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How to Do the Lift in Ashtanga Yoga

Sculpt Your Dream Six-Pack With the Double-Block Lift

If you've ever taken a fast-paced Ashtanga class, once you make it through the Sun Salutations and the standing poses, you move to seated poses. After every pose, you take a lift, jump back, and move through a vinyasa. The lift comprises crossing the shins with the knees into the chest, planting the palms on the floor beside your hips, and lifting your lower body off the floor before kicking your legs back into Chaturanga. Yes, it's as hard as it sounds, and it requires a strong core and upper body. Get that same lift with this effective yet fun exercise that will strengthen the abs and upper body.

  • Sit on the floor with two blocks beside your hips. Grip the blocks firmly with your hands.
  • Cross your legs at your ankles, and draw your knees into the chest, feet slightly lifted.
  • On an inhale, straighten the arms and use your abs to lift your feet and hips off the floor. If this is too difficult, rest your feet on the floor and lift the hips.
  • Hover above the ground for as long as you can, working up to five full breaths. Remember to relax the shoulders away from the ears.
  • Release the hips to the floor.
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