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.