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Seated Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Core Muscles

Add these sitting yoga poses to your routine! We have listed these postures from the easiest to most advanced and explain the benefits of each. 

Step 1

Folding one or two thick blankets about six inches high, make a firm, supportive seat. Sit close to the edge of this seat.

Step 2

Cross your legs and place each foot underneath your opposite knee.

Step 3

Relax your feet so that their outer edges rest on the ground and the arches are placed just beneath the opposite lower leg. In Sukhasana, you will see a triangle (the two crossed legs and thighs form the three sides).

Step 4

Make sure to sit with your pelvis in a neutral position.

Step 5

You may place your hands in your lap with palms facing upward or put them on your knees with palms facing downward.

Benefits: This easy sitting pose may help in calming the brain, strengthening the back, and stretching the ankles and knees.

Step 1

Start by kneeling on the ground with your buttocks and hips lifted up off the legs. You should place the inner side of your knees together and your thighs perpendicular to the ground.

Step 2

Exhale and come to a position of sitting on your heels with your buttocks placed on the soles of your feet.

Step 3

Sit up straight and lengthen your tailbone down toward the floor. Place your hands on your thighs with palms facing downward.

Step 4

Remain in this pose for up to a minute.

Benefits: This seated pose may help in stretching the ankles, feet, thighs, and feet. It may also help in improving the posture and toning the muscles of the pelvis. Vajrasana also helps improve digestion and relieve gas and indigestion.

Step 1

Sit with your legs stretched/extended in front of your body and together on the ground.

Step 2

You may check the alignment of your pose by sitting with your back against a wall. Your shoulder blades and sacrum must touch the wall, whereas the back of your head and lower back must not.

Step 3

To lengthen the front of your body perpendicular to the ground, visualize the energy that is flowing upward (to the sternum from the pubic bone) and then downward (from your shoulders to your tailbone). Now imagine that your tailbone is lengthening into the floor.

Step 4

Imagine that your spine has a staff or support situated at the vertical core of your body and is firmly rooted in the earth. Remain in this pose for a minute.

Benefits: This seated yoga pose may help in strengthening your back muscles, stretching the chest and shoulders, and improving the posture.

Step 1

Sit in Staff Pose and bend your knees, placing your feet on the floor. Slide your left foot beneath your right knee and toward the outer side of your right hip. Now cross your right leg on top of the left, placing your right knee over the left and bringing your right foot toward the outer side of your left hip. Your heels should be kept at an equal distance from your hips.

Step 2

Inhale and extend your right arm toward your right, keeping it parallel to the floor. Rotate your arm inward, your palm facing the ceiling. Exhale and take your arm behind your body and place your forearm in the hollow of your lower back, keeping it parallel to your waist. Roll your shoulder backward and downward, then take your forearm up your back until it becomes parallel to your spine.

Step 3

Now inhale and extend your left arm forward, then take your arm upward in the direction of the ceiling. Exhale and bend your left elbow to reach your right hand. You may hook your left and right fingers if possible.

Step 4

Lift your left elbow in the direction of the ceiling and lower your right elbow in the direction of the floor.

Step 5

Remain in this sitting yoga posture for about one minute. Repeat the pose with the legs and arms reversed.

Benefits: This seated pose helps in stretching the ankles, thighs, hips, armpits, triceps, shoulders, and chest.

Step 1

Sit in Staff Pose and bend your knees, placing your feet on the ground. Slide your left foot beneath your right leg and toward the outer side of your right hip. Place the outer side of your left leg on the ground. Take your right foot on top of your left leg and place it on the floor on the outer side of your left hip.

Step 2

While exhaling, twist your body toward the inner side of your right thigh. Place your right hand on the floor just behind your right buttock.

Step 3

Press the inner part of your right foot into the floor, release your right groin, and straighten the front part of your torso.

Step 4

You may turn your head in one of two directions: turn it in the right by continuing the twist of your body, or counter this twist by turning your head to the left and keep your gaze over your left shoulder at your right foot.

Step 5

While inhaling, lift from the sternum (you may push your fingers into the floor to help). While exhaling, deepen the twist. Remain in this seated yoga pose for about 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat on the left side.

