Our legs and feet are the roots and foundations of our yoga practice. Strong and open legs ans hips are vital to accessing some of the more advanced yoga postures, life Titibhasana (Firefly pose) or Svarga Dvidasana (Bird of Paradise pose). The first 2 chakras are located near the legs, the root and sacral chakra, so opening and strengthening these areas also enhances stability, creativity, sensuality, and pleasure in addition to having super sexy legs (we’ll take all of the rad side effects of yoga, please!). [wp_ad_camp_1] Here are 8 yoga poses to practice for sexy and strong legs, and what parts of the legs they strengthen.
1. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2 Pose)
Warrior 2 is top notch at strengthening the hips, the hamstrings & the outer calf muscles (tibalis posterior). It doesn’t take long in this pose to feel your quadriceps begin to burn (the muscles in the front of the thighs). You will strengthen your glutes as well (your butt, in other words).
2. Anjaneyasana (Crescent Lunge Pose)
Anjaneyasna is a great, basic pose that works to strengthen the quadriceps and gluteus muscles. In addition, you’ll feel an amazing stretch throughout the psoas and hips. The thighs (specifically, the adductors) are toned as you develop stamina and endurance. Make sure you strengthen through both legs to receive all these benefits by scissoring the inner thighs.
3. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
Hold Utkatasana for a minute or two and feel the burn! Chair pose will strengthen your ankles, thighs, and calves. In addition, this pose helps to alleviate flat feet by engaging through the inner arches of the feet. Utkatasana is also known as “fierce pose” because, well… do this long and often enough that ass will be fierce.
4. Malasana (Garland Pose)
This pose is great for the ankles by introducing both strength and flexibility (making it useful for athletes of all kinds). Hips open as well in this pose, and calves, thighs, and glute muscles are strengthened. Specifically, you might feel this in the soleus and/or the tibalis anterior (the low calf and the shin muscles).
5. Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose)
Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose) provides a deep stretch for the hips and groins. The quadriceps and inner thigh muscles strengthen (adductors). You’ll receive the deep hip opening benefits of a squat, as well as opening for the pelvic floor. Bonus for females is that the stretching of the pelvic floor improves the sex life (that’s a bonus for your partner, too!). It builds heat and stamina in the legs.
6. Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
Extended Side Angle pose strengthens the legs. In the bent leg, the hamstring and glute muscles work. In the straight leg, the tibalis anterior comes to play. Additionally, this pose stretches the groins and hamstrings deeply and improves stamina overall. Knees and ankles receive a stretch, too!
7. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
This pose gets many different muscles in the legs. It strengths and stretches both the ankles and hips especially, and also strengthens the knees. It can injure the knee joint if you're not open enough for the wrap of the foot, so enter cautiously and at your own pace, starting by resting your foot on the front of your leg, the shin bone, at the beginning phase of your practice before attempting the wrap.
8. Virabhadrasana III – Bent knee variation (Warrior 3 Pose)
Any balancing poses will help improve balance and stamina, and this one also strengthens the ankles. The bent knee variation charges up the hamstrings, quadriceps, and glute muscles, as well as stretches the hamstrings of the standing leg even more than the straight leg variation. Square the hips to stabilize core and intensify this even more by adding 5 pulses from bent knee to straight knee variation, being careful not to lock the standing knee out.
Photos by @rima_danielle and @VeganYogiUnicorn in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica