We all want shapely legs and toned hips, but we have our bodies working against us. For a lot of women, the hips and thighs are problem areas. We tend to store a lot of fat in these parts, and a lack of proper exercise leads to our worst nightmare – cellulite. Not a lot of us can fit in a workout regimen into our schedules. And, if running on a treadmill is not your thing, you might want to give yoga a shot. These asanas or poses help reduce the formation of cellulite in your lower body, giving you the toned look you have always wanted.

Yoga Asanas For Thighs And Hips

  1. Virabhadrasana/Warrior Pose
  2. Utkatasana/Chair Pose
  3. Naukasana/Boat Pose
  4. Baddha Konasana/Bound Angle Pose
  5. Salabhasana/Locust Pose
  6. Ustrasana/Camel Pose
  7. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana/Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose
  8. Ananda Balasana/Happy Baby Pose
  9. Setu Bandhasana/Bridge Pose
  10. Viparita Virabhadrasana/Reverse Warrior Pose
  11. Malasana/Garland Pose
  12. Natarajasana/Lord Of The Dance Pose

1. Virabhadrasana/Warrior Pose

VirabhadrasanaWarrior Pose

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Virabhadrasana can be literally translated as The Good Warrior Pose. There are three variations of this pose, and altogether, they are supposed to depict the exploits of a warrior. The pose that is described is the second stance or Virabhadrasana II.

How To Do It

  1. Start by standing straight and moving your feet apart by three to four feet.
  2. Turn your right foot outwards, at an angle of about 90 degrees, and your left foot slightly inwards.
  3. Lift both your arms sideways, parallel to the ground.
  4. Bend your right knee. Make sure that your left leg stays straight.
  5. Turn your face to the right, and try to stretch your arms as much as you can, without letting go of their position.
  6. Hold the stance for about a minute, and slowly come up. Bring your feet back to their initial position.
  7. Repeat the steps for the left side.

Here Is The Video – The Warrior Pose

Variations

There are two more variations of the Virabhadrasana. The first one involves the same basic steps, except the arms are stretched upwards and clasped together. The other one is a more advanced pose, with one leg supporting your whole body. It involves moving your torso forward and one of your legs back so that they are aligned. Your torso and leg should be parallel to the ground, and this pose more or less resembles a ‘T’ shape.

Benefits

Virabhadrasana stretches and strengthens your legs and tones your lower back. It also helps in toning the arms and reducing overall stress in your body.

Contraindications

This pose should be avoided by those with high blood pressure. Pregnant women and those suffering/recovering from a chronic illness should avoid it as well.

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2. Utkatasana/Chair Pose

UtkatasanaChair Pose

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The Chair Pose or Utkatasana is one of the more difficult poses to stay in. It quite literally means “intense posture”.

How To Do It

  1. Stand straight with your feet a few inches apart.
  2. Lift your arms above your head and clasp them.
  3. Bend your knees, and bear down your pelvis, as though you are sitting in a chair.
  4. Stay in the position for 30 seconds or more.
  5. Release yourself from the pose slowly, straightening your knees first, and then bringing down your arms.

Variations

There are two more advanced variations of this pose – Ardha Utkatasana or The Half Chair Pose, and Parivrtta Ardha Utkatasana or The Revolved Half Chair Pose. The Half Chair Pose involves bringing your torso forward and bearing your pelvis down so that your thighs and calves form a right angle. The Revolved Half Chair Pose involves moving your torso forward, and then twisting it to one side.

Benefits

This pose directly impacts the thighs and calves. It also strengthens the lower back and the hips.

Contraindications

Those who suffer from chronic back and knee pain should avoid this pose. People suffering from headaches, insomnia, and low blood pressure should also exclude this from their yoga regimen.

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3. Naukasana/Boat Pose

NaukasanaBoat Pose

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In Naukasana, your body assumes the shape of a boat. It requires a certain amount of flexibility, and achieving the final position takes time and practice. So you may need to keep trying and pushing yourself.

How To Do It

  1. Lie on your back, with your feet together and your arms by your side.
  2. Raise your upper body and your feet off the ground, with your arms stretching towards your knees. Ideally, your upper body and feet should form 45-degree angles with the ground, and getting there will take practice. But you need to lift them as high as you can, keeping your back and knees straight.
  3. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds, and then slowly get back to your initial position.

Here Is The Video – Naukasana

Variations

There is an easier variation of this pose, called Ardha Navasana or Half Boat Pose. You have to sit straight with your arms supporting you, bend your knees, and bring them as close as you can to your chest.

Benefits

Naukasana stretches and strengthens your entire body. It tones your tummy, hips, thighs, and calves.

