Does Ashtanga Yoga Work the Abs?

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Ashtanga yoga, as taught by the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India, provides a powerful practice of postures and breathing methods that tone your body and calm your mind. One breath matches one movement as you move with a collection of poses made to improve blood circulation and eliminate contaminants that typically construct in the abdomen.

Abdominal Muscles

Your stomach muscles include your rectus abdominis, the shallow ‘six-pack’ muscle that runs along the front of your torso, the internal and exterior obliques along your sides, and the transversus abdominis, the deep belly muscle you make use of when you laugh or cough. Because yoga postures relocate your body in different instructions, all these muscles get a great exercise that boosts both body and mind. In reality, a 12-week ashtanga program helped adolescent children slim down, reduce stress and anxiety and construct self-esteem, according to a study published in the Could 2009 concern of ‘Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.’

Ashtanga Practice

Sun salutations, a bulk of an ashtanga yoga exercise practice, include rather a bit of abdominal work in its collection of forward bends, back bends, muscle-builders and lunges. Your abdominals contract in forward bends, stretch in back bends and enhance in the ‘pushup’ movement of plank posture into chaturanga dandasana, or four-limbed staff posture. Sun salutations likewise include jumps, for example from downward-facing pet into standing forward flex, which require sturdy abdominal muscles to assist you land efficiently and quietly.


The go-to yoga positions for constructing stomach muscles, according to the American Council on Workout, include plank, lunges, upward-facing pet, navasana, or watercraft pose, with your legs extended upward while you are sitting, inversions such as shoulder stand and headstand– and arm balances such as bakasana, or crow position, where you balance your knees on your arms with your feet off the ground. Turning postures, such as trikonasana, or triangular position, work the obliques.

Breathing and Locks

While deep breathing helps you work your stomach muscles, pranayama, the Sanskrit name for breathing exercises, helps too. Ujjayi, or success, breath, assists you maintain focus, calms and neutralizes your breathing, and adds grace in your movements as you glide from posture to posture. To increase your energy flow, you can utilize the bandhas, or locks, to direct your breath. Mula bandha is the root lock at the base of your pelvis, and uddiyana bandha motivates you to draw your belly in and up to reinforce your transversus abdominis and lengthen your upper body.


Check with your healthcare carrier before beginning an ashtanga practice. Be sure to consume plenty of water to remain hydrated. Take kid’s position when you need a rest, and constantly end your practice with savasana, or remains posture, for at least five mins.