Although yoga is famous for its calming effect, very few know that it is one of the most effective workouts for fighting stubborn fat stored around the body. Using yoga for weight loss is especially useful for women over 40 who are seeking to look fit and own their bodies.
According to studies, yoga reduces the level of stress hormones in the body and boosts insulin sensitivity, which is a signal to your body to consume food as fuel rather than store it as fat.
Apart from the physical fat burning effect of using yoga for weight loss, there is also a psychological or mental advantage. Since a poor diet as a result of stress is one of the leading causes of fat build up in the body, yoga helps to alleviate stress.
This not only helps you to make proper diet decisions, but it also helps to lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that causes weight gain. Reducing your cortisol level will ultimately result in natural weight loss.
When it comes to yoga, what you put into it is usually what you get from it. That is, if you put effort into getting the moves right, you are more likely to achieve your results. Yoga is all about tasking our mind and body as a way of getting it to a new height.
The more challenging you make the moves, the more likely you will burn calories and lose more weight. This article contains yoga poses that are effective for weight loss and can help you burn fat quickly.
6 Effective Fat Burning Yoga Poses For Beginners
These six yoga poses will help you tone your body, improve your muscle strength, lose weight. You will notice that most of these poses come with an instruction to repeat on the other side; implying that they are two-sided poses that on work the muscles on one side of the body per time.
Therefore, to build strength and flexibility equally around the body, ensure that you follow the instruction to work both sides.
1. Crescent Pose (Anjaneyasana)
This pose is one of the useful yoga for weight loss and stretching the hips. Since many people who live a sedentary lifestyle tend to have tight hips from sitting in front of a computer or a chair all day, this pose is ideal. It also helps to improve flexibility so that you can achieve those splits if you so wish.
Note that in performing this move, your hand can be wherever you please. However, how you place them determines which muscle gets stretched.
Note: Do not try this if you suffer from high blood pressure, had recent knee pains/injuries, neck or shoulder pains.
- Start in a standing forward bend position and inhale while stepping your right leg straight back.
- Then, lift your torso and raise your arms entirely to the side and overhead.
- Maintain the crescent lunge pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Now, exhale and place your hands on the floor before stepping your left leg back, beside the right, and moving your hands slowly back to start position.
- Perform move with the opposite leg.
2. Tree Pose (Vriksasana)
The tree pose is also one of the best yoga for weight loss. It is best performed on an empty stomach, and there must be at least four to six hours between your meal and the practice. That way, your body can digest food and be energized and ready for this activity.
Also, this pose is best performed in the morning when your mind is free of worries and stress as it involves concentration and focus.
Note: Do not perform this move if you have low blood pressure, headache or insomnia. High blood pressure patients must also avoid raising arms overhead.
- To start, stand erect and drop your arms beside your body.
- Now, bend your right knee slightly and place the right foot high up on your left thigh.
- Ensure that the sole is firmly set flat on the root of the thigh with your left leg erect. Once in this position, breathe, and find your balance.
- Inhale, and gently raise your arms over your head to bring them together in a ‘namaste’ move.
- Keep your eyes straight as if you are staring at a distant object and hold your gaze to help you maintain balance.
- Hold your spine straight with your body taut but elastic; take in deep breaths and relax more each time you exhale.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then bring your hands down to your sides and release your right leg.
- Return to the original position of standing tall and repeat this pose with the left leg.
3. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
The warrior I pose is a beginner pose that strengthens thighs, calves, shoulders, arms, back, and ankles. It also stretches your calves, ankles, navel, groin, legs, shoulders and neck. This pose should be performed before mealor with at least 6 hours interval between meal and practice.
Note: If you have spinal problems or just recovered from a chronic illness, it is essential that you see a doctor before trying this move. If you have shoulder pains, do not hold your arms above your head, instead, raise and leave them parallel; to each other. People with neck problems should not look up.
Pregnant women should not perform this move without guidance or doctor’s permission, and people with a heart problem or high blood pressure should avoid the movement altogether. Lastly, if you suffer from knee pain or arthritis, use a wall for support.
- Stand straight and spread your legs about feet apart so that your right foot is in front and the left behind.
- Then, turn your right foot outward at a 90-degree and your left by 15-degrees such that your right heel is well aligned with the center of your left foot.
- Lift your hands sideways until they reach your shoulder height and your palms facing upwards.
- Exhale and bend your right knee so that your knee and ankle form a straight line while ensuring your knee doesn’t go beyond your ankle.
