When it comes to weight loss, we usually think of sweaty cardio regimes, circuit tire trainings and boot camp workouts. The idea of yoga and weightless don’t really go hand in hand. But, to tell the truth, health experts and doctors believe that sometimes less is more and low-intensity yoga poses can promote weight loss by promoting the functions of the parasympathetic nervous system that is accountable for regulating the hormones, breathing and digestion. Yoga helps your rewind and relax after a hard day’s work and provide you with an instant boost of energy so that you can be in the pink of health for the next day.
7 Benefits of Yoga for Weight Loss
Yoga is not only effective for relaxing the senses and bringing about inner peace, but also for achieving a perfect figure through weight loss. Yoga promotes weight loss through its various beneficial aspects.
- Boosts Up Calorie Burn by Heating the Nervous System – Regular practice of yoga asanas leads to the production of heat in the body and makes the body feel warmer. This heat helps in burning both the visceral fat and subcutaneous fat.
- Pumps Up the Heart Rate – High-intensity cardio exercises are not the only way to boost up heartbeat. It can also be done through low-intensity yoga exercises such as a couple of rounds of Surya Namaskar.
- Promotes Muscle Strength – Yoga poses that cause stretching or shortening of muscles promotes weight loss.Such voluntary muscle movements promote the growth of lean muscle mass that uses fat as a fuel and helps in burning away the stored fats.
- Stimulating the Liver – The liver is in charge of processing the fats and it also helps in removing bad fats from the body. Regular practice of yoga helps in enhancing the vital force of the liver so that it can function properly and remove toxins and harmful fats from the body.
- Activating the Thyroid Gland – Thyroid gland secretes a particular hormone that regulates metabolism and controls the function of fat burning in the body. Yoga asanas can help in activating the functions of the thyroid gland.
- Maintaining the pH of the body at an Alkaline Level – The body starts storing fat if its pH becomes too acidic. Yoga poses to lose weight can help in maintaining the pH of the body at a safe alkaline level and prevent excessive fat storage.
- Balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system – Chronic stress is a leading cause of weight gain and yoga can help in reducing stress and relaxing the mind and the body by maintaining the right balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.
10 Best Yoga Exercises to Lose Weight
Yoga is a phenomenal way to bring the mind and body close to each other. Yoga helps in relieving stress and achieving inner peace. It is a form of low-intensity exercise that promotes weight loss through calorie burning and also helps in correcting and improving posture.
Ardha Chandraasana or Half Moon Pose
The Crescent Moon pose is one of the best exercises to lose weight that promotes fat burn from the most difficult regions such as buttocks, side of tummy and upper and inner thighs. It also helps in toning the arms and strengthening the core. Stand with your feet closed.
Raise your hands over your head and join the palms in a Namaste. Now, bend sideways from the hips while exhaling. Don’t open your hands and keep the elbows straight. Feel the tension build in your abs, buttocks and thighs. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds and return to the standing position. Repeat the move on the other side.
Veerbhadrasana or Warrior Pose
The warrior pose can be done in many ways and it is an effective yoga to lose weight fast. This pose aids in toning and strengthening the muscles of the back, abdomen, thigh and core and also promotes the calorie burning process. Stand with your feet closed and hands resting on the side.
Move your right leg to the side and bend the right knee so that you come to a slight side lunge position. Your left leg should be stretched straight. Now, exhale and raise your arms to your sides so that they should be in a straight line with the shoulders. Inhale and straighten your right knee to come back to the starting position. Repeat the same on the other side.
Vrksasana or Willow Pose
The willow pose or tree pose is an effective yoga for losing weight from the sides of the abdomen. It helps in toning the oblique muscles and works the core muscles of the abdomen and also helps in burning fat from thighs and arms. Stand with your feet together.
Now, raise one leg off the floor by putting all the weight on the other leg. Place the foot of the elevated leg on the inner thigh of the other leg. Now, raise both the hands over your head and join the palms. Stay in this stance for 30 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.
