15 Best Yoga Poses for Weight Loss – That Actually Works?

Exercising regularly helps the body stay active and keeps muscles from stiffening. As per a survey, the risk of several significant illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, heart stroke, and cancer can be reduced by up to 30% through regular exercise. It also helps improve sleep cycle, boost confidence, and improve stamina. However, to stay on the arduous path of weight loss, mindfulness is equally important.

Practising yoga offers you the best of both worlds. It is a good form of exercise that also helps connect the mind and the body.

Does Yoga Help Lose Weight?

The practice of yoga, if combined with mindful eating, helps significantly in the weight loss journey. It is important to consider two main aspects that promote weight loss: healthy eating and regular exercising. When performing yoga to reduce belly fat, it is important to consider the nutrient value of food you are consuming. This keeps the mind and body healthy.

Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

Yoga alone does not promote weight loss. It is important to follow a healthy diet with various yoga poses for weight loss.

Described below are some of these poses, and you can learn how to practice them.

1. The Lion Pose – Simhasana

The Simhasana pose is known to relieve stress and also works well to shape the facial muscles. This beginner’s pose can be practised by everyone, irrespective of age or gender.

How to Perform:

To perform the Simhasana,

  • Begin with the Virasana pose by spreading your knees wide and crossing both ankles. Now tuck both the heels inside the pelvic area, leaving no gap between them.
  • Place both the palms in front of your thighs or between them on the yoga mat.
  • Keeping your spine straight from the top extreme to the end elongates your spine.
  • Inhale deeply, allowing your stomach to expand as you do so.
  • Start exhaling, and as the exhalation completes, bring your tongue out as much as possible. Focus on the tip of your nose.
  • Now, repeat the pose by switching the ankles. Try inhaling and exhaling deeper with each repetition.

2. The Downward Dog Pose – Adho Mukha Svanasana

The downward dog pose helps tone biceps and arm muscles, and also strengthen the abdominal muscles. It is a weight-bearing asana. It is also a transition pose and can be used to relax between two exercises.

How to Perform:

To perform the Adho Mukha Svanasana,

  • Start with taking the dog pose, i.e., getting on all your fours. Broaden your collarbone, and curl your toes to straighten your legs.
  • Move your shoulders away from your ears towards the hips, and as you do so, you will feel the weight shifting off your arms.
  • Shift your weight towards the quadriceps, keeping the tail end high. This is the resting pose. Also, rotate the thighs inwards and keep the heels grounded.
  • Ensure that the distance between the hands and feet is correct as this affects the load distribution.
  • To return to a normal position, exhale and bend your knees to release the pose. Return to your hands and legs and slowly sit upright.

3. The Low Plank Pose – Chaturanga Dandasana

The Low Plank pose is a multiple-benefit pose. It tones the muscles of the arms and calves. Further, it also strengthens the biceps and triceps.

How to Perform:

To perform the Chaturanga Dandasana,

  • Begin with the high plank position. Ensure that your palms are directly under the shoulders and your elbows are slightly bent.
  • Now, exhale, bend your elbows, and let the shoulders down, so they reach the same level as your elbows.
  • Squeeze your elbows toward your body. Ensure the legs and upper body are a few inches above the floor.
  • Keep your gaze downwards or slightly upwards. Widen your chest and upper back.
  • After an exhale, get back into the plank position. Alternatively, you may drop your knees and rest in the child’s pose.

4. The Dolphin Pose – Ardha Pincha Mayurasana

The Dolphin pose strengthens the biceps and triceps. It also helps improve the balance of the body.

How to Perform:

To perform the Ardha Pincha Mayurasana,

  • To begin with, position your body in the downward-facing dog pose. Bring the elbows, forearms and hands in front of you on the yoga mat, at a width equal to the shoulders.
  • Slide your knees beneath your hips and keep the upper arms parallel. Lift your shoulders so that they move away from the elbows evenly.
  • Lifting the hips and shoulders evenly so that your neck releases and lengthens. Open the hamstrings by taking the top thighs towards the back legs.
  • Now your arms until the elbows act as supports. Keep the upper arms and wrists stable. Keep the tail high as your shoulders move to the centre, i.e., towards the body.
  • Slowly, as the hips lift higher and shoulders at the centre, the body will feel lighter. Hold this pose for a few moments before exhaling. Return to rest on your knees.

5. The Upward-Facing Dog Pose – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

The Upward-Facing Dog Pose promotes weight loss and helps improve flexibility. It also tones the upper body muscles, i.e., triceps and biceps.

