Yoga Exercises for a Flat Stomach

The practice of yoga engages all muscles in your body, simultaneously strengthening, stretching and toning. There are several poses that fully engage the core muscles of your abdomen. Inversions, for example, require great upper body strength while also employing full core attention to maintain the pose. This type of engagement can lead to a flatter stomach with consistent use of the postures.

Full Boat Pose

Yoga’s boat pose is challenging for the stomach muscles, balance and coordination. While sitting on the floor with bent knees, raise your arms and feet to fully extend upwards while balancing in the tailbone area. If this full version of the exercise is too intense for you, simply raise your legs with bent knees, and your hands may even grip the thighs if necessary. With consistent practice, this exercise becomes easier and the stomach stronger.

Headstand

Salamba Sirsasana is the original Sanskrit name for headstand. To do the headstand, begin on all fours and place your elbows and forearms on the floor. Interlace your fingers and open your palms to create a cup-like opening for the back of your head. In this position, your forearms and hands should be creating a V shape. Bring your elbows directly under your shoulders. Place the crown of your head on the floor inside the cup-like formation of your interlaced hands. Lift your sacrum toward the ceiling and begin to walk your feet in toward your chest. As you do this, you will begin to place more weight into your arms and the top of your head. While your feet are still on the floor, ground down into your forearms, stabilize your back by engaging your abdominals and lift your shoulders away from your ears. When you are ready, lift your right foot into the air and find your center of balance. Lift the left foot to meet the right. Stay here for two to five breaths.

Plank Pose

The plank pose is known for its core stabilizing and toning benefits in the practice of yoga and Pilates. Essentially, you transition into plank pose as if you were intending to begin a full push-up. With your shoulders and wrists aligned, bring your feet together and bear your weight into the palms of your hands and balls of your feet. Keep your hips in line with your chest, never dropping them toward the floor. Remember to keep this alignment while breathing and avoid pitching your tailbone toward the ceiling. Hold plank pose for several breaths with all your core abdominal muscles fully engaged.

About this Author

Sala Saran is a bi-athlete and certified personal fitness trainer who is passionate about the life-transformative power of sports and fitness. Teaching a holistic perspective of the fitness lifestyle that is rooted in personal development, Saran shares her expertise in articles, columns and seminars to lead others to a discovery of their own power to transform their life experience.