The Best Yoga Poses for Abs

Why not take a breather from doing crunches and sit-ups and see how a handful of yoga poses for abs can help you put together a tighter stomach and some stronger core muscles. 

We all love yoga for the way it can unify the mind, body, and soul, leaving you calm with proper focus. But if you suddenly realize a need for a little sculpting and added core strength, yoga can be a more effective alternative than many traditional ab exercises.

Besides improving flexibility and relieving stress, yoga poses for abs can target some smaller core muscles in a more functional way than doing countless crunches. 

Yoga Poses for Abs

Try and do these yoga poses for abs three times a week. Focus on your breathing and take your time doing the poses correctly, that will force your core to work harder. Try and keep your abs engaged throughout each pose and repeat the sequence of poses 3 or 4 times.

The yoga movements shown below are paired with many popular ab exercises. By doing these on a regular basis, you can notice amazing results in just a few weeks.

Boat Pose

  • From a seated position, bring your legs up to a 45-degree angle (as pictured).

  • Your body will slip back, but make sure to keep your spine locked. You should be steady and in a "V" shape.

  • Extend your arms straight out in front of you, shoulder high.

  • Balance on your sitting bone for a count of 3-4.

yoga boat poseTaylor Demonstrating the Boat Pose


  • Feel free to bend the knees down to relieve some tension. That is known as a Half Boat Pose.

  • You can start out doing the boat pose for 15-30 seconds. Try and gradually increase your time to 1 minute.

  • Tip your chin slightly toward your chest so the base of your skull lifts away from the back of your neck.

Lord of the Dance

  • From the Mountain Pose, shift your weight onto your left leg.

  • Bend your right knee and grab the inside of the right foot with the right hand.

  • Bring the right foot and hand up in the air as you lean your body forward.

lord of the dance poseTaylor Demonstrating the Lord of the Dance Pose


  • Focus on something directly in front of on the wall to keep your concentration and balance.

Upward Facing Dog

  • Lie on your stomach and place your hands flat on the floor under your shoulders.

  • Lift your upper body until your arms are straight and look towards the ceiling, arching your back.

  • You can keep your hips on the floor, or lift your pelvis for an even greater challenge.

  • Hold for 25-30 seconds, then lower and repeat 1-3 times.

upward facing dog yoga poseTaylor Demonstrating the Upward Facing Dog Pose


  • Try not to have your hands extended to far out in front of you. This creates to much pressure on the lower back.

  • Don't let your elbows bow or hyper extend and make sure to really open your chest.

Side Plank with Leg Raise

  • Start out lying on your side with your legs stacked and your forearm supporting your body on the floor.

  • Press your weight onto your forearm and lift your hips and legs off the floor into a straight line with your legs still stacked on one another.

  • Slowly lift the top leg as high as possible toward the ceiling with your hand holding your foot at the top.

  • Hold for a count of 3-4 and return to your starting position. Repeat the pose on your other side.

side plank leg raiseTaylor Demonstrating the Side Plank Leg Raise


  • Don't let your hips slouch. Concentrate on keeping your body in a tight and straight line from your neck down to your ankles.

  • Keep your torso in a locked position as you raise your leg.

Yoga Poses for Abs

It seems more and more, people are finding creative ways to flatten and strengthen their midsections without doing tons of crunches. Yoga has always been known for improving flexibility and stress, but often overlooked as an effective way to work the core muscles. 

Studies illustrate that following a regular yoga practice is one of the best ways to reduce belly fat and tone your abs. Strong ab muscles support the spine and lower back, making many physical activities easier to perform.

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.

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