How to Perform:

To perform the Urdhva Mukha Svanasana,

  • Lie down on the floor on the stomach.
  • Place your palms in front of your shoulders or between them.
  • Lift your upper body while balancing the weight on your arms. Ensure that the arms are fully straight and below the shoulders.
  • Hold the pose for a few seconds. Exhale.
  • Lie down on your knees and torso.

6. The Seated Twist Pose – Bharadvajasana

The Seated Twist pose stretches the upper body and, hence, improves the flexibility of the shoulders and the upper body. It also stimulates the digestion and detoxification processes. It is an intermediary level pose.

How to Perform:

To perform the Bharadvajasana,

  • Sit in an erect position and stretch your legs in front. Shift to your right and bend your knees so that your feet are near the left hip; your left ankle will be resting on the right foot.
  • Lengthen your spine and inhale. Twist to your right, and exhale.
  • Keep your left arm on the side you twist; palm on the floor. Tuck in your right arm from behind to clasp your left arm.
  • Hold the twist for some seconds. Breathe. Lengthen the duration, and twist the angle with each repetition.
  • Unwind from the pose with an exhalation. Switch the sides.

7. Ardha Matsyendrasana

The twist pose in this yoga asana helps tone the muscles of the abdomen, waist and upper body. It also helps in regulating the digestion process.

How to Perform:

To perform the Ardha Matsyendrasana,

  • Sit in an erect position and stretch your legs in front. Bend your left knee and keep the left foot on the outer side of your body besides the right leg.
  • Exhale and twist your body to the left. Keep your right elbow and upper arm in an upright position and well-rested on the left knee.

8. The Boat Pose – Navasana

In this pose, your body will be in a balancing act. The tail side becomes your base to balance. It is useful to reduce belly fat and is practised by those who want to have toned abs. It is a great exercise for the stomach region.

How to Perform:

To perform the Boat pose,

  • Sit in an upright position with legs stretched in the front.
  • Stretch your arms in the front and slowly lift your legs.
  • The entire weight should be balanced equally, with the base being the midriff region.
  • Maintain the pose for as many seconds as possible before returning to the normal posture.

9. The Fish Pose – Matsyasana

The Matsyasana is a stretching exercise that involves the lower body, that is, hips, abdomen, thighs, and intestines.

How to Perform:

To perform the Fish pose,

  • Lie down on the yoga mat in Savasana.
  • Stretch your ankle and feet downwards with toes facing the wall in front of them.
  • Place both your arms parallel to the body. Slowly lift your upper body a bit, resting them on both your elbows.
  • Allow the elbows to come towards the body. Let the elbows shift towards the body, so they are closest to the body with the elbows as support.
  • Place your palms beneath the hips, and now with your upper body above the ground, lower your head, so things appear downright.

10. Vishnu’s Couch Pose – Anantasana

The Anantasana promotes blood circulation and digestion, and improves the flexibility of the body. It also builds the strength of the side and abdominal muscles.

How to Perform:

To perform the Vishnu’s Couch pose,

  • Lie down on your left-hand side body such that your left elbow is bent and acts as a base for your body weight and the head.
  • Stretch your legs wide such that your right leg goes straight upwards.
  • Now slowly lift your right arm and try grasping the toes of your right leg.
  • Hold the pose for a while. Exhale and return to the normal pose.

11. The Cobra Pose – Bhujangasana

Also included in the Surya Namaskar pose, this is an important yogasana to provide the upper body with a good stretch.

How to Perform:

To perform the Bhujangasana,

  • Lie down on the yoga mat on your stomach. Place your arms parallel to your body with palms at the level of your face.
  • Now, put your entire body weight on the palms. Lift your upper body. Shift the palms towards your waist level as your body lifts higher like a cobra, with your face upwards.
  • Ensure that the legs are stretched straight. Keep the pose steady for some seconds, followed by an exhalation.
  • Gradually, return to lying on the support of your stomach with both arms parallel to the body on either side.

12. The Cobbler Pose – Baddha Konasana

The Baddha Konasana is quite useful in improving thigh muscle flexibility and toning muscles. It is also known as the ‘butterfly pose’.

How to Perform:

To perform the Baddha Konasana

  • Sit with your legs stretched in front of you.
  • Bend both the knees such that the feet touch each other.
  • Hold the feet of the legs with your hands. You may also flutter the legs like a butterfly.
  • Exhale and get back to the normal pose.