Contraindications

Those who suffer from low/high blood pressure, migraines, headaches, spinal disorders, and heart problems should not practice this pose. It should also be avoided by women who are menstruating or are pregnant.

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4. Baddha Konasana/Bound Angle Pose

Baddha KonasanaBound Angle Pose

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Baddha Konasana, also known as the Cobbler’s Pose, is one of the simplest asanas of all time and is extremely beneficial. Its main impact is on the lower body, which is why it should be a part of your yoga regimen.

How To Do It

  1. Start by sitting with your legs straight in front of you.
  2. Slowly, bend your knees and pull your heels towards your pelvis.
  3. Drop your knees to the sides, and bring the soles of your feet together.
  4. Keep your spine completely straight, and hold the pose for five minutes.

Variations

To deepen the asana, keep your spine straight and move your torso forward.

Benefits

Baddha Konasana stretches your hips, knees, and inner thighs. This helps tone the muscles.

Contraindications

Those who have suffered a groin or a knee injury should avoid this pose.

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5. Salabhasana/Locust Pose

SalabhasanaLocust Pose

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The Locust Pose or Salabhasana is a backbend that stretches and tones the entire back of your body.

How To Do It

  1. Lie on your abdomen on the ground and place your hands by your side.
  2. As you inhale, lift your legs and your upper torso.
  3. Using your inner thighs, lift your leg upwards without bending your knees. Your weight should rest on your lower ribs and abdomen.
  4. Hold the pose for a minute and then release.

Here Is The Video – Salabhasana

Variations

Beginners can start with just lifting their legs, keeping their upper body on the ground. You may also use your hands for additional support.

Benefits

Salabhasana helps tone your buttocks and thighs. It also stretches all the muscles in your back and can help improve breathing.

Contraindications

If you are experiencing a headache or migraine, or suffering from a neck or spinal injury, avoid this exercise.

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6. Ustrasana/Camel Pose

UstrasanaCamel Pose

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Ustrasana or the Camel Pose is a deep backward bend asana. It is often recommended for intermediate practitioners of yoga.

How To Do It

  1. Start by kneeling on your yoga mat. Your knees should be in line with your shoulders, and the soles of your feet should face the ceiling. Keep your arms at your lower back.
  2. Arch your back and place your hands on your feet with the palms touching the soles.
  3. Stay in the stance for 10 seconds and slowly return to your initial position.

Here Is The Video – Ustrasana

Variations

Beginners can do this pose without bringing their hands to their feet. They can arch their backs while keeping their arms around their hips.

Benefits

Ustrasana stretches your whole front body, and that includes your thighs. It also strengthens the muscles in your leg and back.

Contraindications

Those who suffer from high/low blood pressure should stay away from this pose. The same goes for those who have suffered a back or neck injury.

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7. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana/Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

As the name suggests, Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana involves extending your hand to your big toe. This is a pose for those who have been practicing yoga for a while because it needs extreme flexibility and a strong sense of balance.

How To Do It

  1. Start by standing straight with your arms by your side.
  2. Shift all of your weight to your right foot, and bring your left knee towards your belly.
  3. Wrap your left hand around your left ankle. If you are a beginner, you may place your right arm against a wall for support.
  4. Extend your left leg forward and straighten your knee as much as you can.
  5. Hold the position for 30 seconds before releasing. Repeat with the other leg.

Variations

As you practice more and more, you can stop using the wall for support.

Benefits

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana stretches and strengthens every part of your leg. It also improves your balance.

Contraindications

Those who are suffering from lower back or ankle injuries should refrain from practicing this pose.

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8. Ananda Balasana/Happy Baby Pose

Ananda BalasanaHappy Baby Pose

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

 

Ananda Balasana or Happy Baby Pose is a recreation of the position a happy toddler assumes.

How To Do It

  1. Lie on your back with your hands by your sides and your legs stretched out.
  2. Bend your knees and draw them towards your chest.
  3. Grip your feet with your hands.
  4. Widen the distance between your knees and bring them as close to your armpits as you can.
  5. Try to stretch your calves so that they are perpendicular to your thighs, or as far as they go without letting go of your feet.
  6. Breathe deeply and hold the posture for 10 deep breaths.

Benefits

This pose stretches your inner thighs and strengthens your spine.

Contraindications

Those who have suffered from a knee or a neck injury should avoid this pose.

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9. Setu Bandhasana/Bridge Pose

Setu BandhasanaBridge Pose

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

 

Setu Bandhasana can be literally translated as the Bridge Pose. This backbend has a very positive result on your back and abdomen.

