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Your Yoga Flow For Amazing, Strong Abs

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    Everyone knows spending a little quality time on your yoga mat will help you calm your mind and maybe even find inner peace. But, can it sculpt a rock-solid core? You bet. Yoga isn’t all relaxation and chanting "om" — it’s a powerful, full-body strength routine that recruits the muscles of your core to help you stay balanced.

    We tapped Tanya Boulton, a sought-after instructor at Pure Yoga, to develop a yoga practice that's geared specifically towards amping your abs. The routine is a mix of challenging mat exercises and a standing flow, to stretch and strengthen your midsection while elevating your heart rate. The practice will also help improve your posture, enhance your mind-body connection through breathwork, and leave you feeling energized — not exhausted. Boulton's clients (some of NYC's most stressed-out doctors, lawyers, and CEOs) come to her classes for this specific, efficient style of training that supports balance, both on and off the mat.

    The moves may look simple — there are no intimidating contortions or inversions — but you’ll feel them in your core immediately. Boulton, who models the workout here, incorporates a yoga block into some of the postures. This helps keep the body in proper alignment and turns on your deep abdominal muscles.

    To do the routine, all you need is a mat, a yoga block (a rolled-up towel or pillow will also do the trick), and maybe a few Arcade Fire tracks. Focus on your breath, keep your core engaged, and move through the flow slowly and with intention. Click through for the ultimate in abs-asana.


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    Warm-Up

    Focus on your breath. Lie face-up on your yoga mat with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width distance apart. Bring your knees to touch, lift your arms over your head, and rest them on the floor. Inhale for six seconds, exhale for six seconds, and continue this breathwork for two minutes.

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    Mat Work

    Now, grab your yoga block and place it between your inner thighs, close to your pelvic bone. Your feet should be close enough to your butt that your fingertips can graze your heels. Place your hands behind your head and push your lower back into the floor.

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    Engaging the muscles of your core, lift your torso straight up until your shoulder blades are off the mat. Lower your torso back to the floor, and repeat this movement a total of 10 times.

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    Keeping the block between your thighs, lift your legs straight into the air. Be sure that your lower back remains firmly pressed into the mat.

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    With the rest of your body remaining still, lift your torso off the floor, bringing your shoulder blades away from the mat. Slowly lower your torso back to the ground and repeat for a total of 10 lifts.