increase Energy and Vitality
  • Improve your Digestive and Elimination Systems

One final note, you are welcome to try both asanas of course and post your progress with them.  Also, if you are starting with Stretch Pose and then are able to do Boat Pose later in the month, feel free to jump in with that as well.

Here are illustrations on the 2 asanas.  Please do participate if you can.  The more the merrier .

Beginner’s Practice Yoga Stretch Pose or a Modification of this asana:


Yoga Asana Illustration #1 – Yoga Stretch Pose

Other Practice Nauk Asana (Yoga Boat Pose):

Yoga Asana Illustration #2 – Nauk Asana



Looking forward to hearing about your progress, thoughts and experiences.


Best Yoga Exercise to Get Firm Toned Abs

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.

Get Firm Toned Abs

Yoga Workouts for Toned Firm Abs:

Stretch Pose for Abdominal Strength

Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set (This set uses Boat Pose)

Excellent Yoga Workout to Shape and Tone Stomach


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

Yoga Exercise to Get Firm Toned Abs Illustration


Illustration #2 Yoga Boat Pose for Rock Solid Abs

Best Yoga Exercise to Get Firm Toned Abs Illustration

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 .

Advanced Kundalini Yoga Technique to Awaken Kundalini

Advanced Kundalini Yoga Technique

Kundalini Awakening Technique

An important aspect of dealing with Kundalini Shakti (energy) is to concentrate your efforts on the purification and strengthening of your systems and nadis (energy channels), and not prematurely use direct methods to awaken Kundalini.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Kundalini Shakti and Kundalini Yoga, you may want to first read the following 2 articles: Introduction to the Science of Kundalini Yoga & Kundalini Yoga’s Seven Chakra System Overview.

Having said the above, there are techniques, of course, that allow you to stir and awaken Kundalini directly, and rise up from the state of pure potentiality in which she resides at the base of the spine.  In this article I will present such a technique, but it should not be used in isolation.  It is though a valuable technique to learn and employ as part of a complete Kundalini Yoga practice.  Especially if your practice has matured to a certain degree, and you have developed a strong body and nervous system as a result of it.

Advanced Kundalini Yoga

It has been some time since I acknowledged on the website the sources of my Kundalini Yoga knowledge, so before I proceed I would like to mention that these techniques were taught to me by Ravi Singh, who was a student of Yogi Bhajan.  My deepest gratitude to both of them for sharing this priceless wisdom with all of us.

This particular exercise will be part of the following 3 free e-books here on Mastery of Meditation, as it is a Kundalini Yoga exercise, a type of meditation, as well as a yoga breathing technique: Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises, Free Yoga Breathing Exercises E-book & Free Online Guided Meditation Techniques E-book.

This kundalini yoga technique is actually a form of advanced pranayama (yogic science of breath control), and to perform it successfully, requires an understanding of prana (life-force) and how it functions within your body.

Within the energetic body (aka: psychic body/astral body/pranamaya kosha), 5 distinct types of prana are at work; prana, apana, samana, udana and vyana.  Of these 5 types, the 2 most important are prana and apana.  Please note that by prana here (and going forward) I am referring to the subtype and not the overall life force, which is also called prana.

Prana works in the region from the neck down to the diaphragm and is an upward moving force, while apana works form the navel down and is a downward moving force.  This pranayama is designed to reverse the direction of apana and move it upwards to the level of the solar plexus, while at the same time move prana down, such that they both mix in the stomach region.  This mixing then creates the spark which ignites kundalini and causes her to awaken and rise up the shushumna (central psychic channel).

More specifically, those familiar with the chakra system, will note that we are moving apana into the region of the manipura chakra, which is governed by fire.  This elongates the flame, so to speak, which is then stoked by the now downward moving prana.  Creating the necessary heat to awaken kundalini.

Advanced Yoga Technique to Awaken Kundalini

Illustration #1 Advanced Kundalini Awakening Technique

Illustration #2 Advanced Kundalini Awakening Technique


Advanced Yoga Technique to Awaken Kundalini:

a. Instructions for practicing Yoga Technique to Awaken Kundalini:

  • Sit in any comfortable cross legged posture.  You can sit on a chair if necessary.  Keep your back and spine straight, and chin pulled back and tucked in slightly like a soldier at attention (variation of Jalandhara Bandha or neck lock)
  • As illustrated above, raise your arms up to shoulder level.  Bend the elbows up at 90 degrees and then have the palms facing backwards, again making a ninety degree angle with your wrists.  The fingers are all extended.
  • Inhale deeply and hold your breath in (Antar Kumbhaka).  Keep the breath held in and relax your stomach.  Now visualize prana vayu (wind) moving downward towards the solar plexus, while apana vayu moving up towards the solar plexus.  Visualize them mixing in that region, while keeping your breath held in during this time.  Do not over strain, and release your breath when required.
  • After exhaling, inhale again and repeat the visualization.  Continue this process for 3 rounds.  Each round being one breath cycle (inhale – hold – visualize – exhale).
  • After you complete your last cycle.  Inhale, then exhale completely and with your breath held out apply root lock (mulabandha) for as long as you can.  Root lock is the pulling up and in of the rectum, sex organ and lower abdominal muscles all at the same time.

b. Duration for Yoga Technique to Awaken Kundalini:

  • Start with 3 rounds and build up from there.  You can build upto 11 rounds or more.

c. Benefits of Yoga Technique to Awaken Kundalini:

  • Creates the energy necessary to stimulate and awaken Kundalini Shakti.  Leading her to rise up the shushumna.
  • Develops your lung capacity and respiratory systems.
  • Strengthens and opens up your shoulders and arms.
  • Builds willpower and concentration.


d. Practice Tips for Yoga Technique to Awaken Kundalini:

  • This meditation technique requires you to be familiar with the prana and apana vayus.  Attending to your inhalation can help you understand prana vayu and attending to the bodily forces that push downwards (excretion, etc) can help familiarize you with apana vayu.
  • You can also adopt the practice of the following variation of Mula Bandha, where you only contact and release the rectum muscle.  In this case you are learning to turn apana vayu upwards and gain familiarity with it.  You can practice applying and releasing mula bandha at any time during your sadhana or otherwise.
  • You can practice with your hands down as well initially to develop other aspects of this meditative technique.

Online Kundalini Yoga Kriyas Using Kundaini Awakening Technique:

  1. This powerful kundalini yoga pranayama can be added to the beginning of any Kundalini Yoga Kriya.  It is a good way to get your sadhana (spiritual practice) started.