How To Do It

  1. Lie with your back on the ground and your legs straight. Place your hands by your side with the palms facing the ground.
  2. Slowly, bend your knees, placing them as close to your pelvis as possible.
  3. Now, lift your hips and arch your back, with your feet still resting on the ground. Use your arms for additional support.
  4. Lift your hands over your head, and hold this position for 30 seconds.

Here Is The Video – Setu Bhandasana

Variations

Rather than placing your hands on the ground, you can try interlacing then underneath your lower back.

Benefits

Setu Bandhasana strengthens the muscles in your back and buttocks. It also stretches the muscles in your thighs.

Contraindications

Those suffering from a neck or a spine injury should avoid this pose.

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10. Viparita Virabhadrasana/Reverse Warrior Pose

Viparita Virabhadrasana

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The Reverse Warrior Pose is a variation of the Virabhadrasana pose. This is a more advanced take that stretches and strengthens your hip muscles along with your legs.

How To Do It

  1. Start by standing straight, and moving your feet apart by a foot.
  2. Turn your right foot outward by 90 degrees, and your left foot inwards by 15 degrees.
  3. Lift your arms by your side, so that they are straight and parallel to the ground.
  4. Bend your right knee, keeping your left leg straight.
  5. Drop your left hand to the lower thigh of your left leg, and raise your right hand to the ceiling.
  6. Slowly, slide your left hand further down your leg while moving your upper body backwards.
  7. Hold the stance for 20 seconds, and slowly move back into the initial position.

Variations

There aren’t that many variations of this asana. This is usually the follow up of the Virabhadrasana.

Benefits

The Reverse Warrior Pose helps improve your flexibility. It strengthens and stretches your legs and hips.

Contraindications

This pose should be avoided by those with high blood pressure. Pregnant women and those suffering/recovering from a chronic illness should avoid it as well.

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11. Malasana/Garland Pose

MalasanaGarland Pose

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

 

Malasana is a pose that involves deep squats. In Sanskrit, ‘mala’ refers to a garland, and that’s how the pose gets its name.

How To Do It

  1. Stand straight and with your feet about 12 inches apart and bring the arms in front of you with the palms facing the ground.
  2. Now squat down with a deep inhalation. While you bend down, ensure your knees are forming a 90-degree angle, allowing you to dip down in the position.
  3. Get back immediately to the standing position while exhaling and repeat again.

Variations

There are a few variations of this pose. More experienced practitioners can fold their hands at the back, and move their torso forward so that their chin touches the ground.

Benefits

Malasana stretches the torso, hips, thighs, and ankles. It also increases the flow of blood to your pelvis.

Contraindications

Those who have suffered a spinal, lower, or leg injury should refrain from practicing this pose.

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12. Natarajasana/Lord Of The Dance Pose

NatarajasanaLord Of The Dance Pose

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The Natarajasana combines strength, flexibility, and balance into one posture. Although it is a full body stretch, it is especially beneficial for your thigh and calf muscles.

How To Do It

  1. Start by standing in a straight position.
  2. Shift the weight of your whole body to the right foot.
  3. Bend your left knee, and move your foot towards your buttocks.
  4. Using your left hand, grab your left ankle. Slowly pull your leg further up.
  5. Extend your right hand in front of you. Beginners might want to use a wall for support.
  6. Stay in the position for 20-30 seconds, and slowly release yourself from the pose.
  7. Repeat with your right leg.

Variations

There are several variations, all involving the placement of the arms. One variation requires that both the hands grasp the foot of the leg that is being lifted so that it is stretched even further.

Benefits

Natarajasana improves your balance and your overall posture. It strengthens and tones your thighs, calf muscles, and hips.

Contraindications

If you are suffering from low/high blood pressure, you should avoid this posture. If performing the pose makes you dizzy, then stop immediately.

Give these asanas a shot, and watch the cellulite melt away. Let us know your experience/feedback in the comments section below.

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Also watch : 7 Power Yoga Poses For Lower Body Workout

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  • http://www.stylecraze.com/members/gargisinha/ GARGI SINHA

    i will try all of this definitely

  • Shruthi

    Thank you so much:) i will try these:)

  • Inaz

    Can we try these exercises for hernia patients

  • Cathy

    A great workout to reduce thighs and hips. The article is very descriptive and the pictures are really helpful. The asans are easy to understand and in detail. Great article! Way to go

  • Rilkeali

    Number #5 is not Warrior I. It’s actually Crescent Pose.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Dear Maltee, if you were sick and not very active during treatment, it is normal for your fitness, endurance, and muscle strength to decline. Any plan for physical activity should fit your situation. Talk with your health care team before starting anything. Get their opinion about your exercise plans. If you are very tired, you will need to balance activity with rest. It is alright to rest when you need to.