Yoga is a transformational practice that can make everything in your life less difficult.
Here you'll learn the 10 best yoga postures for weight loss to improve your body functions and organs and build strength and flexibility.
The practice of yoga is also excellent for mental health and emotional well-being. It also has natural detox benefits and is known to be an incredible anti-aging workout.
Yoga also dramatically improves self-awareness, confidence, and posture. And of course, it is one of the best solutions for holistic weight loss.
How Yoga Works to Help You Lose Weight
Yoga, unlike other workouts, is an integration of mindfulness with physical movement with breathing as a focal point.
But the practice of mindfulness does not go away when you leave your yoga mat. With a little practice, it stays with you and affects all parts of your life.
This focus makes you pay better attention to your body, and that includes what you eat. In general yoga fosters a high level of body awareness.
The mind is really what controls everything we do, and yoga can help to change unwanted behaviors.
For instance, it can help you decipher boredom from real hunger, and alleviate emotional overeating and binge eating as well. Yoga makes you pay attention and think in a whole new way.
Muscle Toning and Detoxification
Yoga asanas stretch the muscles and cause them to rip for a good reason. When the body muscles rip they need to be repaired and that requires energy. Lean muscle mass uses body fat for fuel, even when it is at rest. The muscle rebuilding process uses energy from the stored fat and increases lean muscle mass.
Better yet, almost every yoga pose addresses detoxification on some level. Purification of the body and mind helps to remove stagnant toxins resulting in weight loss.
Belly Fat Reduction
Belly fat is the most dangerous of all fats and is known to be aggravated by rising Cortisol levels in the body.
Yoga has been proven to reduce Cortisol and consequently it can help prevent and reduce belly fat. This is especially true for women over 40 that battle with belly fat.
10 Best Yoga Postures For Weight Loss
1. Plank Pose (Kumbhakasana)
Begin in a table-top position (wrists below your shoulders and knees under your hips). Expand your fingers and press down your arms and forearms onto a yoga mat. Gaze at a space between your hands and relax your neck. Step your feet behind and slowly extend your legs. The body should fall into a straight line. Lift your thighs up. Hold this yoga pose for 5-10 breaths.
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2. Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)
Stand tall on a yoga mat with feet 3-4 inches apart. Outstretch the arms to the sides, wide shoulders and palms down. Turn your left foot to a 90-degree angle and right foot inward. Take a deep bend in the left knee and align it over the left ankle. Keep your shins perpendicular to the floor and strengthen your right leg. Gaze over your left hand towards the left side. Hold this pose for 20 seconds.
3. Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana III)
Perform Uttanasana (standing forward fold). Exhale, stretch your left leg behind and come into a high lunge position. Project your right knee at 90-degree angle and rotate your torso to the right side. Bring your arms in front, parallel to the ground, and palms facing each other. Raise your head slightly in an upward direction and look in a forward direction. Stay in this posture for 30 seconds.
4. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Start the pose in tadasana. As you breathe out, spread your feet a few inches apart. Extend your right foot out and pivot your left foot in. Twist your torso to the right and hinge forward from the hips. Straighten your right arm downward and place the palm on the floor beside the right foot. Raise your left arm upward towards the ceiling. Fix your eyes on the left thumb. Remain in this pose for 15-20 seconds.
5. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Kneel on the floor. Spread your fingers and curl your toes inward. Inhale, raise the knees up and above the floor. Extend the legs backward and come into an upside down position. Gaze at the navel and breathe. Hold this pose for 15-20 seconds.
6. Shoulder Stand Pose (Sarvangasana)
Lie on your back on the floor. Rest your arms alongside your torso. Bend your knees and firmly press your feet into the ground. Compress your hands to push your feet away from the yoga mat and draw your thighs towards the torso. Raise your knees towards your face and gently lengthen the legs upwards. Bring your thighs in line with your torso. Hold this posture for 10 relaxed breaths.
7. Bridge Pose (Setu-Bandhasana)
Lie in a supine position. Keep your legs strong and arms by your side. Press the palms into a yoga mat and lift your hips and lower back up from the ground. Try to elevate your bottom as high as possible. Rest the shoulders and head on the floor. Interlace the fingers beneath the lower back. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds.
8. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Lie on your stomach. Fold your knees and bring your legs close to your hips. Reach back with your arms and grab the ankles with your palms. Widen your knees hip-width apart and lift your thighs away from the ground. Keep your upper body lifted and rest on your navel. Look forward. Stay in this pose for 20-30 seconds.
9. Upward Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
Begin in a prone position. Press the hands into the ground and backward. Extend your arms and lift your torso and legs 2-3 inches up from the ground. Firm your shoulder blades and tilt your head slightly backward. Remain in this pose for anywhere between 15-30 seconds.
10. Boat Pose (Navasana)
How To Get Started With Yoga
If you're new to yoga, you may want to consider a class with a professional yoga instructor to get more personal attention. This way you can receive one on one instruction on proper breathing techniques and guidance on how to do the poses correctly.
But you can also start a yoga practice from home with online Yoga classes now available to you. Online yoga offers everything from full classes to meditation practices, which can further support your weight loss and body transformation. There is an incredible variety of yoga styles and teachers available. Some sites, like Yoga Download, have sample classes so you can dabble a bit before committing.
Tips For Beginners
Stick to a regular routine. If you choose to do yoga at home, then set a specific time each week. If you go to a class, then attend religiously.
Pay close attention to your breath and movements.
Focus on the sensation of the movement, down to the tiniest part.
Find the place where your body feels challenged, but do not overdo it. Allow yourself to rest and keep an open mind.
Stay positive, and celebrate your efforts and achievements.
Take note of how your mind is improving along with your body, especially when it comes to lowering stress, patience, gratitude, inner peace and more control over cravings and urges.
Stay motivated and keep doing it. You will be amazed at the results when you stick with yoga.
As you can see these 10 best yoga postures for weight loss yoga are worth considering if you want to burn fat, tone your muscles and have more flexibility. When you master them and make them part of your routine, you'll never need to worry about weight loss again! And the best part is, along the way, you will notice a plethora of additional benefits for your mind, body, and soul.
If, for what ever reason, you find it difficult to practice at a yoga studio, Yoga Download has everything you need to practice yoga at home. You can read a full review of Yoga Download here.
Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India. He loves writing and reading the books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.