Is Yoga Good For Weight Loss?
Most of the people generally choose most drastic ways to lose fat or to lose that bulge around the belly. The most common methods generally observed are crash dieting, working out for a few hours and leaving it. However, the best method to lose fat around the stomach and to get a flat tummy is to practice yoga for at least 30 minutes a day.(1,2)
Not only yoga helps in losing weight and getting that flat stomach, it also makes the person feel lighter. Yoga affects the body in many ways other than just weight loss.
Things To Keep In Mind When Doing Yoga
But to achieve that goal of flat stomach, one must be aware of few yoga principles and follow them to achieve the maximum benefits:
- Practice yoga for at least 30 to 45 minutes everyday to achieve the desired benefits.
- Always be happy about the practice and do not do it half heartedly.
- Eat good and clean food to for the results to show up quickly.
- Concentrate on the food and not on anything else while eating. Be with the food and be aware of it when you are eating.
- Always stretch the body at the end of workout. Do the stretching asanas.
11 Yoga Asanas That Can Help You Lose Weight
These yoga poses when practiced regularly and correctly will help you achieve the goal of losing that extra weight:
Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose for Weight Loss (3)
- To practice Bhujangasana, lie prone on the floor or the yoga mat i.e. on your stomach with the top of your feet and chin resting on the floor.
- Legs should be kept close together with the heels and feet lightly touching each other.
- Place your palms facing downwards i.e. facing ground and below the shoulders with the fingers of your hand outwards i.e. other side of the body.
- While practicing Bhujangasana, the elbows should be kept parallel to each other and close to the body.
- While inhaling deeply, gently raise your head, chest and abdomen up while keeping the navel and pelvis touching the floor.
- Take your shoulders back and down in such a way that when the head is tilted backwards, and the chest is opened forward while practicing Bhujangasana.
- Focus your gaze forward or upwards depending upon the flexibility of your neck and spine or till where you can bend backwards.
- Raise your body upwards till your arms become straight on the ground.
- Keep pressing the ground with your pelvis. Also, make sure that you are not putting a lot of tension in your arms.
- At a point where you are comfortable, hold the pose for 20-30 seconds.
- Straighten you to a point where you are comfortable. Do not overstretch or exert yourself.
- While exhaling, gently take your body downwards to rest on the floor.
- Relax with your hand stretched outwards and chin touching the floor.
Lose Inches/Kilos with Uttanasana or the Camel Pose
- To practice Uttanasana, first get into Vajrasana on the floor or on the yoga mat.
- Now, stand on your knees with the hands on your sides while practicing Uttanasana.
- Ideally, both the knees and feet should touch each other. But you can also keep a little distance between both knees and both feet depending upon your comfort.
- Lean a little backwards in this position while practicing Uttanasana in such a way that your right hand grasps your right ankle and the left hand grasps your left ankle.
- Do not strain or over exert while taking your hands to your ankles.
- Try to push your abdomen forward while keeping your thighs vertical or straight and tilt your head and neck backwards.
- Take your head and neck as backwards as you can.
- Try to relax your body and all the back muscles while being in this pose.
- While practicing Uttanasana, the weight of your body will be supported by your arms and legs simultaneously.
- The shoulders are stretched and supported by your arms in this pose. The shoulders and arms help in maintain arch of the back in this position.
- This is the final Uttanasana pose. Stay in this pose for as long as you feel comfortable or for a few breaths.
- Release the Uttanasana pose by leaving the grasp of the ankles one at a time. Leave the right ankle and then the left ankle and come back to your knees.
- Get back in Vajrasana.
- This completes one round of Uttanasana or The Camel Pose.
Adho Mukha Svanasana or The Downward Facing Dog Pose for Weight Loss.(12,13)
- To practice Adho Mukha Svanasana, stand on the floor or on the yoga mat.
- Kneel on the yoga mat or floor in such a way that the whole body is supported with hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your knees are in straight line with your hips in this position.
- Make your palms spread on the yoga mat make sure that the maximum force is exerted with the index finger on the floor. Your forefingers should turn a little parallel.
