Pose of the week: V-sit

Can one yoga pose really tone and tighten multiple core muscles…including your rectus abdominis, external and internal obliques, transverse abdominis, spine extensors and erector spinae? You bet. This crunch-free abdominal toner not only enhances core strength but may improve your posture. Start by sitting on a mat on the floor, on your “sit” bones or the bones at the base of your butt. Bend your knees and keep your legs together, feet flat on the floor. With your hands placed behind your thighs, contract your abdominal muscles, keeping your back straight and erect while you lift one leg, then the other, elevating your feet until your calves are parallel to the floor. The advanced position is pictured at left. In this position, your shoulders should be pressed down, away from your ears, arms and legs straight, at a 45-degree angle. Want to take it a step further and tone your upper body at the same time? Try a V-sit incline press.