Yoga and Barre for Toned Legs

There are several quick and easy exercises I perform to focus on the legs. I have a handful of yogis and fitness buffs that I follow that are exceptional at this and get right to the point of targeting the legs. From Maya Fiennes’ book Yoga for Real Life, her focus is on Kundalini yoga, and has some really great exercises.  The “moving crow pose” (moving squat) involves continuously squatting down into crow pose while vocalizing “sat” when raising up, and “nam” when squatting down.  This mantra means “truth is my name”.  She suggests to repeat this seven times up to a total of 26 times.  I do this regularly either at the beginning of my day before my sun salutations, or at the end of the day before I do yoga nidra.  Know that at first, you really have to do the moving crow movements slowly and then work up to being able to move faster in between the squats.  After doing this three or four days out of the week for a couple weeks, this exercise gets much easier and it’s such a great way to release tension while toning your legs.  It’s the best of both worlds!  I may discuss Kundalini yoga in another post because it warrants an entire post on its own.

Switching gears a bit to the barre technique, this works on toning your thighs and butt.  A quick way to do this is to keep your knees aligned with your toes as you plié down to the ground like a ballerina.  A good count is to perform two sets of eight and then follow it up with a kick outward as you raise up, again two sets of eight of these.  My favorite quick sequence to demonstrate this is by Sleek Barre Technique and only takes up fifteen minutes of your day. I enjoy barre routines because I’m able to utilize my breathing techniques while targeting those difficult areas of the thighs and legs to keep them trim.

From Mandy Ingbar’s book Yogalosophy, this yogi who trains celebrities has an excellent yoga routine that works out the core.  This is a longer sequence, but sticking to it can really trim your waste and tone your legs.  She advises of calf raises, lunges, plans, side leg lifts, boat pose and more in a daily workout.  I tried this out for a couple weeks, and it’s pretty intense but incredibly effective and you can pick out maybe four or five items to customize a sequence for you.

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