As the Christmas season begins to wake up from a year's sleep, a lady's thoughts turn to party dresses. More specifically, will I fit into my favourite LBD?
Turn things round for your tummy in time for the office Xmas party with these yoga poses designed to tone your abdominal muscles.
"There's no miracle cure for getting flat abs" says Janine Noblett, a yoga expert from Virgin Active Health Clubs. "But yoga is one of the most balanced ways of getting good muscle tone.
That's because yoga uses the body in the way it was made to move, in balance. Your abs play a big part in supporting the spine during the following poses."
Although you may not 'feel the burn' while doing them, you are improving your digestive system, burning fat and toning just where you need to help win the battle of the bulge.
Mountain pose and hands up (tadasana into hastasana)
Good for: Strengthening and toning the spinal and abdominal muscles
Stand with your feet and legs together. Press the feet into the floor, lift the quads and stand tall. Drop your shoulders back and down, sternum lifted. Reach your arm arms straight, shoulder width apart, palms face the legs, then inhale and lift the arms above your head without moving the scapula. Palms should be facing each other.
Expert tip: Be aware of what happens to your front ribs; don't let them bulge forward, but use the core muscles to stabilise yourself.
Side plank (aasistasana)
Good for: Toning the abdominals and lumbar spine. Strengthening the wrists.
From dog pose put your weight on the right hand. Turn your feet and trunk to face forward, then stack your left leg over the right.
Raise your right arm out straight and long, keeping your head in line with the sternum, and your trunk in line with your legs.
Expert tip: Keep your trunk strong and hips lifted.
Boat pose (paripurna)
Good for: relieving indigestion, stimulating the thyroid gland and increasing your metabolic rate.
Start from a seated position, knees bent. Rock back on the sit bones. Drawing in through your core, lift both feet of the floor. Slowly extend the legs out, followed by your arms.
Keep your chest lifted and your core working. Hold the position for up to six breaths and release.
Expert tip: Keep the upper body in alignment, shoulders down