- While exhaling, lift your knees far from the floor in such a way that the knees come in line with the thighs and they are not bent.
- In the beginning, if you face any difficulty in keeping the knees straight, you can keep them a little bent and heels lifted from the floor.
- Try to raise your hip bones inside and try to draw your legs into the crotch.
- In this position, make the highest point of the thighs push back and let your heels touch the floor.
- Try to lift your body far from the ground while keeping your arms and legs straight.
- Keep your shoulders very firm and open your chest in this position.
- Keep your head between your arms and make sure you are looking downwards, and your head does not drop in this position.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana is also a part of Surya Namaskar and it is a very helpful asana to stretch all the muscles of your body.
- Stay in this position for a few breaths or for a few seconds.
Get Abs and Strong Core with Kumbhakasana or the Plank Pose(13, 14)
- To practice Kumbhakasana or the Plank Pose, start with the downward facing dog pose.
- Keep breathing deeply through your nose while staying in this position.
- Concentrate on a point in the front while being in this position.
- Now, spread your fingers and press down through your forearms and hands.
- Do not let your chest drop on the ground while practicing this asana.
- Gaze down at a point between your hands while lengthening the back of your neck and drawing your abdominal muscles in towards your spine.
- Firm your toes on the ground and step back with your feet.
- Bring your body and head into one straight line while practicing this asana.
- Keep your thighs lifted from the ground while practicing this asana.
- And make sure that you do not let your hips go down low on the ground.
- In this position, you must realign your body so that your shoulders are directly above your wrists.
- Draw your pelvic floor muscles toward your spine as you contract your abdominal muscles.
- Make sure that you keep your head in line with your spine and broaden your shoulder blades and across your collarbones.
- Press the front of your thighs up toward the ceiling while lengthening your tailbone toward your heels while practicing Kumbhakasana or the Plank Pose.
Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend Pose for Weight Loss(12)
- To practice Paschimottanasana, sit with your legs outstretched on floor or on yoga mat.
- Keel your feet together and hands on your knees.
- This is the starting position for Paschimottanasana and is also called Dandasana.
- Relax the whole body in this position.
- With a deep inhale, raise your hands above your head and give your arms a stretch.
- With a big and deep exhale, start moving your arms forward towards the foot.
- As you move forward, take your hand on your legs as far as possible towards the big toe.
- If this seems impossible, try to grasp your ankles with your hands or any part of the leg, which can be reached by hands comfortably.
- The movements should be made slowly, and any jerk should be avoided while practicing Paschimottanasana.
- Try to relax in this position for a few seconds to give a stretch to your leg, back and arm muscles.
- Allow the leg, arm and back muscles to gently stretch.
- While maintaining a firm grip on the toes, gently move your upper body starting from the hip joint towards the legs. Touch your forehead to your knees.
Trikonasana or The Triangle Pose for Weight Loss(4, 12)
- From Tadasana, step the feet just over a leg length apart. Turn the right foot 90 degrees to the right and the left foot slightly toward the right.
- Line the heel of the front foot with the center arch of the back foot. Lengthen and broaden the soles of the feet and spread the toes. The weight should be distributed evenly between the inside edge of the front foot and the outside edge of the rear foot.
- While in this position, make sure that your heels are pressing the ground and the weight of your entire body is balanced and distributed on both of your feet.
- Raise the arms to shoulder height and extend the arms parallel to the floor in such a way that your palms are facing down.
- Inhale deeply while practicing Trikonasana and while exhaling, bend your body towards right while making sure you don not bend forward or backwards. Make sure your waist is straight while you practice this pose.
- In this position, bend your right knee slightly. Also, lift your left hand up and let your right hand touch the ground. Both your arms should form a straight line while practicing Trikonasana or The Triangle Pose.
Nauka Sanchalanasana or Rowing the Boat Pose to get a Flat Stomach.(5,6,7,8)
- To practice Nauka Sanchalanasana or Rowing the Boat pose, sit with both legs straight in front of the body on the floor or on the yoga mat.