- Now, look to your right while stretching your arms to join your palms overhead and lift your gaze to look at the arms while pushing your pelvis down.
- Hold the pose like a warrior and smile while breathing normally and lowering your pelvis more.
- Inhale deeply and come up.
- Then, exhale and carefully lower your hands.
- Repeat this pose on the left side, bringing your left leg to the front and the right one to the back.
4. Eagle Pose (Garudasana)
The Eagle Pose is also part of the yoga for weight loss. This pose works your thighs, legs, and arms while driving the torso outside the body. Its balancing act improves stability while simultaneously strengthening your core and hip muscles.
Note: Do not try this pose if you have shoulder, knee, or ankle pain. Pregnant women should also consult their doctor to know if it is safe for them.
- To start, stand straight.
- Then, bend your right knee slightly band wrap your left leg around your right such that the knees are stacked on each other. However, your left foot should not touch your right shin.
- Lift your arms to the shoulder height and curl your right hand around your left. Make sure your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle and stacked.
- Find a balance in this pose and bring your hips down gently, your knee should move towards the middle and no lean to one side.
- Maintain this pose for a few seconds while breathing deeply and slowly.
- Release the posture, switch limbs, and repeat the pose.
5. Seated Twist Pose (Bharadvajasana)
This yoga pose is also one of the yoga for weight loss which means “bringing out nourishment” and is mainly said to be nourishing to the spines and our internal organs.
The asana is performed as a deep twist and is an intermediary level pose that can be mastered with adequate practice. It boosts natural flexibility of the upper body and helps to one our shoulder blades.
It helps to stretch and strengthen the spines, tones the core, improves digestion, and it boosts shoulder flexibility.
Note: Do not try this pose if you are menstruating or suffer from a headache or insomnia. Also, make sure to empty your stomach and bowels just before you do this pose. And you should eat about four to six hours before doing the yoga pose. This will ensure that your food gets digested and you have enough energy to use while practicing.
- With your back erect, sit on the floor or yoga mat, and legs stretched out. Let your arms be beside your body, very close to your hips.
- Bend your knees while bringing them close to your left hip. Let the inner side of your left ankle rest on the arch of the right thigh.
- Inhale as you stretch your spine and extend it as much as you can.
- Place your right hand on the floor, and your left hand on the right outer thigh. Exhale and twist the upper trunk as much as you can.
- Make sure that your hip on the left side presses your body weight down on the floor.
- Slightly bend the upper part of the back and twist around your backbone, such that you feel the effect from the lower back to the tip of the head.
- Keep lengthening your spine as you intensify your twist every time you exhale.
- Turn your head looking over your right shoulder. Stay in this position for about a minute.
- Slowly untwist your trunk to come back to the center.
- Take a breath, then put the weight of your body on your left buttock.
- Repeat the pose
6. Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Another yoga for weight loss is the Reclined-Bound Angle Pose. It opens the hips and works on the inner thighs. The balancing move of folding the legs while keeping the toes together improves toning of hip muscles. It is also a very relaxing pose and removes tension in the hips and thigh muscles.
NB: Do not perform this pose if you suffer from lower back pain, knee or groin injuries. And if you feel any pain in your groins or inner thighs, support each thigh on either a folded blanket or a block which is a bit above the maximum stretch of your groins. Ensure that the support is the same height!
- Lie flat and straight on a mat. Gently bend your knees bringing your feet together with the outer edges of both your feet on the floor. Make sure your heels stay close to your groin.
- Place your palms next to your hips then pressed downwards.
- Exhale, and ensure that your abdominal muscles contract as your tailbone moves close to your pubic bone. Feel the elongation in your lower back and the stability in your spine as your pelvis tilts. Hold this position.
- Quickly inhale, and as you exhale again, let your knees open up such that it creates a good stretch in your groin and inner thighs.
- You should be sure that your lower spine is not forcefully arched. Also, relax your shoulders and place it away from your neck.
- Remain in the pose for sixty secs, while breathing deeply but slowly.
- Press your lower back and knees to the floor to give that final stretch. Hug your knees and rock from side to side. Exhale and exit the pose .
There you have our list of 6 best and effective yoga for weight loss. However, it is important to note that yoga is not a religion but a way of life. In that, you adopt this lifestyle to ensure your overall health and functionality.
With consistent practice, yoga helps to boost your mental and physical immunity so that you can live life better and healthier.
Have you tried using yoga for weight loss before? Let us know how well it worked by commenting below!