By Noa Glow
While we love the mental, emotional and spiritual growth that can result from a regular Bikram Yoga practice, we have to admit: the physical benefits are pretty great, too! If there’s a certain “trouble spot” on your body that you want to target, chances are there’s a pose to help you do just that! You can sculpt, strengthen and tone your arms, for instance, by focusing on the following elements during class:
Just being in the hot room and doing each posture to the best of your ability will help elongate and tone every part of your body, including your arms. The added cardiovascular component that comes courtesy of the heat will supercharge your workout, helping to burn calories and trim away fat and revealing the natural musculature of your arms over time.
If you’re interested in toning your arms, come to class early and ask the teacher for some tips. Possessing a deep understanding of the series, BYV instructors are more than happy to provide assistance and advice before and after class (just tell ’em we sent you)!
While many of the postures in the Bikram Yoga series require the use of your arms in some capacity (meaning you’ll be strengthening and firming throughout the class), there are certain poses that put special emphasis on various parts of your arms:
- Awkward Pose: Upper arms
- Eagle Pose: Biceps
- Standing Head to Knee Pose: Deltoids, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, scapula, biceps, triceps
- Standing Bow Pose: Shoulder joints, upper arms
- Triangle Pose: Shoulder joints
- Cobra Pose: Deltoids, trapezius and triceps
- Full Locust Pose: Deltoids, trapezius and triceps
- Floor Bow Pose: Shoulder joints
Nothing Loose, Nothing Hanging
According to Bikram (and Oprah!), one of the hardest places to firm up on the human body is the arms. Prove them wrong by setting an intention before class to give your arms a great workout. Then, as you go through the postures, focus on keeping your arms as tight and engaged as possible while using them – to the best of your ability – as the dialogue dictates. You’ll be amazed by the transformation that can occur using just your body and willpower – no weights or workout equipment required!
Lisa’s Advice: “You have to be active in creating some resistance to engage the arm muscles. In Wind Removing Pose, for example, as you you’re your knee or knees to your shoulder or chest, you must actively press those knees away from you in order to engage your arm muscles. That goes for all the postures and whatever muscles you are engaging: pull in and push away.”
Let us know what your fave arm-perfecting postures (plus other exercises that target the arms outside the yoga room) are by leaving a comment below!