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The Best Yoga Sequence to Help Build Strong Lean Muscles ...

By Eliza

Yoga can be a great workout for just about anyone. It builds muscle throughout your body as you hold each pose and can burn some calories too. It might seem a bit daunting if you're new to the studio, especially when you see some of the more advanced poses. The sheer number of poses can be overwhelming too. Check out this beginner sequence and you'll start reaping the rewards of yoga right away.

1 Fierce Pose

Stand on your mat, feet together. Inhale, then as you exhale, lower your hips and bend your knees while raising your arms overhead. Engage your abs, tuck your tailbone and rest on your heels. Hold the pose for five breaths.

2 Plank

Rest your body on your toes and the palms of your hands, as if you're getting ready to do a push up. Hold the position for five breaths.

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3 Four-Limbed Staff

From the Plank pose, bend your elbows, lowering your body toward your mat. Continue to hold the pose through five breaths.

4 Downward Facing Dog

Now bend your body at your hips, resting on your feet and bending over to rest your hands flat on your mat. Again, hold this pose for five breaths.

5 Three-Legged Dog

From Downward Facing Dog, bring your toes together. Then raise your right leg straight into the air, pushing up onto your left toes. Hold for five breaths while engaging your abs.

6 Arching Three-Legged Dog

Now you're going to bend your right knee, bringing your foot over your back. Press your left foot down flat on the mat and look over your left shoulder while arching your backbone. Hold for five breaths.

7 Warrior II

From the last pose, bring your right foot down in between your hands. Raise your body up, keeping your right knee at a 90-degree angle and your left leg straight out behind you, left foot on the mat. Continue holding the pose for five breaths.

8 Goddess

Bring both feet so that toes are pointing. Bring your body into the squat position. Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle and hold them up, palms out for five breaths.

9 Twisting Side Angle

Turn your right toes out and your left toes at a 45-degree angle. Straighten your left leg and bend your right leg at a 90-degree angle, right forearm on right leg. Place your left arm behind your back and twist to the left for five breaths,

10 Low Lunge

From twisting side angle, lower your body so that your hands are on either side of right leg, keeping your knee at a 90-degree angle. Hold the pose for five breaths.

11 Beginner's Sage

Step your right foot back and stack your left and right heels, balancing on your right foot. Extend your left arm straight above you and hold for five breaths.

12 Dolphin Plank

From Beginner's Sage, lower your body so it's resting on your forearms and toes. Align your shoulders and elbows and hold the pose for five breaths.

13 Extended Locust

From Dolphin Plank, breathe in and lower your belly to the mat. Lift your arms and legs up as far as possible and hold for five breaths.

14 Boat

Roll over and sit on your mat. Inhale while lifting your knees to your chest.Straighten your legs upward, keeping your spine straight. Extend your arms outward for balance and hold the pose for five breaths.

15 Intense East

From Boat pose, sit down and extend your legs out in front of you. Rest your hands about 6 inches behind you, pointing your fingers toward your feet. Press your hands and feet into the mat while raising your hips as far as you can. Lower your head. Hold for five breaths.

16 Half Wheel

Lie on your back. Place your feet flat on your mat and bend your knees. Bring your heels back toward your butt as far as you can. Lift your hips and clasp your hands between your feet. Hold for five breaths.

17 Finish the Sequence

Return to Downward Facing Dog and repeat the sequence on the other side.

What do you think of this beginner's sequence? Did you like it or hate it?

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