Utkatasana or Chair Pose
The chair pose is one of the easy yoga steps to lose weight by toning the thighs, lower back and buttocks. It also helps in firming the core muscles and enhancing strength and flexibility. Stand with your feet together and your hands in front of you in a Namaste pose.
Now, raise your hands over your head in the Namaste pose and gradually bend your knees so that your thighs become parallel to the floor. Bend your torso forward slightly. Stay in this pose for 1 minute and come back to the starting position. Repeat it as many times as you can.
Uttanasana or Forward Bending Pose
The forward bending pose is the ultimate answer to how to lose weight by yoga. This asana tones the leg and abdominal muscles and helps in giving you a flat tummy. It works and stretches the hamstrings and tones the muscles of the abdomen.
The yoga also helps in relaxing the strained muscles. Stand with your feet closed; raise your arms above your head and inhale. Now, bend forward totally pushing out your butt so that your palms touch the floor. Wait for 30 seconds and come up to the starting position. Repeat it 20 to 30 times at a stretch.
Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose
The list of yoga exercises to lose weight will be incomplete without the inclusion of the Cobra Pose in it. This asana helps in toning the abdomen, strengthening the back and shoulder muscles, expanding the chest and enhancing flexibility of the mid-section of the body.
Lie on your belly and keep the toes flat on the floor, feet close to each other. Now place your hands beneath your shoulders and your elbows close to the torso. Inhale and raise your torso off the floor with the support of your arms. Arch your back as much as possible, tilt your head and look upwards. Hold this position for 1 minute and come back to the starting position.
Dhanurasana or Bow Pose
The Bow Pose is one of the power packed yoga exercises to lose weight but it is of a higher difficulty level and usually requires a lot of practice, unless you are super flexible. This asana strengthens the abdominal muscles, tones the arms and legs, enhances flexibility of the back and relieves stress and fatigue.
Lie on your stomach and place feet hip width apart and rest the arms on the side of the body. Now, bend your knees and convey your feet towards your butt. Lift your chest off the ground and hold both the ankles with your hands. Your body will form a curve just like a bow. Continue to breath normally, look straight and hold the pose for 30 seconds. Come back to the starting position.
Utthita Parsvakonasana or Extended Side Angle Pose
The Extended side angle pose is a power packed yoga pose to lose weight that works almost all parts of the body at the same time. It stretches the back, waist, ankles and shoulders and tones the muscles of the legs (thighs, knees and hips). Stand with feet closed and arms resting on the sides. Now, move your feet approximately 3 feet apart and raise your arms to your side so that they are parallel to the floor.
Now, move your left foot to the side and bend your left knee so that the left thigh is parallel to the floor. Bend your torso to the left and raise your right hand over your head so that it forms a straight line from the tip of the right hand to the right foot. Rest the elbow of your left arm on the left thigh. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat it on the other side.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or Pigeon Pose
The Pigeon pose is not only effective in promoting weight loss, but also in relieving the stiffness of the lower back and hips. It works the hip flexor, thighs, glutes and groins and opens the hip joint. Get down on all fours. Curve your right knee and bring it forward to rest it on the floor between your hands such that the right heel should be directly below the left hip.
Stretch your left leg straight behind you, with toes tucked under. Now, lean backward by expanding the chest and inhaling. Now, lower your head to touch the floor while exhaling. Hold the pose for 30 seconds while breathing easily. Come back to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend
The Seated forward bend is a full-body workout yoga to lose weight that helps in stretching and toning almost all the muscles of the body right from the arms and shoulders to the abdomen, buttocks and legs. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched straight out in front and the toes pointing up. Place your feet approximately six inches apart. Grasp the big toes of both feet with your hands and lower your body forward and try to touch your head to your toes. Keep your back straight at all times and feel the stretch and tension build in your spine, abdomen, legs and arms. Hold this position for 30 seconds while breathing normally, and return to the starting position.
Yoga for losing weight must be included in your fitness regime because it not only promotes calorie burn, but also increases the awareness of your body so that you become more alert about what you eat. In addition, it also helps in effective stress management.
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