- Imagine yourself sitting in a boat and rowing it. This is all you are supposed to do while practicing Nauka Sanchalanasana or Rowing the Boat pose.
- To get into Nauka Sanchalanasana or Rowing the Boat pose, clench the hands as though grasping oars, with the palms facing down.
- Breathe out and bend forward from the waist, as far as is comfortable.
- Make sure that you straighten the arms while practicing Nauka Sanchalanasana or Rowing the Boat pose.
- Inhale deeply and lean back as far as possible while drawing the hands back towards the shoulders while practicing Nauka Sanchalanasana or Rowing the Boat pose
- This completes one round of Nauka Sanchalanasana or Rowing the Boat pose.
- While practicing Nauka Sanchalanasana or Rowing the Boat pose, the hands should make a complete circular movement in every round.
- Your arms should move up the sides of the legs and trunk while practicing Nauka Sanchalanasana or Rowing the Boat pose.
- The legs should be kept straight throughout while practicing Nauka Sanchalanasana or Rowing the Boat pose.
- Practice 5 to 10 rounds of Nauka Sanchalanasana or Rowing the Boat pose.
Vrksasana or The Tree Pose for Weight Loss (9)
- To practice Vrksasana, sit on the floor or on the yoga mat.
- Stand straight in Tadasana.
- Raise your arms above the head and join both the palms above the head in a Namaste position.
- Now, bring your left leg from the knee and bring it up to rest on the inside of the top of the right thigh.
- Close your eyes and concentrate on the eye center.
- Stay in this position for a few breaths or for as long as you are comfortable.
- Release the pose and relax in Tadasana.
Dhanurasana or the Bow Pose for Weight Loss (10)
- To start practicing Dhanurasana, lie on your stomach/abdomen with arms along the sides and keep your palms up.
- Relax in this position for a few breaths before starting to practice Dhanurasana.
- Inhale deeply and bend your legs backwards, reach back and get hold of both the ankles with the respective hands.
- Raise your torso and thighs while holding the ankles with hands.
- Your body is curved in the shape of a bow in this position.
- Look forward while being in this position and focus on a point.
- In this position, the whole body is resting on the abdomen.
- Maintain your breath while being in Dhanurasana. Continue to take long and deep breaths while being in this position and try to relax in this final position of Dhanurasana.
- Do not overdo or stretch your body excessively. Bend and stretch only till your body permits.
- Be in this position for 15-20 breaths.
Tone Your Tummy with Marjariasana or the Cat Stretch Pose.(11)
- To get into Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose, you must get into Vajrasana or The Thunderbolt Pose first as mentioned above.
- Raise the buttocks and stand on the knees while getting into Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- Lean forward and place the hands flat on the floor beneath the shoulders with the fingers facing forward while getting into Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- Make sure that your hands should be in line with the knees while getting into Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- The arms and thighs should be perpendicular to the floor while practicing Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- The knees may be together or slightly separated while practicing Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- This is the Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose starting position.
- Inhale deeply while raising the head and depressing the spine in such a way that the back becomes concave while practicing Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- Expand the abdomen fully and fill the lungs with the maximum amount of air while practicing Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
- Hold the breath in this position for 3 to 4 seconds.
- Exhale deeply while lowering the head and stretching the spine upward while practicing Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch Pose.
Tadasana or the Mountain Pose for Losing Weight (12)
- To practice Tadasana in standing position, stand straight and keep your legs slightly apart from each other.
- Raise your hands above your head and look straight while focusing on one point in front of you.
- Interlock the fingers of both the hands and turn them upwards in such a way that the palms are towards the ceiling/sky.
- Take a deep breath or while inhaling, stretch your arms, chest and shoulders upwards.
- While practicing Tadasana, the gaze can be adjusted to look a little above while stretching.
- Raise you heels in such a way that all the weight of your body is on the toes.
- Remain in this position for 20-30 seconds.
- Retain your breath while stretching.
- While exhaling, come down to your original position.
- This completes one round of Standing Tadasana.
- You can practice Tadasana for 8-10 rounds.
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