Benefits: This sitting pose may help to:

  • Stimulate the kidneys and liver
  • Stretch the neck, shoulders, and hips
  • Energize the spine
  • Relieve fatigue, backache, sciatica, and menstrual discomfort
  • Stimulate appetite
  • Relieve infertility and asthma

Step 1

Sit in Staff Pose and bend your right knee, placing your right foot on the floor with your heel as close to your right buttock as possible.

Step 2

Exhale and rotate your body toward your right, wrapping your left arm on your right thigh, holding it, and pulling it upward while releasing your right hip downward. Meanwhile, press your right fingertips into the floor just behind the pelvis, and lengthen the spine.

Step 3

Gently turn your head toward the right and complete the twist.

Step 4

Stay in this sitting pose for about 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: This sitting yoga posture helps to:

  • Massage abdominal organs such as the kidneys and liver
  • Stretch the shoulders
  • Stimulate the brain
  • Relieve mild hip pain and backache
  • Stretch and strengthen the spine

Step 1

Kneel on the floor. Step your right foot about a foot in front of the left knee while rotating your right thigh outward.

Step 2

While exhaling, lean your body forward, and press your fingertips into the floor. Slowly slide your left knee back until the front part of your foot and knee touches the floor. Simultaneously lower your right leg forward until it comes into contact with the floor. 

Step 3

Slide your left foot backward and your right foot forward so that you are in a splits position.

Step 4

Stretch your arms upward toward the ceiling and join your palms.

Step 5

Remain in this seated yoga pose for about 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: This sitting yoga pose helps in stretching the groin, hamstrings, thighs, and stimulating the organs present in the abdomen.

Step 1

Sit on the floor with your legs stretched in front of your body. Press your hands on the floor behind your hips, straightening the arms.

Step 2

While exhaling, bend your knees and lift your feet off the floor. In this position, your thighs should make an angle of about 45 to 50 degrees with the floor. Lengthen your tailbone into the floor and lift your pubis to your navel.

Step 3

Stretch your arms at the side of your legs parallel to the ground and each other. You may also keep your hands on the floor beside the hips or hold the back of your thighs.

Step 4

Breathe easily. Remain in this pose for about 10 to 20 seconds initially. Then increase the duration gradually to about one minute.

Benefits: This sitting yoga posture may help to:

  • Strengthen the spine, hip flexors, and abdomen
  • Stimulate the intestines, thyroid, and kidneys
  • Relieve stress
  • Improve digestion

Step 1

Lie on your back with knees bent and heels placed near your sitting bones.

Step 2

Raise your left knee to the chest and hold your left foot using both hands.

Step 3

Extend your left leg upward, stretching the hamstring from your buttocks to your knee and simultaneously stretching the quadriceps from your knee to your hip. If you aren’t able to straighten your leg while holding your foot with your hands, place a strap around your foot.

Step 4

While exhaling, lift your trunk to bring your forehead toward your shin. Remain in this position for about 15 to 20 seconds while breathing normally. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: This sitting pose may help in stretching the hamstrings, strengthening the abdomen, and increasing the flexibility of the hips.

Step 1

Sit in Staff Pose and bend your left knee, placing your foot on the floor with your heel as close to your left buttock as possible.

Step 2

Twist your body toward your right while pressing the back of your left shoulder in opposition to the inner side of your left knee.

Step 3

Reach your left arm forward and then rotate it inward so that your left thumb points to the ground and your left palm faces to the left. Simultaneously lengthen your body forward to snuggle your left shin in your armpit. Now exhale and sweep your forearm over the outer side of your leg.

Step 4

Exhale again and sweep your right arm around and behind your back. Hold your right wrist with your left hand. Extend your torso forward from your groin, lowering as closely as you can to your right leg.

Step 5

Remain in this sitting pose for about 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat on your other side.

Benefits: This yoga sitting pose may help to:

  • Calm the brain
  • Stretch the shoulders and spine
  • Stimulate the abdominal organs such as kidneys and liver
  • Improve digestion

Yoga, in general, helps in achieving holistic health. While you may do certain yoga poses in the standing or lying down position, some seated yoga poses can help in strengthening and stretching your core muscles, thighs, and lower back. Include these sitting poses to your daily routine to get their benefits. But if you suffer from any type of pain, do these poses under the supervision of a knowledgeable and experienced teacher.