5 Yoga Poses for Stronger Legs

Enhance your leg strength with these five empowering yoga poses. From Supta Vajrasana to Parighasana, these asanas will help you build power and stability.

By URLife Team
19 Oct 2023

In our quest for a healthier and more active life, our legs often take centre stage. They carry us through the day, whether we're walking, climbing stairs, or running daily errands. So, it makes sense to devote some part of your fitness regimen to make your legs stronger, stable and more powerful.


While it's widely known that yoga offers numerous benefits for your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. This ancient practice is celebrated for its stress reduction, pain relief, anxiety management, and sleep enhancement. But yoga, whether in standing or supine (lying face up) poses, can also be a powerful ally for enhancing the balance, flexibility, and strength of your lower body.


We spoke to Shammi Gupta, based in Mumbai, who is the founder of Shammi Yogalaya, a yoga practitioner and wellness consultant with 22 years of experience, to create a routine for our readers. This routine emphasises on yoga poses for the lower body and also answers the question- how to make leg muscles strong.


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Utthita Parsvakonasana - Extended Side Angle Pose

Picture credit @Shammi Gupta


Utthita Parsvakonasana, or Extended Side Angle Pose stretches and strengthens the legs, particularly the thighs and hamstrings, while improving hip flexibility. This pose also engages the core, promoting stability and balance.


As you open your chest and stretch the spine, it enhances posture and relieves tension in the shoulders and neck. Furthermore, the pose encourages deep breathing, promoting relaxation and reducing stress. Utthita Parsvakonasana is a dynamic asana that combines strength, flexibility, and mindfulness, making it a valuable addition to your yoga practice.


How to do the Utthita Parsvakonasana

  • Start in a standing position, with your feet about 3 to 4 feet apart. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees, so it points to the side, and pivot your left foot slightly inward.
  • Inhale, extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height, and reach them actively in opposite directions, stretching from your fingertips.
  • Exhale, bend your right knee over the right ankle, creating a 90-degree angle with the right leg.
  • Lower your right hand to the floor on the outside of your right foot, placing it beside the foot or use a block for support. Extend your left arm straight up toward the ceiling.
  • Keep your body in one plane, forming a straight line from your left heel through your left fingertips. Your left hip should stack directly over the right one.
  • Gaze upward at your left hand, maintaining your neck in line with your spine.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing steadily.
  • To exit, inhale, press into your right foot, and come back to a standing position. Repeat on the other side.


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Supta Vajrasana

Picture credit @Shammi Gupta


Supta Vajrasana, the Reclining Thunderbolt Pose, enhances lower body flexibility by stretching the thighs, quadriceps, and ankles. It aids digestion and can alleviate digestive discomfort by gently compressing the abdomen. The pose is particularly helpful in strengthening the knee joints, making it beneficial for individuals with knee issues. 


How to do the Supta Vajrasana 

  • Start by kneeling on your mat with your big toes touching and heels slightly apart.
  • Sit back on your heels, keeping your spine upright.
  • Gently lower your upper body backward, using your hands for support as you lie down.
  • Slowly lower yourself until your back, neck, and head are resting comfortably on the mat.
  • Extend your arms alongside your body with palms facing up, and your legs straight out in front of you.


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Baddha Viparita Karani

Picture credit @Shammi Gupta


Baddha Viparita Karani, also known as the Supported Shoulderstand, works by inverting the body and raising the legs, it stimulates blood circulation and helps reduce swelling in the legs, making it particularly beneficial for those with varicose veins or edema. This pose also calms the nervous system, alleviates stress and anxiety, and can enhance the quality of sleep. Furthermore, Baddha Viparita Karani strengthens the core and the muscles along the spine, improving posture and relieving back pain.


How to do the Badha Viparita Karani

  • Find a clear wall space and sit with your side against the wall.
  • Gently swivel your body and bring your legs up the wall, allowing your lower back and hips to rest on the floor. Your body should form an L-shape.
  • Rest your arms by your sides with your palms facing up, and close your eyes.
  • Relax and hold the pose for 5-10 minutes, focusing on your breath and letting go of any tension.


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Virabhadrasana 1

Picture credit @Shammi Gupta


Virabhadrasana 1, or Warrior Pose 1, primarily strengthens the legs, working the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles, thereby enhancing lower body strength and stability. It also challenges and refines your sense of balance, promoting physical poise and mental concentration.


Steps to Perform Virabhadrasana 

  • Begin in a standing position at the front of your mat with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Step your right foot back, creating a long stance with your left foot pointing forward and your right foot turned slightly inward.
  • Inhale as you raise your arms overhead, extending them fully.
  • Exhale and bend your left knee, ensuring it's directly above your left ankle. Your right leg should remain straight.
  • Keep your back leg engaged and your back foot grounded. Turn your hips to face forward.
  • Gaze ahead or up toward your hands, maintaining a strong and steady posture.
  • Breathe deeply, holding the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • To release, straighten your left leg, return your arms to your sides, and step your right foot forward.


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Picture credit @Shammi Gupta


This pose involves stretching one leg out to the side while kneeling, creating a shape that resembles an open gate. The benefits of Parighasana 1 include improved flexibility in the hips and hamstrings, which can be particularly beneficial for those with tight lower body muscles. It also stretches the sides of the body, promoting better posture and reducing the risk of back pain.


Steps to Perform Parighasana

  • Begin by kneeling on your mat with your knees and feet together. Sit back on your heels, keeping your spine straight.
  • Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder level, parallel to the ground. Your palms should be facing down.
  • Inhale as you raise your right arm overhead, keeping it in line with your shoulder.
  • Exhale and as you do, lean to the left, extending your left arm down your left leg. Your right arm should be reaching toward the left side of the room.
  • Keep your left hand resting on your left leg, avoiding any strain on your knee. Your left side should remain open, and your chest should be facing forward.
  • Stretch your right arm to the left as far as you comfortably can while keeping both arms in line with your shoulders.
  • Hold this position for a few deep breaths, feeling the stretch along the right side of your body.
  • To release, inhale as you return to an upright position, and bring your right arm back to shoulder level.
  • Repeat on the other side by inhaling and raising your left arm overhead, then exhaling and leaning to the right.


Incorporating these five yoga poses into your regular practice can help you achieve stronger, more stable legs. Remember to perform these poses mindfully, focusing on your breath and maintaining proper alignment to prevent injury. Over time, you'll notice increased leg strength, improved balance, and enhanced overall well-being. Strong legs are the cornerstone of a healthy and active life, and yoga can help you build them with grace and precision.


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