Yoga for Fit Chicks

Want a body that looks this good? Maybe it’s time to finally give yoga a try. As demonstrated here by IFBB fitness pro Bethany Cisternino, these postures not only work every muscle while stretching you out—they’ll also help keep your mind clear while getting your body fit and strong.

March 1, 2013

HOW IT WORKS: This Vinyasa yoga routine is meant to be performed as flowing postures, moving through each series of poses as instructed.

plank bendPLANK & FORWARD BEND
WORKS: SHOULDERS, ARMS, CORE, HIPS (PLANK); STRETCHES: HAMSTRINGS, LOWER BACK (FORWARD BEND)
• Begin on all fours, hands under your shoulders and knees under hips. Straighten your legs, moving into plank pose (like a full pushup), keeping your head and spine aligned and your abdominals engaged (A).
• Staying in plank, lift your left foot a few inches off the floor and hold here for eight even breaths. Lower your leg and switch sides, holding pose for eight full breaths. Then lift your hips toward the ceiling while lowering your heels toward the floor as you move into downward-facing dog (body forms an inverted V) (B).
• From downward-facing dog, walk your hands back to your feet. Keep your upper body bent over your legs in forward bend (C). Hold here for 10–15 breaths, then lower your hands to the floor and return to downward-facing dog.

TIP NO. 1 Keep your upper body long, not rounded, as you bend forward.



yoga pushupYOGA PUSHUP & CHILD’S POSE
WORKS: TRICEPS, SHOULDERS, CORE, THIGHS (PUSHUP); STRETCHES: BACK, ARMS, SHOULDERS, HIPS (CHILD’S POSE)
• From downward dog, shift forward to plank pose. Bend your elbows, keeping your arms close to your sides as you lower halfway down into yoga pushup (chaturanga) (A).
• Straighten your arms, pressing your hands into the floor to move back to plank pose (not shown). Repeat yoga pushup/plank sequence 10 times.
• After final pushup, press hips back toward ceiling to downward-facing dog. Stay here for one breath, then bring knees to the floor, sitting back on your feet and reaching for- ward with your arms as you rest in child’s pose (B). Repeat one more set of yoga pushup/plank series.

TIP NO. 2 Keep elbows hugged close to sides of your body and abs pulled in during yoga pushup.