Can Bikram Yoga Sculpt Your Inner Thigh?


The American Council on Exercise identifies hip adduction as the number one inner-thigh-toning move. You may have heard of hip abduction, which involves lifting the leg away from the body. Hip adduction is just the opposite and calls for squeezing the thighs inward so the inner thigh muscles contract. Several of the 26 postures of Bikram yoga cause the inner thigh muscles to contract, making it an excellent exercise option for obtaining tight inner thighs.

Awkward Series

  • The Awkward Series, or utkatasana pose, is third in the succession of Bikram yoga postures. It requires balancing the body on the balls of the feet while standing with knees bent and arms extended in front of you. It doesn't require much flexibility but you will find that in order to keep from falling over, every muscle in your body, including those inner thigh muscles, must contract. Bikram Yoga South Shore experts explain that the awkward series pose both "shapes lower muscles" and slims pockets of fat under the buttocks.


  • The fourth pose, the Eagle or garudasana, specifically increases mobility of the hip joints. You stand up with your palms touching together in a praying position. You then balance your body on one leg while the other leg wraps around the standing leg at the knee. This pose automatically engages hip adduction in the leg crossing over.


  • The ninth pose is the Triangle, or trikanasana. It causes a stretch on the inner thighs that can be felt immediately. To do it, bend one knee at a 90-degree angle. Keep your back straight and lower your torso sideways over the bent knee so it bears your upper-body weight. Extend the other leg behind you. Point the hand on the side of the bent knee toward the ground. Lift your other arm toward the ceiling. Feel the inner thigh stretch on the weight-bearing leg.

Toe Stand

  • The 12th pose, Toe Stand or padangustasana, is executed by balancing the body in a cross-legged position with palms facing each other on the toes of one foot. To maintain this stance all of the muscles of the body are engaged. Crossing the legs especially contracts the inner thigh muscles.

Separate Leg Stretching, Head to Knee

  • Bikram yoga pose number 24, "separate leg stretching, head to knee," referred to technically as janursirasana with paschimottanasana, is the final posture that applies direct pressure to the inner thighs. It is similar to the Triangle pose in execution except you sit on the ground instead of standing. While seated bend one knee and extend the other leg. Tuck the foot of the bended knee under the opposing thigh. Raise both arms into a "V" above your head then lean your torso to the side of the extended leg and grasp the foot of the extended leg with the opposing hand. This stretches and tones the inner thigh muscle of the outstretched leg.

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