13. The Garland Pose – Malasana

The Malasana helps in improving the body flexibility by improving the lower back area. It involves the groin, hip and thigh muscles.

How to Perform:

To perform the Garland Pose

  • Sit in a contemporary style like that in an Indian washroom.
  • Rest your elbows on your knees
  • Keep the same pose for a few seconds before exhaling.

14. The Big Toe Pose – Padangusthasana

Padangusthasana is a great pose for the hamstring and calf muscles. It also stimulates the kidney and liver.

How to Perform:

To perform the Big Toe Pose

  • Stand upright. Keep both your feet closely touching each other.
  • Gradually bend your whole body into two folds from the waist.
  • Try to touch the big toes of your feet with your fingertips.

15. The Warrior Pose – Virabhadrasana

The Virabhadrasana is a stamina booster pose. It helps tone the hip muscles. Also, it stretches your arms and inner thighs.

How to Perform:

To perform the Warrior Pose

  • Stand upright. Extend your feet wide apart beyond the shoulder length.
  • Place your legs such that the leg at the backside is in the defensive position while the leg at the front is in the forward defence position.
  • Keep your arms wide apart and fully upright in the air. Position the palms facing upwards in a way so that the arms seem to be lifting something.

Female Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

There are various yoga poses for weight loss for women. Practising these poses regularly helps in weight loss. Listed below are some of these poses and their benefits.

1. Trikonasana – The Triangle Pose

  • Engages the leg and arm muscles.
  • Reduces belly fat deposits.
  • Improves digestion.

2. Virabhadrasana II – The Warrior Pose

  • Strengthens the core abdominal muscles.
  • Shapes the body.

3. Upward Facing Dog Pose

  • Promotes flexibility in the upper body.
  • Tones the lower body muscles.
  • Improves digestion.

4. Navasana – The Boat Pose

  • Helps improve the balance of the body.

5. Phalakasana – The Plank Pose

  • Improves digestion.
  • Improves the arms and leg muscle strength.

Yoga to Reduce Belly Fat

Belly fat accumulated over the years requires following a healthy diet regime. Alongside that, specific yoga asanas to reduce belly fat can be practised. Listed below are some of them.

  • Tadasana – The Mountain Pose
  • Surya Namaskar – The Sun Salutations
  • Padahastasana – The Standing Forward Bend
  • Paschimottanasana – The Sitting Forward Bend
  • Pavanamuktasana – The Wind Relieving Pose
  • Naukasana – The Boat Pose

Asana For Obesity

A successful weight loss regimen requires many careful considerations in diet and exercise. Yoga asanas can ensure that your exercise quota is fulfilled easily and effectively. Several asanas for tackling obesity are available, including

  • Surya Namaskar – The Sun Salutations
  • Sarvangasana – The Shoulder Stand
  • Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana – The Bridge Pose
  • Dhanurasana – The Bow Pose
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana – The Downward Dog Pose
  • Virabhadrasana – The Warrior Pose

Power Yoga for Weight loss

Power yoga is a modern form of yoga asana. This yoga asana for weight loss helps enhance the body muscles, lose the accumulated fat and strengthen the muscles.

It provides an intense workout and improves body stamina.

Also, power yoga is believed to help you focus better, improve mental well-being and relieve stress.

Summing Up on Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

The term  ‘yoga’ involves the collective efforts of the soul, mind and body. It helps improve the physical shape of the body and strengthen the internals. Also, yoga poses are known to aid in weight loss. Regular practice of yoga asanas with a healthy diet regime helps in the same.

Further, it also promotes mental well-being by relieving stress. It is important to make yoga asana a part of your daily lifestyle. Various forms of yoga, such as power yoga, are in trend and make an essential part of living for many.

FAQs

What is the Best Time to Do Yoga?

Practising yoga early in the morning or late in the evening is recommended. Morning yoga helps practice one’s vocation, while late evening yoga helps relieve the day’s stresses.

Can We Do Yoga in Periods?

Yes, the practice of yoga is beneficial during periods. It helps relieve uncomfortable symptoms such as cramps.

Can I Reduce My Belly Fat by Yoga?

Yes, practising yoga regularly along with a healthy diet can help you easily lose accumulated belly fat.

Is 15 Minutes of Yoga a Day Enough?

Yoga has a great potential to improve the health of an individual. Hence, Yes, even a 15-minute yoga session helps bring improvement.

Can We Do Surya Namaskar in the Evening?

Yes, it is alright to practise Surya Namaskar in the evening. Ensure that it is done with an empty stomach.

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